Yes, when we went out to the car the associate pointed out that I had a flat tire. Ugh. I asked him to load my groceries in the car wherever he could put them because I would need to get the spare tire and jack out of the trunk. I thanked him, then loaded Joel in the car seat with some Goldfish. I took a deep breath and started unloading the trunk so that I could get to the spare tire and trunk. It would be embarrassing to mention all that I had to take out, but the items included bricks, floor tires and locks.
While I was unloading the trunk, David approached and asked if he could help me. I thanked him and we got to the piece in the trunk that can be taken out to reveal the spare and thankfully the jack too. And lo and behold there were instructions on how to change a tire which came in handy when we were trying to locate where to actually place the jack so that we could get the car up. And if you are familiar with Publix, the parking lot is on an incline. That doesn't really help while changing a tire.
As David was loosening the bolts on the flat tire, Travis came up and helped him get the tire changed. Then they loaded my trunk back up with the bricks, floor tiles, locks, etc. I thanked them both for their kindness and shook their hands.
Since I didn't have any other way to thank them (like give them $5 for their trouble), I went back into the store and asked to speak to the manager. I told her what these two boys did for me for two reasons. One, to let her know that they were helping me for the last 30 minutes and not bagging groceries; and two, to let her know what great guys they were. She told me that they have a program at Publix when a customer lets the managers know when an associate has been kind to help, then they give them coins (or tokens) to use to buy lunch on their breaks. She informed me that she would make sure that both David and Travis would get enough coins to buy their lunch today.
Now, if you know me well, you know that I'm an emotional person. I was so touched by the kindness of David and Travis I cried when I tried to tell the manager. But I want you to know how impressed I was with these two teenage/college boys that work at Publix. They were both gentlemen. They spoke to me while looking me in the eye. They called me Ma'am (now, I usually prefer not to be called ma'am as it makes me feel old, but this was an exception). And they were "experts" in changing tires. David said that he was glad it was not raining. Apparently he's changed a tire in the Publix parking lot in the rain before.
I prefer to shop at Publix when I can for various reasons. But the main one it that they have great people who work as associates. They are always polite and eager to help. One time when I was pregnant, the associate emptied my cart onto the checkout line for me. Yes, it made an impression on me at that time when I was tired and ready to go home. I haven't experienced these types of kindnesses at any other grocery store.
I thank the Lord for the help that I had today. David and Travis helped me change a tire. And I'll shop at Publix again.