I owe somebody somewhere in Asia a big tip. Somebody somewhere in the bowels of a hotel laundry room in Singapore or Hong Kong sewed a button back on to the cuff of one of my shirts. A button that had been crushed or ripped off by my usual local laundry shop months ago. I knew better than to ask them to reattach it free, and wasn’t interested in paying them to do it. I meant to do it myself sometime, but since it was the button that you’d use if you had bigger wrists than I do, I put it off.

But somebody taking the job of laundry far more seriously took the time to notice the missing button and to find the spare attached to the bottom of the placket and to attach it. They didn’t match the thread color, and they did use a sewing machine, so the effort wasn’t quite heroic, but it was an effort. An effort I didn’t ask for, expect, pay extra for, or even notice until some time later.

Maybe this sort of thing is standard procedure at some laundries, or maybe it was a random act of kindness or a slow day at the laundry or some kind of prodigal courtesy to a garment originally made in Asia.

Whatever it was, I appreciate it. It’s so rare to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of a service.