Not Such A Sour Story

, , , , | Hopeless | March 20, 2019

I’m at work in a lolly shop in Australia by myself; it’s a small shop. It’s a slow, boring day and I’m in a dreadful mood from customers being rude to me all day.

As I’m restocking some shelves, three American tourists come in and just start a casual conversation with me while they browse. They’re really nice and actually interested in what I have to say.

Eventually, a tall guy in the group asks me what my two favourite lollies are. I point out a caramel bar from the UK and a tin of cinnamon mints from America. He grabs both and buys them. After the purchase has gone through, he looks at me with a smile and says, “A gift for you. Bless you.”

I thank him but refuse; I say if he’d like he should pass the candies on to someone else who may enjoy it more.

They stick around for a bit longer, telling me what the similarities are like between Florida and Queensland, and since they’ve brightened my mood I buy them a five-pack of our most sour lollies in the store as a thank-you.

They may have travelled over 15,000 km to get here and only stuck around for ten minutes, but I’m glad they showed me it’s not all horrible working retail.

Faith in humanity slightly restored.

Hail To The Bus Driver

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 16, 2019

This happened a few years ago when I was still very new in the city. We always took the same bus route to and from the city centre, and one of the bus drivers on that route was the sweetest, happiest bus driver I have ever met in my life. He would always be humming some catchy song and when, for example, a couple — like my boyfriend and me — got off the bus, he would say through the PA system something like, “Have a romantic evening, you lovely couple,” or, “Treat that pretty girl right, sir!” or, “Have a fabulous day,” and if he found out that someone had their birthday, he would definitely get the whole bus to sing “Happy Birthday.”

He would also always stop and wait if he saw someone — like me, on multiple occasions — running towards the bus stop. One time I even saw him get out of the bus to assist an elderly lady getting on the bus. He was, all in all, a wonderful person.

Unfortunately, a few years after we had already moved to another part of town, we found out that this wonderful bus driver had died. Apparently, his kindness and cheerfulness were so well known throughout the entire city that the news of his unexpected death warranted a whole article in the newspaper.

The article was titled, “Oslo’s favourite bus driver has died.” He touched many, many lives.

It Certainly Became A Night They Never Forgot

, , , , | Hopeless | March 15, 2019

(My senior year of high school, I take my crush out to dinner before prom. We are going as friends, sadly, but we still have a great time. We end up at a restaurant about an hour from our school and miraculously meet up with some mutual friends. All in all, it is a great meal. We are there for a couple of hours. About halfway through, an elderly man walks up to us — a group of teenagers, with two dudes in tuxedos and two girls in beautiful dresses.)

Man: “Ah, good evening! Might I ask what the occasion is?”

Me: “Oh, it’s prom back in [Hometown], and we came here for our dinner dates!”

(My friends and my date all nod in agreement, and after he shares his compliments, his wife shows up and they disappear into the restaurant. Eventually, we decide it’s best to head to the dance, so we ask for the bill. After a few minutes, we still haven’t gotten it. Finally, my guy friend waves down the waitress.)

Guy Friend: “Hey. We still haven’t gotten our bill and we’re going to be late if we don’t leave soon. Could you see what the hold up is, please?”

(The waitress looks confused, nods, and runs off to find out what’s going on. Within a minute, she returns with a receipt, and scurries off.)

Waitress: “Have a nice evening!”

(We look at the bill and see that the group’s total is about $120 — $60ish for each pair. However, it says at the bottom that it is paid for. Confused, I take it and go chase down the waitress.)

Me: “Hey. What’s with the bill?”

Waitress: *glances at it* “Oh, the man over there paid for it.”

(Surprised by this, I walk over to the man and his wife.)

Me: “Hey, is it true that you paid our bill?”

Man: “Yes, we did. We saw the four of you, and you reminded of my wife and me when we were young.”

Me: *pulling out my wallet* “Thank you, sir, but you didn’t need to. It was about $120, right?”

Man: *holding his hand out to stop me* “No, it is free for you. Please, do us a favor and make this a night you will never forget, all right?”

(I nodded, thanking him profusely. That was three years ago and I still remember that night. To that mystery man and his wife, thank you so much. Saving that money helped me and my friends.)

Charity Isn’t Just For The Products

, , , , | Hopeless | March 14, 2019

(Our charity shop has a café in it, so people are extra sociable — even non-regulars — and so am I. On this particular morning, the shop is empty except for me and an occasional customer.)

Me: “Good morning. I hope you’re having fun today! Let me know if there’s anything I can help you find, okay?”

Elderly Man: *looking shocked, eyes brimming with tears* “You have no idea how much I needed to hear a happy voice; the lady at the shop down the road was so rude and cruel to me just now!” *blows his nose on a handkerchief*

Me: “Oh, no! Do you need a hug?”

Elderly Man: *after a pause* “Yes.”

(I gave him one. He stayed for a cuppa, and he comes in to put a few quid in the donation bucket from time to time.)

The Power Of Man’s Best Friend Is Overtaken By The Power Of Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 13, 2019

I worked at an animal shelter a few years ago. An older woman came in looking for a small dog. She wanted to visit this small, white poodle that had just been put on the adoption floor that morning. I put them in a meet-and-greet room and placed the dog on her lap. A few minutes later I went in to check on her and she started telling me her story.

Her twenty-year-old daughter had been murdered three weeks ago. She told me how she had to spend $7,000 to bury her baby and that there were over twenty possible suspects.

As she cried telling me her story, this older poodle sat in her lap quietly and let her pet him. She asked if she could put in an application for him and what the adoption fee was. She started crying more when I told her it was $110, because she couldn’t afford that much right now.

I told her to hang on, to put the application in, and that I would work out the rest. I could tell that both the woman and the dog needed each other. I spoke with a coworker and told her I was going to pay the adoption fee. She decided to split the fee with me, instead. Her application was approved, and she somehow cried more when I told her the fee was taken care of. She thanked me over and over again as she carried that little dog out.

I cried when she left, happy to know I could help someone piece things together again.

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