Kindness without pretense: Woman grateful for security guard's service, attitutde

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, January 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—Admit it: We live in a world where the middle-aged and overweight are often treated with barely concealed contempt.

This is not an editorial statement, or an attempt to be politically correct. Rather, it's a statement of fact most of recognize either consciously or unconsciously.

That's why a simple act by Janesville Mall security guard Don Parsons prompted such an outpouring of gratitude by a customer.

Here's that customer's story:

Ginger Skaife, of Janesville needed to go to the Radio Shack at the mall. She had no idea where the store was located and parked by the J. C. Penny store—which is about at the opposite end of the complex from where she needed to go.

She asked how to get there, and people kept pointing in the opposite direction.

“I kept walking,” Skaife wrote in an email to The Gazette. “Using a cane and being overweight, I began to tire and ache rapidly.”

When she was done shopping at Radio Shack, she asked the clerk if they had any wheelchairs, as she “certainly did not think I could make the long trek back.”

“Mr. Don Parsons arrived with a wheelchair and proceeded to push me back (quite a 'load' for him) via the route I'd come,” Skaife wrote.

She told him he could just leave her off at JCPenney, but he insisted on taking her to her car, and “even opened the door” for her.

“Mr. Parsons exhibited friendliness, compassion and treated me as an equal,” Skaife wrote. “

She couldn't detect any of that subtle rudeness or “anything due to my heaviness or being an older person.”

Skaife said she enjoyed their brief time together. She was grateful that he spoke up  “after I only asked him once, telling him how very deaf I am.”

“Many persons, having to exert themselves so while walking, would have said little, other than being polite while doing,” Skaife wrote. “He is, in my estimation, a very kind, compassionate, giving and friendly person.”

Parsons said that he enjoyed his time with the lady in the wheelchair.

“She was pretty cheerful lady, a nice, very funny lady,” Parsons said.

Parsons has worked at the mall for more than six years and he enjoys his job because every day is different and that makes it interesting for him.

As for his kindness, Parsons said, “That's just the way I was raised.”

“I like to help people,” Parsons said. “Then maybe they'll be nice to people somewhere down the road.”

Last updated: 3:24 pm Sunday, January 26, 2014

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