PITTSBURG — Usually when someone walks up to the counter and asks to speak to a manager, they’re looking to register a complaint.
But that wasn’t the case about 1:30 p.m. Friday when one woman walked into the City of Pittsburg offices and asked to speak to a supervisor.
City Customer Service Manager Tammy Crays came to the counter to see what the problem was, only to have a woman — who asked to remain anonymous — ask if anyone had had their water shut off that day.
“She said she’d been there and wanted to help,” Crays said.
There hadn’t been any shutoffs on Friday, but there had been some the previous day, and after going through a few bills they found a couple the woman wanted to help.
She then paid about $250 to completely clear the accounts and get water restored to two customers.
“She wanted them to get ‘a clean start,’ that’s what she said,” Crays said.
But the generosity didn’t end there.
Crays said they then attempted to contact the two customers whose bills had been paid, and were able to leave a message for one — they didn’t have a working contact number for the other — and immediately got a call back.
The gentleman in question said he had been working out of town, Crays said, and was planning to pay the bill that day — he then asked to “pay it forward” and had about $90 to put toward someone’s bill. He wasn’t able to clear a bill entirely, but was able to help someone get their water turned back on.
Crays said this is the fourth time since she’s been working there that someone has helped other people with their bills, but in the past it has always been helping someone who was standing there at the same time — perhaps covering a shortage.
“We’ve never had it happen like this before, where someone just came and asked to pay some bills,” Crays said.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.