Getting Gradually Less Spooky

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 5, 2019

(Through a local placement program for untamable ferals, my family adopts a very wild cat who hates other cats and people to help with pest control in our barn. We keep her in a special caged-off stall for a few weeks to try to get her more friendly, but she is having none of it so we resign ourselves to giving her the best life we can while she lives wild on the farm. For a whole year, she avoids us and we only see fleeting glimpses of her. Then, she starts watching us from the rafters as we do our chores. Then, she starts sitting on the shelf where we feed her, well within arm’s reach. Finally, one day…)

Father: “I pet Spooky today.”

Me: “You what?!”

Father: “I pet Spooky.”

Me: “No way.”

Father: “Oh, yes. And I picked her up.”

Me: “You picked her up?! You picked up the cat who almost tore our hands to ribbons through canvas gloves?”

Father: “I did. And she was purring!”

(We have no idea what clicked in her mind, but from that day forward, she became a totally different cat. She even goes to the vet without any fuss! Unfortunately, she still hates other cats so we can’t bring her inside — we have two indoor cats — but we’ve had her for eight years now and she enjoys a privileged position as the barn manager, chief pest control officer, and official farm greeter.)

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A Mechanical Heart

| Hopeless | October 3, 2019

(I’m a university student changing tires on my truck for the first time. It was -20 ish degrees outside and I messed up and broke my jack. I was out for a couple hours freezing and was about to give up. Then this guy shows up.)

Guy: “Hey, your truck looks bad; is it alright?”

Me: “I was trying to change a busted tier, broke the jack and now my whole axel is on the floor.”

Guy: “I just finished delivering pizza to your landlord I can help you out. Move over.” *he then takes everything from me* “Go warm up, I’ll be done soon.”

Me: “How do you know so much?”

Guy: “I was a truck mechanic for 20 years. You’re doing it completely wrong, you could have broken something eh?”

Me: “Oh man, you just saved me 100 bucks from bringing it into a shop!”

Guy: “Just trying to help.”

Me: “Okay, I think I got it thanks!” *I felt bad and somewhat embarrassed*

Guy: “No, I can’t just leave, you could be killed! How would you feel if you left and someone died?”

Me: *speechless*

(After he was done in a flash, I paid him 15 dollars for his help. Love being a Canadian!)

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Bus Driver Gets An A

, , , , , , | Hopeless | October 2, 2019

A few months ago, in the middle of GCSE season — for those who don’t know, GCSEs are the exams that mark the end of compulsory schooling in the UK — I was on the bus to school when I realised I had missed my stop. I started panicking because I had a history paper starting at 9:15 which made up half my GCSE grade for that subject. I got so panicked that I almost ended up getting off the bus and trying to find my own way using my phone.

Luckily, the bus driver noticed me before I could make the worst decision in my entire time at secondary school. He checked his timetable and told me that if I stayed on the bus when it arrived in Huddersfield, it would go the same way back and I would arrive right before my exam. He even reminded me when he noticed my stop coming back up.

I ran into my school to find the rest of the students entering the exam hall. I had arrived just on time, exactly as the driver said I would. I managed to do well enough to get a grade 6 overall — the equivalent of a B in the old grading system.

Thank you, kind bus driver, for realizing that something was wrong. I certainly wouldn’t have noticed it in your position. After all, I didn’t pay enough attention to realise when my stop was!

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Resting Gift Face

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 27, 2019

(I am a fairly anxious teenager, working the till at a charity shop as a volunteer. The charity in question is a very big, well-known one. A man enters the shop and comes straight towards the counter. He’s got a very stern expression, and I’m concerned he’s here to make a complaint while my manager has stepped out.)

Customer: *sharply* “What do you do?”

Me: “Uh, the charity or me personally?”

Customer: “The charity.”

(I’m a little taken aback by his abruptness, and not sure how best to explain the work we do, because it has quite a broad scope, but I do my best:)

Me: “Well, we work with impoverished communities overseas to provide aid, like building wells and schools and, um, also medical care and education. We cover quite a lot of areas, really, but the aim is, I suppose, to help those communities become able to help themselves…”

(I go on in this vein for a while; I’m aware that I’m rambling, but the guy keeps frowning at me expectantly, so I keep talking. Eventually, I run out of ways to explain what we do.)

Me: “Did you have any other questions, sir?”

(Without another word, he pulls out a chequebook and writes a £50 cheque!)

Customer: “What name do I make this out to? Just [Charity]?”

Me: “Yes, sir! Thank you so much!”

(I guess he just had an angry face; he very patiently filled out a form so we could claim back gift aid for his donation, and then he walked out of the shop without another word. Despite his abrupt behaviour, he ended up making my day!)

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“Building” Great Impressions

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 25, 2019

Years ago, when I was working in a Victorian-era house that had been converted into a museum, I would frequently be the only staff member present. As it was in a fairly isolated location, there would be days I was the only person for miles.

On one such slow day at the beginning of the season, I was going through cleaning tasks when a whole group of stereotypical biker guys pulled in. Our grounds have a restroom and are open to the public, so they spent some time stretching their legs. I kept an eye on them, but since people often pulled in to explore the grounds without ever entering the house, I didn’t think too much about it.

Then, two of them came in, big, bearded guys in all their Harley Davidson leather. Being in the hospitality industry, I always kept a pleasant face on, but I’m a pretty small female and couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. Biker guys had never come inside before.

They asked some questions about the house, which I answered, and then I went ahead and told them about the tour options. The lead guy smiled and said, “Nah, we’re not into that. But we pull in here every year, so we wanted to give something toward your building fund. Do you have anything like that?”

I gave him a big smile back and said that as a matter of fact, we did take donations. They went outside and collected cash from the rest of their group: when I counted it up on my way to the donation box, it was over $40.

So many tourists would whine about having to pay to enter the museum at all, and yet here were these biker guys paying more than admission just because they liked to visit the grounds on their yearly trip. Biker guys are sweet teddy bears: confirmed!

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