Thursday, October 19, 2006

God Bless Wohlners!

For those of you who don't know, let me just say that Wohlner's Grocery Store in Omaha, Nebraska is one of my most beloved establishments. I frequently order their delicious steaks, handmade bratwurst, and home cured slab bacon to be Fedexed to me in New York in a giant styrofoam cooler. I used to live a few blocks away from Wohlner's, and went there almost daily. It is a Norman Rockwell experience to shop there - everyone knows you, they will cash a personal check for you, they will tell you how to cook whatever you buy, they have St. Andre cheese (a rarity in Nebraska), and Jeff, the pharmacist who runs the little pharmacy in the back, will drop your prescription by your house on his way home from work.

My friend Stanley, who is himself just a mass of good deeds and good will, forwarded me the following email from his friend Karen. I remember Karen - we all used to work together a million years ago at Borders. While this story doesn't surprise me at all, it made me smile and feel warm and fuzzy.

So, I didn't have any money on me today leaving work. That is, no bus fare.

I stop lots at Wohlner's to buy food because it's right at my bus stop, so I figured I'd use their ATM to get money, buy dinner, get on the bus, bingo-bango.

(I'd foolishly used my very last check buying cheesecake for a co-worker's daughter's school fundraiser. On the plus side, she now owes me, so forward all your kids' stuff to me. Guaranteeeeeeeed sale!)

Anyhoo, tried the ATM three times. No go. Must be outa money. Wohlner's credit card machines aren't set up to get cash back.

I don't have a cell phone. How am I going to get home? After many trials and tribulations trying to get through to a friend at work who might still be there at 5:45 to come and pick me up (just try getting through on those automated systems when you have to tell the cashier which buttons to push!), the nice Wohlner's lady insists I take her money!

Someone I don't even know save seeing her frequently at the nice little grocery store at 52nd and Leavenworth gave me five bucks for the bus today!