Tony. I went into the pool store to get some help with my disgusting pool. Tony was the first person I encountered. I asked if they do on site maintenance. He said no but some guys do it "on the side". I hired him on the spot. He just struck he as a genuine young man.
A week later he came to work on my pool. I hung out in the yard puttering in case he needed something (and to be honest I was a little leery as a single woman.) so we started to talk. Turns out he is a young man who got in trouble with the law and had some bad breaks. He "looks" the part too but I have learned from my pal, Molly, not to judge a book....look at the eyes. That is where you see the soul.
So he continued to tell me his story. I listened. Everything he knows about pools, mechanics and chemicals he taught himself. He wants to go back to school but is determined to pay off his legal fees first because he "hates owing money". As we talked I could tell he is a smart guy. As a teacher I could see the kid he once was. The misfit. The unconventional learner that didn't "fit the mold" and then just got disinterested.... We talked politics and the legal system and history and chemistry. He worked hard and then thanked me as he left. He said I was one of the few customers that talked to him and listened to him. He is coming back today .... "Just to check on things and make sure all is working correctly..."
I asked what the charge was for this.... He said "nothing.... You were nice."
Tony will get a little extra today towards paying off those legal fees. And I will listen again.