What A Sweet Gesture

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 23, 2017

(I am working a long shift at the thrift store, and have not eaten for a while. A customer approaches me with a plastic bag with some white thing inside.)

Customer: “Hi! Who is the manager now?”

Me: “Well, that would be [Manager].”

Customer: “Oh. Well, is she out on the floor?”

Me: “No, ma’am. She’s in the back. Would you like me to call her up for you?”

Customer: “No, no, that’s fine. How many people are working today?”

Me: “Three.”

Customer: “Only three?! Well, I guess you each get a box.”

(She pulled three boxes of delicious-looking caramel rolls out of her bag and walked out, after I thanked her profusely. Not all customers are horrible!)

A Hug For Thanksgiving

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 21, 2017

(I am shopping in a grocery store with my two-year-old son. My son is VERY shy. It has been a tough few years; my son’s father had an accident and couldn’t work. We went from a two-income family of three to a one-income family of four. All of our savings has been spent in the last two years, and I am calculating my overtime pay to try and serve Thanksgiving supper. We pick out a whole chicken to roast, a bag of discount potatoes, and a few apples. We get into line. My son runs into stranger in front of us, and wraps himself around the stranger’s legs.)

Son: “You look so nice; I just want to hug you.”

Stranger: “Why, thank you, young man!”

Me: “Oh, my. He is usually so shy. I am sorry for the intrusion.”

(We chat about small things: football, weather… Our financial situation never comes up.)

Stranger: “Is this Thanksgiving supper?”

Me: “Yes, sir. Gonna make roast chicken and potatoes for the family.”

Stranger: *to cashier he has just approached* “I would like to buy her groceries; please add them to my bill.”

(To the unnamed angel who helped us: I was able to keep our lights on due to your kindness. It was only $25, but that made the difference in having heat and no dinner, or dinner and no heat. You, sir, restored my faith in humanity.)

The Infection Is Happily Spreading

, , , , | Hopeless | November 19, 2017

(My husband and I are having one of the worst nights of our lives. I won’t go into the full story, but it involves an argument, a broken-down car, and dealing with a parade of rude, inconsiderate people. We’re finally on our way home, around 1:00 am, and since neither of us have had dinner, I stop at a 24-hour fast food restaurant. There’s a sign on the drive-through speaker to pull through and order at the window, so I pull up. The girl who comes to the window looks to be in her early twenties, and she has the biggest, most sincere smile on her face.)

Cashier: “Well, good evening to you, folks! How are you doing tonight?”

Me: “Ha… Well… To be honest, it’s been a rough night, but it’s almost over.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry to hear that! Let’s get your order through so you can get home!”

(I order, and she has this incredible, cheerful attitude throughout the whole transaction. It’s kind of infectious, and I’m smiling, too, by the time we get our meal.)

Cashier: *hands us our food out the window* “Here you go, sweetie! I hope you get home safely and that tomorrow is much better for you!”

Me: *nearly crying from finally being around someone nice* “Thank you! You have a good night.”

(The next day, I am still thinking about that cashier, so I call the restaurant and ask for a manager.)

Manager: “Yes?” *sounding a little wary*

Me: *thinking he must be the one who handles complaint calls* “I just wanted to tell you that the cashier you had on the drive-through last night was wonderful!”

Manager: *surprised* “Oh? Well, thank you very much. Do you know their name?”

Me: “No, I didn’t think to ask her, but she looked college-age. We came through around 1:00 am and we had [order]. Maybe you could look up our transaction in the computer?”

Manager: “That’s very helpful; I’ll give that a try. And thank you for letting us know about her.”

Me: “Absolutely! We were having a terrible night, and she made it so much better.”

Manager: “Well, I’ll make sure she is rewarded for making our customers so happy!”

(It was a little thing, but that girl really was the bright spot in an otherwise completely horrible evening. I hope to run into her there again!)

How Very Tot-ful

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 18, 2017

Every fall, we run a donation drive to benefit Toys for Tots, an organization run by the United States Marine Corps which collects new, unwrapped toys, and donates them to children whose families can’t afford them for the holidays.

Today, I had a family come through my line to buy a parakeet: a father, his daughter, around 12 or 13 years old, and his son, around 9 or 10 years old. After ringing up the bird, I asked the father if he’d be interested in donating to Toys for Tots. He turned to his daughter and said, “It’s your money; it’s up to you.” She said, “Yes. It’s a nice thing to do.”

This year, we have stuffed dogs, cats, and bunnies available for donation. The bunny is very popular, and when people ask to donate a specific toy, that’s almost always the one they choose. I asked the girl if she cared which toy she donated, and sure enough, she chose the snuggly pink rabbit.

Each toy has a name. The dog is Chance, the cat is Lucky, and the bunny is Hope. So, I told this sweet young girl who chose to spend $5 of her own money, “Thank you; you’re giving a child Hope,” and her face lit up. I won’t soon forget this young girl or her generosity.

A Lesson in Perspective

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 17, 2017

(I work part-time at a department store. I am in a bad mood about some trivial things when a very nice man comes up to the cash register to buy something. We are having a pleasant, even fun, conversation. After I learn that he is from a foreign country, I ask:)

Me: “Are you here [in Southern California], for business or pleasure?”

Customer: “Pleasure. I am here with my two little kids.”

Me: “Have you been to [Amusement Park #1]?”

Customer: “Yes, and to [Amusement Park #2], [Amusement Park #3]… All over.”

(Then he points to a surgery “bump” on his mostly bald head and says matter-of-factly:)

Customer: “I have a brain tumor, and I won’t be here much longer. I want to leave my kids with as many pleasant memories of me as possible.”

(I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to say, so I just continued in silence. Then, he went to buy something in another department, but before he left the store, he came out of his way to shake my hand and thank me. I felt ashamed of myself for being in a bad mood over such trivial things.)

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