Share a story – Not about a job interview!

6 Jan

So it’s been suggested we share a story. Something short and sweet that won’t take up much time. Something relating to a memorable job interview. To be honest, I can’t seem to remember any memorable job interviews, nothing dramatic or even remotely funny has ever happened to me, so I’m going to share something which happened to me tonight instead.

I had just finished work, and was making my way out of Edinburgh Waverley Station into the bitter cold. Nothing unusual about that, considering I work for one of the long-haul train companies. All rugged up, and warm in my huge coat, complete with scarf, gloves, and ugg boots on. Making my way up the stairs, thinking of nothing more than the piping hot noodle soup I intended on making myself as soon as I got home. Until I climbed up the first set of stairs and laid my eyes on him. He was sitting cross-legged on the cold concrete, wearing a thin jacket, no gloves, no hat, no scarf, and looking at the floor, not meeting anybody’s gaze, with a small, tatty foam coffee cup placed in front of his knees, obviously a beggar. He looked forlorn, beaten…and looking like he could definitely use a cup of coffee or two. At first I just considered walking past and away – the night was cold and it was getting late. But my conscience didn’t let me, my heart strings were already pulled. I walked up to him and said hi, he looked up at me and said hello back and smiled. I stupidly asked him how he was on such a cold night, and he said okay, could be better, thank you. I pulled out my wallet and gave him a few quid – perhaps for a cup of coffee, perhaps for a bus ticket home, perhaps for a bottle of booze, I don’t know. It wasn’t my place to know. I gave him the money, said goodnight and smiled, and began to walk away. But he called me back – and out of his scruffy bag he had hidden behind him, he pulled out a big box of Quality Street chocolate. He asked if I had any children, parents, grandparents I could share the chocolate with. I said no, I have no family in this country, it’s just me, you keep it for yourself and enjoy. He insisted I take it, he wouldn’t take no for an answer, he smiled, and waved the box with outstretched hands. He didn’t tell me where he got the chocolate from, and I didn’t ask. He didn’t give me much choice but to take it, his look was so earnest.  As I walked away with the box tucked in my bag, what I had just done struck me – I had just taken a box of chocolate from a poor beggar in the street! Who probably needed it way more than I do. I panicked. But then I stopped to think. Whatever the reason he had been sitting there did not matter to me, this wasn’t about what he had done to get there, or about what he was going to do when I left. This was about a poor man giving away the little he had to someone who had shown him kindness, given him the time of day, perhaps when nobody else had, I don’t know. In my eyes, what I did was no mean feat, something which I wouldn’t even be writing about had he not given me the chocolate.  He had given me something which he most likely needed and most probably wanted, to a complete stranger and gave it away willingly and with joy. Make of it what you will. I still don’t know what to make of it completely. But I thought I would share it just the same.


One Response to “Share a story – Not about a job interview!”


  1. Job Interviews « Top Left Hand Page - January 7, 2011

    […] Share a story – not about a job interview! ( […]

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