Shopper with autism moved by exceptional Timberland employee who went the extra mile

Submitted by Stomper Yan

This story was submitted via Web contribution form.

A shopper was deeply touched by a Timberland employee who went the extra mile and provided service with a heart.

Stomper Yan first met the employee at Timberland's Changi City Point outlet on March 31.

Yan shared: "I finally got my uncle two pairs of soft and comfy smart casual shoes to replace his favourite worn out pair (which he has since discarded)... all thanks to the lovely lady salesperson at Timberland!

"She had heard from me on March 31 that my uncle loves a particular pair of shoes so much that he wouldn't let it go despite it being way too worn out to provide the support he needs for his hurting feet.

"That model, however, was out of production.

"Upon hearing that I would drop in now and then to see if there would be similar shoes, the employee offered to take down my number and inform me as soon as a model similar to my uncle's is released.

"I was delighted to receive a call from the employee on June 29, informing me that a similar pair of shoes was in stock.

"I wasn't able to head down that day but went over the next day. I wanted to personally thank the employee for her kind, caring and sweet gesture.

"She wasn't working on the day that we headed over, but I got my uncle to try on the shoes and to my delight, he loves them!

"My cousins and I got our uncle two pairs of shoes as a gift for being such a wonderful uncle to us. We love you, uncle!"

"It had been three months since my conversation with the employee, but she had actually kept it in mind all this while! I'm so touched by her caring heart and just as awed by her wonderful customer service.

"Such salespersons who are sincere and who truly care are few and far between, especially when it comes to socially awkward customers like me who dress the way I do."

Yan explained that she has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), adding: "I found out just a few years ago, after having suffered all my life and somehow adapted (more like maladapted though) over the years. Ain't proud to announce nor ashamed to admit.

"So how I behave/walk/think, exacerbated by my natural aversion to prolonged eye-contact, auditory processing disorder, horrible/non-existent small-talk skills and obviously longer than normal thought processes (just to name a few) all make me the perfect suspicious character.

"It's a pain every day, but it's something I've come to accept and am still learning to live with.

"What makes things worse is my dressing is your typical PE kit almost wherever and whenever - t-shirt, shorts, cap, backpack.

"I must admit, it's not the best or most appropriate/dignified outfit but definitely the most practical/comfortable as I'm tactile sensitive and seriously intolerant to heat.

"Because of my horrible dressing, most salespeople give me dirty looks and tail me so closely as if I'm gonna steal something from their shop, which, OMG, of course not; why would I when I can well afford whatever I wish to get?

"But the bottom line is I have a conscience.

"But yeah, fine, I accept such treatment because I understand that there are countless social norms and a certain expected/standard form of behavior/response that I'm either not aware of or not able to abide by, not deliberately but because of factors beyond my control.

"Pardon me because all these aren't 'common knowledge' to me, they are alien and often beyond my (maybe limited?) comprehension; they definitely do not come as naturally to me as expected.

"I apologise for (more often than not) being unaware of the countless unspoken rules and for not having religiously complied with every single one of them because I honestly don't know better.

"Well, back to my inferior dressing - you know, black clothes, cap, backpack = typical poor sneaky thief... but when one has to make a choice, practicality/comfort is so much more important than what others think; at least to me it is.

"And it'll be just so sad if it's something I (and others like myself) have to feel inferior about, be judged by or have to apologise profusely for.

"But well... all these... it's life, ain't it? Being misjudged, misinterpreted, misunderstood, falsely accused, discriminated against, looked down upon, ridiculed, bullied or even abused.

"Thankful for a God who sees all, knows all, understands when no one else does, forgives when we fall short and loves unconditionally.

"This lovely salesperson sure makes this world a better, brighter place. If only there're more people like her around."

Yan did not manage to get the employee's name and therefore hopes to commend her through Stomp. She has also written about the incident on her personal Facebook page.

The Stomper added: "This wonderful salesperson from Timberland Changi City Point deserves some commendation. I am deeply touched and very appreciative of her caring heart and wonderful customer service.

"I wish to send her some love and encouragement through this post, especially during such tough times. I want to let her know how much this meant to me, and how very much she and what she did is appreciated.

"It didn't occur to me to get her name back then, but she will most probably know it's her when she reads this."