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    Category: Awesome Workers

    One Size Fits All

    | Halifax, NS, Canada | Awesome Workers, Top

    (A man comes to the counter and places two dresses on the counter: one sized XS and one sized XXL.)

    Me: “Are these dresses both for the same woman?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Oh, okay. These are both very different sizes, so they are not likely to fit the same person. What size does she usually take?”

    Customer: “Um… I’m not sure.”

    Manager: “Well, does she look more like me or more like her?”

    (Note: my manager is quite small, and I am quite big.)

    Customer: “Um… uh… I’m sure these will be fine.”

    Me: “Sir, because the price is marked down on these dresses they will be Final Sale, so you will not be able to return them if they are not the right size. Are you sure we can’t help you?”

    (The customer looks around furtively, then leans in close so that only my manager and I can hear what he is saying.)

    Customer: “These dresses are for me, actually.”

    (My manager looks at me, and I at her, and then she turns to the customer and speaks a very matter of fact voice.)

    Manager: “Why don’t you go try them on, then?”

    Customer: “Really? Would that be okay with you?”

    Manager: “Of course! Let me get you started with a fitting room.”

    (I spend the next hour bringing this man dresses to try on and he had a lovely time! He introduced himself to me and thanked us profusely for being so understanding and helpful. He left with four dresses, all of which fit him to a tee, and he came back regularly after that.)

    Suited To The Role

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Awesome Workers, Bigotry, Top

    (I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner, my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, sir?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I think you may want to call security. That… bum over there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just sure he’s planning to steal one.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”

    Customer: “Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye on him even if he wasn’t homeless!”

    (The homeless man in question happens to be Hispanic.)

    Me: “We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”

    (I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to the homeless man.)

    Owner: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”

    Homeless Man: “Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build for, you know?”

    Owner: “I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”

    Homeless Man: “Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can use to look good for a job interview later today.”

    (My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter with him. The suit is priced at $87.)

    Homeless Man: *digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”

    Owner: *to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”

    Homeless Man: “I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”

    (Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)

    Herd Behavior

    | Denver, CO, USA | Awesome Workers, Food & Drink, Top

    (My mom and I are flying home to California after staying with friends in Colorado. We have had to get up extremely early, and I have had a stressful week after dealing with a new friend. I should also mention I am a brony, meaning I like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I am wearing a T-Shirt my best friend got me that says Ponyvengers with five ponies dressed up as the Avengers. We are stopping off to get some juice before we get on the plane home.)

    Me: “Hi! I’ll have [fruit drink].”

    Mom: “And I’ll have… a small [another drink].”

    Cashier: “You got it. Your total is [total].”

    (After my mom pays, the cashier walks backwards as he goes to make our drinks. My mom isn’t looking up. He motions to his chest and mouths ‘I love your shirt’. I give him a huge grin and thumbs up.)

    Mom: *to me* “Oh! I forgot to get water! Can you go get me some?

    Me: “Sure.”

    (She hands me some money. I grab two water bottles and put them on the counter, in front of the same cashier.)

    Cashier: *smiling widely* “It’s on the house.”

    Me: “Oh, wow! Thank you!”

    (As my mom and I are walking away with our drinks.)

    Mom: “He didn’t let you pay for the drinks?”

    Me: “Nope!”

    Mom: “Why?”

    Me: “Because he’s a fellow brony. It’s an automatic bond between us, even though we’ll probably never see each other again. Bronies care about each other, and since we had already paid for our drinks, he didn’t want to make us pay for anything else.”

    Mom: *confused* “Oh… seems odd to me.”

    Me: “That’s because you’re not part of the herd.”

    The Drive To Do Good

    | Dublin, Ireland | Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month, Top, Transportation

    (I have a bunch of friends over for a concert, and we all stay at the same place in South County Dublin, about 20 minutes from the City Centre. It is almost midnight by the time we get to the bus stop. Dublin Bus provides a free shuttle service to the concert, but by that time all the free shuttle buses are gone. Just then, an out of service bus arrives.)

    Bus Driver: “Hm, there’s a lot of you left here. Tell you what: we’ll just pretend I’m a shuttle.”

    Me: “Sorry, when’s the next Nightlink?

    Bus Driver: “That just left; the next one’s at 02:00 h. You might have to get a cab.”

    (I try to call Enquiries for a cab company, but can’t because my phone is out of battery. My friends are all from abroad and therefore don’t have Irish Enquiry numbers on their phones. The bus driver overhears our increasingly worried conversation and gives me his phone. At this stage we’re almost at Trinity College, where the shuttle terminates.)

    Me: “Thanks, are you going on to Donnybrook Garage?”

    Bus Driver: “Yeah, don’t worry. You can stay on.”

    (I try to get a cab, but am told by the cab company that they can’t send out a seven-seater to the bus garage but we should just flag one down—pretty much an impossibility.)

    Me: *to my friends* “S***, we’ll have to flag one down… or two, rather.”

    (At this stage, the only people left on the bus are me, my friends and one guy on the back bench. We’re all getting seriously worried about getting home.)

    Bus Driver: “Right, so where are you all going?”

    Me: “Deansgrange!”

    Guy on the back bench: “Dun Laoghaire!”

    (Both these suburbs are off the same main road, about three miles apart.)

    Bus Driver: “Shag it, I’ll drop you all home!”

    (The driver dropped us, and presumably the guy from Dun Laoghaire, all the way to our respective street corners, thus staying on about half an hour after his shift ended and going out of his way about 10 miles there and back. All we had to repay him for his awesomeness was one of our homemade message board badges commemorating the concert meet-up and half a Duty Free bag of gummi bears, and he accepted them with a smile. That’s why I love this country.)

    Always Put Your Best Foot Forward

    | UK | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month

    (It is a few days after Christmas. I am a student but work in a shoe shop which is well known for measuring and fitting kids’ shoes. However, although we have measuring gauges in adult sizes, we rarely use them because adults tend to know what size they are.)

    Customer: “Hi, can you measure my feet?”

    Me: “Yep, no problem; one moment.”

    (I go to get the gauge and sit the customer down.)

    Me: “Okay, you’re coming up as a size six but very wide.”

    Customer: “That can’t be right! I haven’t ever been a size six! These trainers are a man’s size ten! I haven’t worn nice shoes since before my son was born; I’m too big for these!”

    Me: “Well, that’s what you’re coming up as. Obviously as you are so wide, it’s likely that you’ve gone up for the width rather than the length, so why don’t we look in the wide fitting range over here and see what we have?”

    Customer: “Okay…”

    (She is clearly skeptical, but I manage to find a size 7 extra wide which fits.)

    Me: “Okay, that’s a start! Normally, I would have to radio up to find a specific style, but I am going to go and ask my manager if I can go up to the stockroom myself and just pull anything I think you might like and could fit. Is that okay?”

    Customer: “That’d be brilliant.”

    (I bring down three styles in extra wide; the customer is astounded when I tell her that there could be more. I show her the second pair.)

    Customer: “Now these I like! They’re pretty, but they’ll work for my job interview too. I just can’t believe they fit!”

    Me: “Okay. Well, I’ll go and box them up and take them to the till for you. I hope you enjoy them and good luck for your interview!”

    Customer: “Thank you so much! What’s your name?”

    Me: “I’m [name]. And it was no problem!”

    (After she has paid, the customer finds me whilst I am tidying a sale rack.)

    Customer: “I was looking for your manager, but I couldn’t find one. Here, you helped me find the first pair of nice shoes I have had in years! I don’t know what your official policy on tips is but, this is for you.”

    (She hands me five pounds.)

    Me: *stunned* “Thank you very much!”

    (Later, I ask a manager and he says that tipping so rarely happens that there is no official policy and I can keep the five. I’d been having a pretty awful day, but knowing that I had helped that woman find something that meant so much to her made it, and the last few hours were so much easier!)

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