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Instacart Shopper Delivers Order For Sick Customer, But Adds A Sweet Surprise That Earned Her A Huge Tip

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woman delivering groceries

We hear about "random acts of kindness" so often the phrase has become a well-worn cliche. But one gig worker recently showed just how big of a difference a simple gesture of kindness can make for both people involved.

The Instacart shopper got a huge tip when she added a surprise gesture of encouragement for her customer.

Most of the time, Instacart interactions tend to be underwhelming, if not a completely negative experience. Customers have become known for tipping poorly, if at all, and shoppers have become infamous for making annoying and often hilarious mistakes while shopping.

   

   

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But one Instacart shopper named Tesla Branton's recent gig broke with both of those conventions and left her and her customer smiling.

The Instacart shopper added a 'get well soon' card to a sick customer's order.

"I just took an Instacart order at CVS," Branton said in her TikTok video, "and this person is obviously sick, judging by the things that they ordered."

   

   

She filmed herself shopping for the person's order, including a few run-of-the-mill items like candy and snacks, a face mask, and some lip balm. 

But the rest of the order was definitely the shopping list of someone feeling really, really under the weather — a giant box of tissues, three different kinds of VapoRub, three different kinds of NyQuil plus melatonin gummies. They're nothing if not thorough, this sick person!

Since they were obviously struggling, Branton decided to include an additional item to cheer them up — a "get well soon" card that she left on top of the customer's order when dropping it off on their doorstep.

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For the kind gesture, the Instacart shopper got a huge tip that left her happily shocked.

Later, after she'd dropped the order off at the sick person's house, Branton opened the app up to see if she'd received a tip — and boy, did she. The sick customer had changed her $7.80 tip to a whopping $40.

Branton said it left her "speechless," but she also saw in the gesture a reflection of the way our society has to some degree lost its way. "What kills me is that the card meant that much to them," she wrote in her caption. "Can we restore humanity now?"

She seemed to be shocked that such a simple gesture would have such an outsized impact. It does suggest that simple kindness is lacking on a pretty profound level nowadays. 

In our heavily polarized era, there is of course plenty of data that backs this up. A Pew Research study recently found that 79 percent of people feel that Americans no longer trust each other and are worried about what it's doing to us.

And other studies focusing on our country's loneliness epidemic have found a shockingly high proportion of us are very isolated in our lives.

   

   

A 2021 study by the American Enterprise Institute found that only 59 percent of respondents have someone they call a "best friend" and substantial numbers had a friendship end over political disagreements in recent years.

The Instacart shopper may be right — humanity might need some restoration nowadays. But she and her customer are both proof that there's still goodness out there if we're just willing to make the effort.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.