Color Me Kind

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 24, 2018

I had to start fifth grade in a new school in a new city. My new school was six times bigger than my old school, and it was overwhelming. My mother had left an abusive situation that spring, and we had to start all over with no support. We only moved to the area a few weeks before classes started, and with very little money for necessities, let alone anything else, I went to school with a nearly empty backpack and a promise that she’d get my supplies as soon as she could.

A couple of weeks passed, and it must have become obvious that my mother was not going to be able to provide all of my supplies in a timely manner. Meanwhile, homework was starting to be due, and I was running out of what little I had. One day I opened my desk to see a couple of cute notebooks — with pink paper! — some name-brand colored pencils, and other basic supplies. I found out that my teacher and the teacher’s aid had quietly taken it upon themselves to buy what I needed.

After that year, we moved halfway across the country and I’ve never been able to find that teacher online to tell her how things turned out. It’s been several years now. I have a college degree, a family of my own, and the finances to pay it forward, which I do any chance I get. I will always remember that act of kindness.

Tipped To Be A Few Degrees Shy Of Politeness

, , , | Right | April 24, 2018

(I am visiting some former coworkers at a popular chain coffee shop. The place is empty when a woman in her late 40s to early 50s comes in and orders a drink. She pays, but then immediately goes to the bathroom, leaving the barista holding her change from a $20 for a small coffee. He then goes ahead and makes her drink so it is ready for her when she comes back. Once she goes back to the counter, my friend gives her the drink and her change, and tries to joke with her.)

Friend: “Here’s your coffee, and here’s your change, ma’am. Unless you wanted to leave all of this as a tip!” *he smiles*

Customer: “Absolutely not! Here’s a tip for you! Go to college, and then you wouldn’t have to try and swindle people like me out of their hard-earned money!”

Friend: *completely speechless as she starts to walk away*

Me: “Ma’am? I think you should apologize to him. He was joking with you and wasn’t trying to get your money. And furthermore, he is, in fact, a college teacher. He teaches a graphic design course at [Local College], so he has a couple of degrees.”

Customer: “Well, he doesn’t look like it!”

(With that, she hurried out of the store, and my friend came over to high-five me. He said she’s never been back in.)

A Ballooning Sense Of Security

, , , , , | Working | April 24, 2018

Our library has a security system with motion detectors that we set every night as we lock up the building. Like most security systems, you always set it hoping it never goes off… but early one morning, the day after a large party was held in one of our big meeting rooms, my boss gets a phone call from the police, saying they got an alert that the security system has gone off and they need to search the building.

The boss goes and unlocks the building, and watches the officer do a walk-through of the building with his gun drawn, getting more and more nervous the whole time. When the walk-through of the building is complete and they’ve found nothing, she starts to fret even more. She wonders out loud if someone attending the party hid in the library and is still hiding somewhere.

At which point the officer gives her a look and says, “Party? Balloons?”

As it turns out, the decorations for the party are still up, to be cleaned up by the opening shift… and among said decorations are balloons. When the furnace kicked on in the wee hours of the morning, the balloons were blown about by the warm air, setting off the motion detectors. Red-faced, my boss thanks the officer and sends him on his way.

We haven’t had balloons in the library since.

A Signature Problem

, , , | Right | April 24, 2018

(A customer pays by credit card, the receipt prints out for them to sign — this is back before all cards have PINs — and the customer signs the receipt. I turn over the customer’s card to find that it’s a new one and they haven’t signed it.)

Me: “Sir, you haven’t signed your credit card yet.”

Customer: “Oh!” *signs card*

Me: “Can I see your ID, please?”

Customer: “What do you need to see my ID for?! The signatures match!”

Me: “Because you just signed both, I just need to verify it is your card.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous!”

Me: “If someone had stolen your brand new card and I let them buy stuff on it, how would you feel?”

(The customer, grumbling, shows me his ID. The name and signatures match.)

Customer: “See, I told you they matched!”

And If You Win In Court Today, You’ll Get A Nice Treat

, , , | Working | April 24, 2018

(I’m a secretary in a law firm, and our lawyers, for the most part, do value our work and contribution for the team effort. One in particular is always careful not to bother us with “simple” tasks, but sometimes he takes things too far.)

Lawyer: *to the room at large* “So, how busy is everyone today, on a scale of one to ten?”

Me: “An eight? Anyway, do you need assistance?”

Lawyer: “Oh, an eight… Well, then. No, it’s fine.” *he’s holding a stack of paper and fussing with it* “I needed something scanned.”

Me: “All right. Give it here, then.”

(I hold out my hands, but he hesitates.)

Lawyer: “No! You’re busy! A trained professional shouldn’t be asked to do simple things like this. I’ll do it myself.”

Me: *pause* “Sometimes you should really listen to yourself.”

Coworker: *who has been listening* “Now, give it here and get back to work; there’s a good lawyer.”

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