Being nice does pay off

August 11, 2013


Let’s start off by stating some obvious facts:

  • In terms of guilty pleasures, I am hard pressed to name anything that tastes better than a Goodrich malt. (If you’re not blessed to live in one of the Midwestern states where Goodrich operates, I seriously feel bad for you because you are missing out on an experience that feels like driving with the top down, playing hooky, and skydiving all rolled into one.)
  • If someone placed a free Goodrich malt on the opposite side from where I stood across a six-lane freeway during rush hour traffic and told me I could have it if I made it to the prize unscathed like a human Frogger, I would take on that challenge without a second thought.
  • Goodrich malts have the consistency of wet cement, making them impossible to drink fast enough to suffer a brain freeze. They are a bit pricey for the portion size so you learn to savor every last sip.
  • Goodrich and Subway made a business decision to combine forces years ago, which resulted in them sharing store space and staff. It’s much easier and less messy for a typical worker to make a quick sandwich over a slow churned malt.

Knowing all of this upfront helps set the scene for my story.

I was on my way back into town after working at an event in a city that’s 2.5 hours from my home. My sole goal was to coast the last 15-20 miles because I didn’t want to have to stop for gas and I knew my tank was getting low, but the caution light came on to let me know my luck had run out.

I pulled into a gas station that’s connected to a Goodrich/Subway store and thought to myself, “Screw it. I need a malt.”

9:35 PM people. The best time of day to consume a gazillion calories. But, remember, I am a human Frogger when it comes to my obsession with the end prize.

Play Frogger at Classic Games Arcade

So, I walked in and made eye contact with the kid who got stuck working the late shift. He asked if he could make me a sandwich and I responded with the five words I know every Goodrich/Subway worker hates.

“I’d actually like a malt.”

Not only did I want a malt, I wanted a chocolate one with marshmallow added. HIGH MAINTENANCE HEIDI.

After my demands left my lips, I started to apologize like I was breaking up with him.

“I’m sorry. I know malts totally suck to make. But I need one so badly.”

We shared some laughs over the next several minutes as he affirmed they are a total pain to make and that people who request butterscotch malts or caramel to be added to their malts are the absolute worst. He also said they’d be 10 times easier to make if they had the right supplies – including those slick dome-shaped lids with the bigger openings on top like gas stations use for their slushies. I agreed with all his points and told him he should contact the big-wigs at Goodrich and share that idea with them. “Who knows?” I said, “You may end up with some big bonus for your brilliant idea.”

As he approached the cash register he said to me, “Well, you’re cool. How about $0.54?”

That same malt should have cost me around $4. Needless to say, he and I were no longer broken up. He was back in my heart to stay.

My life theory is – be nice without expecting anything in return. When your niceness pays off, it’s like having extra marshmallow unexpectedly added to your chocolate malt.

Created by Heidi Woodard

2 responses to Being nice does pay off


    You’re right. Being nice does pay off, so I will first start with something nice. Good for you for treating the employee well. I worked at Arby’s during college and I always appreciated and, when I could, rewarded customers who treated me like an actual person with a brain and feelings, rather than a machine providing them with food. Now that the niceness is out of the way. Really? Seriously, Heidi? I mentioned to you that I was going to grab Subway for lunch. WHY didn’t you tell me to read your post BEFORE I went?? Now I want a Goodrich malt so bad I can taste it! I will expect reimbursement for my time and half my gasoline costs required to drive back to Subway and get myself a chocolate malt.


    Loved your blog! Read it to Connie and she thought it was good too.