Charity Doesn’t Have To Start At Home

, , , | Hopeless | June 24, 2017

(A woman and her young son have come into the charity shop I volunteer with. She was in the previous week asking for us to hold a couple children’s VHS cassettes.)

Me: “Hi there. I’ve got everything right here.”

Woman: “Thank you. Could you please tell me how much it all costs? I’m afraid I can’t remember.”

Me: “£10.99.”

Woman: *sighs* “Do you mind if I take quick look at them first?”

(I had them over and she kneels on the ground so she is at eye level with her son.)

Woman: “Okay, [Son]. Mummy had to buy bulbs this week, so she can only buy one.”

(The son looks upset, but he chooses one. I’m honestly holding back tears as the woman looks at the other two and mumbles about “maybe next month.” I have an idea.)

Me: “Umm, [Son]. There’s some toys over there. Since you’ve been really grown up, I’ll let you take one.”

(The son’s eyes light up instantly and he runs off.)

Me: *whispering* “Look, I’ll pay for everything.”

Woman: “Oh. No, you don’t have to do that!”

Me: “I know I don’t, but I am. You shouldn’t have to decide between bulbs and your son’s happiness.”

(She tries to argue back, but I refuse. When she leaves though she does seem considerably more relaxed, and the son is ecstatic with his new Pikachu toy.)

Me: “[Boss], can you come and put through the sale. I’m paying for it.”

(He starts putting it through and I pay for it on my card.)

Boss: “You know, this is your first and only warning. I’ve seen plenty of do-gooders like you who think they can make poverty disappear with a few good deeds. I can guarantee that she will be spending that money on heroin the second she can offload her son. This is a charity shop. Our charity comes from the time we spend here, selling other people’s crap!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but if I have to lose my place here so I can help people so worse off that they can’t even spend TEN POUNDS, then please, by all means accept this as my resignation. Get stuffed!”

(As I left I bumped into the woman again, and we sat down for coffee. I now babysit her son free of charge, meaning she can work more hours so money isn’t as tight any more. She and her son are in a much better place. I also found another charity shop which a more compassionate staff.)

They Tic’d All The Right Boxes

, , | Hopeless | June 23, 2017

(My friends and I, all in our late teens, all somewhat goth/punk looking, had gone to see one of the Final Destination movies in the cinema. For those who missed them, they’re basically movies about people dying in the most ridiculous ways possible. Afterwards, we decide to grab some dinner and go to a nearby pizza place — a bit more fancy than we usually frequent, but open late and tasty. There is only one other group of people at a nearby table, and one of the men seems to suffer from tics. It is impossible not to notice since one involved him randomly shouting “HA!” every few minutes. The first time that happens we look over, but realizing that his friends seem to take it as normal, we ignore them. I happened to have watched a documentary on Tourette syndrome just the night before, so I figure we shouldn’t ruin his night by staring. My friends and I never discuss it, but simply pay attention to our own conversation. As the other group gets up to leave, the guy with the tics and a woman come over to our table. We shut up immediately, realizing our conversation had become quite loud and rowdy (what with being in high spirits and discussing all the ways in which people could die in the middle of a restaurant…) and we think they are about to tell us off.)

Man: “Hey, guys, I just wanted to thank you for leaving us in peace tonight and not making a big deal of my tics.”

Friend #1: “Oh, but you shouldn’t thank us. It’s common courtesy, isn’t it?”

Man: “You’d think so, but most people stare at what they don’t know.”

Friend #2: “Maybe that’s it. I watched a show about Tourette syndrome just the other night, and they interviewed several people who have it.”

Friend #3: “Wait, you watched that show, too?”

Me: “So did I… Wow, that’s odd. It was really interesting, though!”

(The man was looking increasingly happy listening to our exchange, but it was the woman next to him who started laughing. She gave him a little shove and he smiled sheepishly, then mimed polishing a shoe. How did we know what the movement meant? Well…)

Friend #1: “Hang on. That was you in the programme, wasn’t it.”

Man: “Um, yeah.”

Woman: “And he’s been so nervous about the show airing, you wouldn’t believe it. He was afraid people would make fun of him.”

(We all assured him that he had no reason to be nervous or ashamed or anything. It WAS a good show that illustrated the various tics people might suffer from and how it impacted all areas of their lives, and shame was a big part of it. As they left you could tell the guy was much happier, and we were simply stunned that without discussing it, we’d all happened to watch the same show and draw the same conclusions from it… AND happened to meet that guy that night.)

Keeping Manners Fast Effective

, , , , | Hopeless | June 22, 2017

(I am 15, and getting out of the car that I drove on Tomorrowland Speedway. I proceed to thank the employee that is helping me get out of the car.)

Employee: “Have a good day.”

Me: “Thanks. You, too.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Me: “I said thanks. You have a good day, too.”

(He smiles, and seems more cheery. Later on, I’m waiting at the front of the ride for my mom to get my sister in her stroller, and the same employee sees me.)

Employee: *walks over* “Hey, you’re the super nice kid!”

(He proceeds to write a fast-pass out for my whole family to use at any ride, any time, as well as giving everyone in my party cool little “driver’s licenses.”)

Me: *surprised* “Thank you so much!”

Employee: “No problem.” *to my mom* “He’s a good kid.”

(The employee, whose name I noticed was Raul, walked off. Wherever you are, Raul, I want to thank you for showing me that manners still matter!)

Park Rangers Saved My Honeymoon

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 21, 2017

We’re a queer couple (I’m trans FTM) on our honeymoon, and it’s several hours’ drive from home to the national park where we have a cabin booked.

A couple miles before the park gate, my car starts to seriously struggle, and we limp up to the gate an hour before the park rangers are due to leave. They recommend a tow truck and garage and actually call for us since we have no cell signal, then try to also call the law enforcement officer to get us a ride to our cabin, only to discover the tow truck is also up there looking for his vehicle in distress.

One of the park rangers stays with us a little past closing to wait until the tow truck arrives, offering to give us a ride to our cabin in case he won’t. In the end we ride with the tow truck driver through thick fog to find the law enforcement officer’s vehicle and hitch that up as well, and the officer helps carry our luggage into the lodge for us. Later, a different park ranger gives us a ride down a no-public-access fire road all the way to where the garage is, and the mechanic’s own wife picks us up to take us to the garage itself to pick up our car.

Throughout the entire trip, everyone tells us congratulations on our wedding, treats us like a normal couple, and goes out of their way to help us get where we need to be.

Next time you’re in a national park, thank a park ranger. They are amazing people.

Going To College And Having A Gay Old Time

, , , , | Hopeless | June 20, 2017

Customer: “Can you help me, please?”

Me: “Of course. What do you need?”

Customer: “My son is gay and he needs more acceptable attire for an interview at his university. He is wearing what HE wants to go in, and well…”

(She motions to a very embarrassed boy a few metres away from us. He is quite well presented and I can’t see a problem.)

Me: “It looks fine to me. Very respectable.”

(The mother looks at me like I’ve spat at her.)

Customer: “HE LOOKS GAY!”

Me: “I don’t see it. Maybe it’s because you know he’s gay already?”

Customer: “You’re no help at all!”

Me: “Look, I can go around with him and see if there’s anything else he likes, and work around that. But seriously, I can’t see why a university would have a problem with him.”

Customer: *exasperated* “Fine, fine. Just do whatever you can. My son needs to look straight. Universities don’t accept [slurs].”

(She leaves the store altogether. I walk up to the son.)

Me: “Do you have a problem with what you’re wearing?”

Son: “Not really…”

(I finished ten minutes later and offered to get him something to eat. We actually spent most of the day talking about life and school. He seemed a lot more comfortable without his mother there. We exchanged numbers in case he needed help, and I promised to introduce him to my brother, who’s also gay, in case there’s anything he’s not comfortable talking about with me. He got accepted at university, much to his mother’s astonishment.)

Page 1/14612345...Last