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    Category: Awesome Workers

    Gift Carded And Dearly Departed

    | Tacoma, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Health & Body, Top

    (I am working as an assistant manager at a retail store. A customer comes in while it is slow, so I am able to pay a lot of attention to her, and find her exactly what she wants.)

    Customer: “Is it okay to pay by gift card?”

    Me: “Of course.”

    (I start ringing her in.)

    Customer: “I hate to use it though.”

    Me: “Oh really? Why is that?”

    Customer: “My mom gave it to me for my last birthday, and she passed away two months ago.”

    (I pause for a moment to make eye contact with her.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost my own mom a little over a year ago, so I know what you’re going through.”

    Customer: “Oh! I guess you do understand then. Does it get easier?”

    Me: “No. I still miss her horribly, and still want to pick up the phone and call her every single day. But I suppose I’m not as raw as I was. You’ll get to that point too, though you’ll always miss her.”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    (I finish ringing her up, and swipe her gift card, which pays for everything. Afterwards, I bring her bag around the counter for her, and hand it to her.)

    Customer: “Can I… can I make a really strange request?”

    Me: “Sure.”

    Customer: “Can I keep the gift card?”

    Me: “Oh, of course you can!”

    (I hand it to her. She puts it back in the envelope that bears her name, and caresses it. I can see she’s on the verge of tears.)

    Me: “Right before my mom died, she gave me the package she never sent me for my birthday, which had some Avon perfume in it. I like the perfume, but I hardly ever use it, because I don’t want to have to throw away one of the last things she ever gave me.”

    Customer: “Oh, so you completely understand why I want to keep this!”

    Me: *eyes filling with tears* “Oh yes, ma’am, completely!”

    (We wind up chatting for close to 45 minutes, sharing stories about our moms. By the end of it, we’re both crying openly, but they’re good tears.)

    Customer: “I’ve taken up so much of your time; I’m sorry.”

    Me: “No, don’t apologize. I’m so glad you came in, and that you were willing to share with me!”

    Customer: “Can I… can I hug you?”

    Me: “Of course you can!”

    (We hug for a long time, with both of us still crying. She thanks me profusely, and vows to come back and ask for me especially. I never did see her again, as I quit not long after that, but it was a wonderful experience. I hope wherever she is, her grief has become less raw than it was when I saw her. I’ll always, always remember her as being one of the best customers I ever had.)

    Customer Service Is Free, Manners Are Priceless

    , | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink

    (I do coffee machine demos. I’m in sales, not service. I have just come from doing a 12-hour shift before Christmas in an electronics store, where customers were rude and unpleasant, never mind ungrateful for the free coffee. I decide to pick up a burger at a drive-thru on my way home.)

    Fast Food Worker: “Hi, welcome to [fast-food place]. Can I take your order?”

    Me: “Yes, please. May I have [order]? Thanks.”

    Fast Food Worker: “Sure. That’ll be [price].”

    Me: “Thank you very much.”

    (I pull up to the window, pay, and receive my order.)

    Me: “Thank you so much.”

    Fast Food Worker: “So, you do work in customer service?”

    Me: “Yeah, how can you tell?”

    Fast Food Worker: “Only someone dealing with rude people all day says please and thank you as much as you!”

    Not As Happy As A Clam

    | ME, USA | Awesome Workers, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Top

    (My friend and I are at a local market picking up chicken for her graduation party. While we’re waiting to pay, the phone rings and the cashier has to answer.)

    Cashier: “Good afternoon… I’m afraid we are sold out of clams right now… well we get a shipment in tomorrow afternoon… tomorrow afternoon… no we are sold out right now… yes we get some tomorrow afternoon… around 1 pm or so… uhm we’ll have them until they’re sold out… no we are sold out right now… why? It’s been very busy with the warm weather.” *sighs* “Tomorrow afternoon… well, I’m really sorry that we don’t have any right now, but we’ve sold out. Okay there’s a seafood store in town, bye.”

    (The cashier hangs up and looks annoyed.)

    Cashier: “Sorry… just the chicken?”

    Friend: *jokingly* “Yes but do you have clams?”

    Cashier: “Get out.”

    Friend: “But whhhyyy! I want some noooooooowww!”

    Cashier: “Well you’re gonna have to wait; sucks to be you!”

    Friend: “You wanted to say that to the person on the phone didn’t you?”

    Cashier: “You have no idea.”

    Respect The Bottom Line

    | Bismarck, ND, USA | Awesome Workers, School

    (I supervise over the electronics area. I like to get to know the people that are working for me. It is the first day on the sales floor for a coworker just out of high school. I have just gotten the initiative to sign up for classes to get certified in Windows and perhaps improve my work situation. I am telling him about it.)

    Me: “How about you? Any plans to go to college or work in a trade?”

    Coworker: “I respect hard work to move up, more than what college fails to follow through on. I’d rather start at the bottom and work my way—”

    Customer: “WHERE THE F*** IS THE G** D*** BATHROOM?”

    (My coworker points roughly ten feet to the customer’s left, waits a second, and turns to me.)

    Coworker: “Is this what I can expect without college?”

    Me: “Higher education helps, but it isn’t a guarantee. You have to show the work and initiative to get into a position in a place where things like that don’t happen. If there is one person that no one respects, it’s the guy working at the bottom.”

    (He finished his shift, but only returned again for his paycheck. On the way out, he stopped to thank me and inform me he’s applying for scholarships.)

    Pregnant With Potential

    | Sarasota, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Money, Top

    (I’m stocking shelves. A customer has been browsing the same aisle for quite some time. She is visibly pregnant, and looks as though she has been crying. She’s flipping through an envelope full of coupons and scrutinizing items before putting them back on the shelf. Another customer comes down the aisle and seems to pay her close attention for a moment. The second customer leaves the aisle but then comes back a few minutes later and hesitantly walks up to the pregnant customer.)

    Nice Customer: “Excuse me. I may be way out of line, and please feel free to tell me to mind my own business if I am, but… are you afraid you’re going to have trouble paying for your groceries?”

    Pregnant Customer: “Actually, yes I am. How did you know?”

    Nice Customer: “A few years ago, I had a really difficult pregnancy. I was too sick to work and lost my job. It was a real struggle to make ends meet. I used to spend hours at the grocery store with every coupon I could find trying to save every penny I could. Looking at you was like looking in the mirror. Listen, I just went and checked out, and I came in a little under my weekly grocery budget. I know it’s not much, but I’d really like to give this to you.”

    (She hands the pregnant woman a $20 bill. The woman promptly bursts into tears.)

    Pregnant Customer: “You have no idea how much this means to me. My husband just left me for another woman. I have no idea how I’m going to support myself and my kid. My mother and brother died this year, and I have no one to lean on.”

    Nice Customer: “After the hard times I went through, things got a lot better for me. It may sound like a cliché, but I believe you’ll get through this and be stronger than ever. Just hang in there, okay?”

    Pregnant Customer: “Do you think maybe I could give you a hug?”

    Nice Customer: “Of course.”

    (The two women embrace for a long time. When they pull apart, they both wipe away tears. They don’t see, but so do I.)

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