The Birds And The Bees And The Bathroom Employees

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | September 21, 2018

I come from a very religious family. As such, I was never given any formal sex-ed talk.

I was 12 and I was at the mall by myself. I went into the washroom and found blood in my underwear. I completely panicked and ran into the closest store.

In this store, there was one female worker, but the rest of the store was empty. In tears, I begged her to call my family to come get me because clearly I was dying.

The woman calmed me down and gave me an adhesive pad. After explaining what it was and how to use it, she let me use the staff-only washroom in the back. She then gave me the whole sex talk my parents and my religious school had failed to tell me. She only told me because I was so freaked out and confused. I don’t think she knew I was religious; she just thought I was super innocent and my parents didn’t tell me s***.

I never told my parents what this employee said. My parents acted like my period was shameful and discouraged any discussion about it, besides saving sex for marriage, when I went home that night. Before I went to bed, my mom handed me a package of pads and a book about Virgin Mary. She didn’t explain how to use them, the difference between wings and no wings, etc., like the woman in the store had. I would’ve been so overwhelmed if it weren’t for that woman.

The following year, I was taught about how abstinence is the best birth control, but nothing like what that employee taught me. I had to be the one to teach my friends about their own bodies, and I am so grateful for what that employee did. I have friends who are in their early 20s just learning what I learned when I was 12.

This woman saved my teen years.

Adorable Level: Black Belt

, , | Hopeless | September 19, 2018

I work with Japanese toddlers, who, like toddlers the world over, say the cutest things, especially when imitating the adults in their lives.

While putting on her shoes one day, one of the three-year-old girls — who hasn’t yet started speaking English unprompted — said to me in Japanese, “I have to go home now, sensei, but it will be okay; don’t cry!” I had to smother my laughter until she had gone.

Allies From The Most Unexpected Places

, , , | Hopeless | September 17, 2018

(A guy walks into a bakery, looking uncomfortable. As I’m looking at the cupcakes, I overhear the conversation.)

Guy: “Do you have something… gay?”

Cashier: “Gay, sir?”

Guy: “Yeah… like rainbows or something. Do you have something gay?”

Cashier: “Um… We could certainly make a rainbow cake. What’s the occasion?”

Guy: “See, one of my employees, he was talking about his birthday coming up, and he said he was going to celebrate it with his partner, Richard. And then he kind of… Well, I think I was kind of shocked. So, I want to let him know I’m okay with the gay thing. Do you have anything like that?”

Cashier: *lights up* “Absolutely, sir! I have some pictures of our rainbow decorations, here. Would you like a cupcake or a full cake? We also have mini personal-size cakes.”

(The guy spent a while looking at designs and trying to find a good cake. As a gay person, this really warmed my heart. It proves that you don’t have to understand something or be comfortable with it to be good about it.)

You Can’t Snow In Kind Gestures

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 15, 2018

(When I am in high school, my mom and I live in an apartment complex for probably two years. One year we have a decent snow storm; it isn’t bad, but it leaves about three feet of snow around the car. Our shovel has broken, and since winter is almost over and we have little money, we had decided to take our chances and not buy a shovel. So, at ten am after the storm, I wake up and go out with the balcony broom — a broom we keep outside to sweep leaves and such off our little balcony — and try to unbury the car. I work for a good hour, and get about half the front cleared away, when a plow comes in to get what is left over. I don’t know if he doesn’t notice the high schooler with a broom trying to move the snow, doesn’t care, or doesn’t have any room not to, but he literally plows an entire parking lot of snow in front of the car and partially onto the hood. I stand and stare at the pile, defeated, and watch the plow drive off. I sigh and start trying to move the snow again, this time pushing it and literally digging with my hands, when a guy a few cars down notices.)

Guy: “Did that plow just push all that snow in front of your car?”

Me: “Yeah… unfortunately for me.”

Guy: “And you’re sweeping it?”

Me: “I don’t have a shovel; this was the only thing I thought might work.”

Guy: “How long have you been out here?”

Me: “Probably an hour; I started around ten.”

(He watches me sweep a little, and then runs to his car. I don’t pay attention to what he is doing, but a moment later I notice a shovel moving some snow.)

Guy: “I only have one shovel, but I’ll do what I can real quick; I’m a little early for work.”

(It’s been probably six years since this happened, but I still remember it. If you ever read this, thank you. I really appreciated the help, and I don’t know if you ever knew how much the little act meant to me. I hope you weren’t late, since you stayed and helped dig out most the car. I know I probably looked ridiculous and pathetic sweeping snow, but at least we both got a good story.)

Kindness Has Found Her Calling

, , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2018

(I work in a call centre that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve just experienced a huge snow storm, which is completely out of the ordinary for Ireland, and the call centre had to close for two days. When we reopen, it is incredibly busy, and customers are furious at how long it is taking to get through. Then, I get this lady.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to customer services. This is [My Name] speaking. Apologies for the long wait, and thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry about me. You’re obviously very busy today.”

Me: “Yes, I do apologise about that. We’re just experiencing a backlog after being closed because of the snow. I can log a complaint for you, if you wish?”

Customer: “Oh no, no, no. I used to work in a call centre myself. Tell me, what’s your target handling time for calls?”

Me: *confused* “Um, five minutes?”

Customer: “Okay, so I’ve been speaking to you for just under a minute. That means I can continue to talk to you for four minutes without ruining your stats.”

Me: “Okay. And what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Oh, nothing at all. I just know how awful the customers must be treating you today, so I wanted to ring and have a friendly chat so your day isn’t all bad. I’m ringing the call centres of any suppliers I use and doing the same thing. You shouldn’t be shouted at all day because it snowed.”

(She genuinely had no query, and just filled the next few minutes with idle chit-chat. She just wanted at least one person to get a nice call on what was an otherwise awful day. We were so busy that she must have waited nearly an hour just to be nice to someone for five minutes!)

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