Unsung Hero #152

Alert — and overwhelmed with gratitude — “06880” reader Melissa Balmer writes:

The other day my 10-year-old daughter had a tooth extracted. She could only eat soft foods, so on the way home from the dentist — and the first time in over 3 months — I stopped at Trader Joe’s.

I bought mashed potatoes, soft pasta, yogurt and 2 large watermelons. At checkout my credit card was declined once, then twice.

I brought out a second card. It too was declined. Confusion turned to panic as I brought out a third card. Declined!

At that point Jared – I think he’s a manager – swooped in and said, “Maybe it’s the machine. Let’s try over here.” He tried once more, but it still did not work.

I checked my cash. I was $4 short.

Calmly and amazingly he said, “No problem. I’ll cover the $4.”

I protested that I was good for it. I could put a watermelon back or come back with more cash. But he had already cashed it out and smiled, handing me my receipt. He wished me a good day.

I was stunned. As we walked to the car my daughter said, ” What a nice man.” What a nice man indeed!

At home I fixed the credit card mix-up, and sent my husband over with a thank- you note and return of the loan to Jared.

Maybe this isn’t blog-worthy, given the protests and turmoil in our country. But it might be nice to celebrate such a wonderful neighbor in our community.

Jared saw a frazzled mom trying to buy her kid watermelon. He helped without a second thought, in the kindest manner I had ever seen. We’re lucky to have him in our community.

23 responses to “Unsung Hero #152

  1. Phillip Perri

    Ms. Balmer: Are you kidding? Not only is this “blog-worthy” but absolutely welcomed and sorely needed at all times, but much more in these times we live in. Thank you for calling out a slice of humanity! Hopefully your daughter is feeling better as well! If Jared is a reader…..way to go neighbor and thank you!!

    • Gil Ghitelman

      The only other Jarad I hear about is Trump’s son-law. World of difference. TJ’s Jarad is the absolute best. He’s been a “sung” hero for a very long time.

  2. Barbara Greenspan

    Way to go Mrs. Balmer!!! I hope that 10 year old was happy. Love that kid!!!

  3. Ginny Jaffe

    Love the good news story about Trader Joes and the Watermelon..Nice torah something positive for a change.

  4. Fred Cantor

    Thank you for sharing. Our experiences with Trader Joe’s in Westport have been very positive ones as well.

  5. I LOVE Trader Joe’s.

  6. I have been so impressed with Trader Joe’s these past months.
    These past months I have felt very secure shopping there. They have so many friendly employees guiding people to items, cleaning shopping carts, attending to the line that sometimes forms outside to get in, and making sure that customers are safe.
    Your story is just another example how they look after the community.
    Thanks for posting.

  7. Such a good & heartwarming story! Chivalry is not dead! Thanks so much for sharing this good news!

  8. Antonia Zegras

    There are some wonderful people out there that don’t get or don’t want recognition for their kindness, but that is a story worth reading more than once!

  9. Sivan Hong

    Could not love this story more Melissa!

  10. Marcy Sansolo

    good lord. i’m not crying, you’re crying. what a story. hoping that 10 year old is on the mend and that all good things go jared’s way. thanks dan.

  11. A very good newsworthy, heartwarming story which goes to show how special TJ’s truly is! It’s my favorite place to shop and has been since it opened 27+ years ago. I’m not surprised that Melissa and her daughter were given such caring, thoughtful and exceptional service The management and crew are outstanding is so many ways. Bravo!

  12. Melissa Seltzer Levy

    This is a beautiful story, and exactly what we need to read at this time, to know the kindness that exists in our wonderful community. Made my day. Thank you all for sharing!

  13. Michael Vitelli

    Love this story. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for Jared.
    Hope you’re daughter’s feeling better.

  14. Charles Taylor

    Angels walk among us every day!

  15. Erin Regan

    I love this story! Trader Joe’s has the most outstanding employees. In other towns too, I always wonder what their secret is. They’ve been amazing throughout the pandemic.

  16. Apparently Trader Joe’s has not been as nice to its employees as it’s employees are to it’s customers:


  17. Mark L. Yurkiw

    I am so happy to see a story about the employees at TJ’s they are simply the best. They treat shoppers like guests, are very careful during this crisis, and always have something nice to say. I wish I could buy everything there. They have been my heroes during this time.

  18. If TJ’s does go union, it will lose most of that personal, caring feeling….unions truncate the sphere in which employees can operate and, since it becomes difficult to terminate an employee under union “causes,” said employees tend to care less about the job and far less about interactions with customers

    • Frank Marrone

      And, tell us, Mr. Katz, on what imperical evidence are you basing such sweeping conclusions? Maybe if TJ does go union its workers can actually concentrate more on their customers and less on worrying about being at the whim of a store manager’s arbitrary decisiom to fire someone without just cause. Worker protections lead to a more secure workforce wihich in turn can lead to a better workforce. Prove otherwise with something besides your obvious anti-union prejudices.

      • Mr. Marron, no anti union prejudice or even attitude here…I think unions WERE the savior of the free enterprise system inthat they ended child labor, secured worker benefits, increased salaries and decreased the demanded work hours. On the other hand, Sir, they DO tend to be “overprotective” because union “bosses” make lots of moeny and want their members to re-elect them; EVEN if they eschew the public’s welfare in favor of their members’ welfare. If you think that’s good, so be it. I think not so much.

  19. Phil Perlah

    Wow, certainly more than $4.00 worth of good PR.

  20. Phillip Perri

    OMG people. Can’t we just enjoy a nice heart-warming story anymore? Must everything degrade into some political or agenda-serving P.S.A.? Can’t we start to do better, at least here in Westport? Thanks for hijacking a nice COVID respite.