I must say I’ve never heard of your store before coming to India. I have since learned that you are a French outdoors store, similar to REI and EMS which we have in the US. Your store came well recommended to me for getting some quality hiking shoes for my mountain gallivants in India – and I was excited to learn there is a location en route to the Amritsar airport.
You had exactly what I needed – a pair of size 36 lightweight waterproof hiking shoes. And you didn’t have 15 pairs for me to make myself crazy choosing from. It was simple shopping and after a few minutes, I was ready to pay and hop back in the rickshaw to catch my flight.
When your incredibly courteous and helpful staff told me I couldn’t pay with credit card because the systems were down, I got nervous. They told me there was an ATM on the highway road but I knew I had a flight to catch and wouldn’t have enough time to get there.
You can imagine my relief, confusion, gratitude and awe when your wonderfully empowered staff said:
-“Don’t worry – you take the shoes now and whenever you have a chance, you can pay us.”
-“Ummmm…..ok,” I said, feeling shocked and puzzled. “That would be awesome. But how exactly would that work?”
-“Oh, whenever you have a chance, just put money in our account.”
-“Ummm….ok,” I said. “That would be really fantastic, but how exactly would that work?”
-“We’ll give you our account number and you just go to the bank and deposit the money.”
-“Ummm….ok, but I’m still not sure how that would work.”
-“Don’t worry about it,” they said. “Go catch your flight, here is the account number. Just go to any bank with your ATM card and you can pay whenever you have a chance.”
-“Ummmm….ok…..wow…..thanks,” I said, with a bewildered, confused look upon my face. I placed my beautiful new hiking shoes in my backpack and ventured outside to my rickshaw, not quite believing I had a brand-spanking new pair of high quality shoes I hadn’t yet paid for.
Well, huge kudos to you Decathalon! Not sure if it was your company or if it was just Indian culture at its finest– the notion of trust, faith and karma – but I was utterly impressed by your staff feeling empowered enough to make this amazing decision and put their trust in me.
Yes, of course I will figure out a way to pay up (hopefully I can find that post-it note with the account info!) This is not something I can imagine would EVER happen in the US but I’d love to be wrong.
How beautiful to experience the faith and trust of your employees.
I’ve been blessed with one act of kindness after the next here in India. The warmth, hospitality and eagerness to help is remarkable.
Whether it was your own policies or your good choice in employees, I thank you for this opportunity to experience human kindness in such a corporate, commercial exchange.
India is full of this great karma!
Thank you Decathalon.
Thank you India.
Thank you fellow humans.
Thank you beautiful mountains.
A social worker…..working socially, around the globe.