With one of the days off that ARG generously provided at the beginning of the year, I decided to take my car to be serviced. I drive infrequently these days and my four month old battery has been losing enough juice in 3 days without driving that I’ve had to get a jumpstart from my husband to go to the store twice. I tested the alternator and done some other checks and figured the dealer would be able to get to the bottom of it so I wouldn’t have to leave it on a trickle charger. I booked my appointment Monday and showed up bright and early on a Tuesday morning at 7:30.
After 3 hours waiting in the socially distant waiting room, I texted my service advisor again for status and decided to go for a walk, since at this point all the stores were open in the area. I was leaving TJ Maxx after unsuccessfully looking for pants with pockets for my 7 year old, when a homeless guy asked if I could help him out. About 6 months into the pandemic I stopped carrying a purse and tuck a credit card and ID in the back of my cell phone case, so I apologized for not having cash or an ATM card. He said he didn’t need cash, but could really use something to keep warm. I happily escorted him back in the store to pick out and after some quick shopping he picked out some Under Armor gear. As we waited in line I asked where he was from. I learned that he was from the area and had lost his job in DC in the hospitality industry and hadn’t been able to find a new job. I volunteer with a homeless program so we talked about some options that might help him find housing and other social services and support. We checked out and I handed him the bag. He thanked me for the clothes and for acknowledging him, he said most people just ignore him. As we were saying goodbye, the woman who had been in front of us in line came over said she had overheard us talking and gave him a gift card in case there was anything else he needed.
As we walked out, the dealer called to report that they weren’t able to find out what was draining my car battery, I’d waited for 4 hours with no resolution. As I walked back to pick up my car, I realized the hours spent in Tysons that day were not a waste of time at all. I got to help a neighbor and see another person do the same. These days we all need to take care of each other and I can’t think of a better way to kickoff the new year.