Winning The Human Race

, , , , | Cincinnati, OH, USA | Hopeless | March 24, 2016

(I am at a half marathon to watch my dad try and beat his PR of 2:25:27. It is around 2:35:00, and we still haven’t seen my dad. My older sister walks down the course to try and find him. She comes jogging back two or so minutes later.)

Sister: “I found him!”

Mom: “Where?”

Sister: “Just wait.”

(Sure enough, a few moments later I see my dad walking to the finish line supporting a woman in her mid-40s on his shoulder with the help of another man. The woman is wobbling and can barely support herself without their help. They cross the finish line at 2:43:02, where she receives immediate medical attention. We walk over to my dad.)

Me: “What happened?”

Dad: “Nothing really, she pretty much collapsed half a mile back. She said she’s a special needs teacher, and she was part of a group that was running for one of her students who was recently hospitalized, and she just wanted to finish for him.”

Mom: “Would you have beaten your record?”

Dad: “Oh, yeah. I was on track for two twenty-two, but that time wasn’t worth not letting her finish the race!”

Help Is Always Hiring

, , , | CA, USA | Hopeless | March 24, 2016

(My cousin has had many problems in his life that left him homeless and jobless. He approaches two strangers, trying to get some money to buy some food.)

Cousin: “Hey man, could you spare a little change so I could get something to eat?”

Stranger #1: “Why don’t you some work experience and get a job, you bum?!”

Cousin: “Okay, are you hiring?”

Stranger #1: “What?! No!”

Cousin: “Well, it sounded like you were offering. How am I supposed to get experience if nobody hires me?”

Stranger #1: *silence*

Stranger #2: “He does have a point. You don’t know his life or what he has been through.” *to my cousin* “Here, buy yourself a sandwich.” *hands my cousin $20* “Have a nicer day.”

(Stranger #1 walks off as my cousin thanks Stranger #2. My cousin eventually got hired by an old friend and moved to Missouri. He is doing much better now and continues to pay forward the kindness of Stranger #2.)

There Is No Retirement Age For Birthdays

, , , | Belgium | Hopeless | March 24, 2016

(I work in a retirement home as a volunteer. Each month, we host a small party for residents who had their birthday that month. One time, however, one of the female residents missed it due to her falling and having to go to the hospital. None of her family ever visits her, so she spent her birthday alone in a hospital room. She comes back to us clearly feeling down. We volunteers had anticipated this and have rounded up as many people as possible and have ordered a cake.)

Me: “Hey [Female Resident], feeling better?”

(She nods, clearly still depressed about what was probably her worst birthday ever. I take her to the rec-room in the back where the parties are hosted. The lights are out and the curtains are closed.)

Female Resident: “Hey, [My Name], why are we going here?”

(At this point a group of volunteers, nurses, residents she’s friends with, and our director start singing happy birthday as the cover is taken of the cake barely illuminating the rec-room.)

Female Resident: *in tears, starts to sing along*

(Our director comes over to say hello.)

Director: “Happy birthday [Female Resident]! Enjoy your party! Sorry, I can’t stay long, so have a piece of cake for me, okay?”

(The party ended up lasting for well over three hours, with nurses and other staff members joining in as they had their break. [Female Resident] got a couple of gifts including free maintenance on her wheelchair, a foot massage and a free haircut. We volunteers had bought her a small tablet to do Sudokus and crosswords on. Needless to say, [Female Resident]’s birthday went from the worst to the best ever!)

An Act Of Kindness Fit For The Movies

, , , , | AB, Canada | Hopeless | March 23, 2016

(I am seasonal associate around Christmas time. An elderly customer is purchasing items at my register.)

Customer: *hands me a DVD* “Do you know if [Movie] is any good?”

Me: “Well, I have heard great things, but sadly I haven’t seen it.”

Customer: “Why not? A young guy like you doesn’t go to the movies with his girlfriend?”

Me: “My boyfriend used to take me to the movies all the time, then we broke up and I just haven’t been able to afford to go to the movies. I’m saving my money for Christmas presents for the family. Alright, sir, your total today is [total]; will that be cash, debit, or credit?”

Customer: “Oh, I see… debit please.”

(Because the customer never says a word to me when I tell him I’m gay, I think he might just be someone who thinks that it is wrong. He pays, walks off, and five minutes later comes back with another shopping bag and hands it to me.)

Customer: “Merry Christmas.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “Merry Christmas; you are probably one of the kindest cashiers that I have met. Merry Christmas, and I hope your soulmate sweeps you off of your feet.”

(After the customer left, I opened the bag and there were a bunch of new release DVDs in the bag, with the receipt as a proof that they were paid for. I asked my manager what to do and she told me to keep them. I still have them, and I watch them every Christmas!)

The Kind Of Shoe For A Kind Person

, , | Aberdeen, Scotland, UK | Hopeless | March 23, 2016

(I’m an 18-year-old girl and I’ve been working at a sporting goods store for around a month, working in the shoe department. I’m approached by a short, balding man who looks to be in his fifties. All shoes come with a number code in which you need to find them in the stock-room. The code is stored on stickers inside the display shoes, but occasionally there won’t be one for any number of reasons. Because there are three floors – basement and two stock floors – all employees are required to have a walkie-talkie.)

Customer: “Good afternoon, young lady! I was wondering if you could possibly get me this shoe in a size [number]?”

(The store has four stock rooms, two on the ground floor and two on the top as most of our sporting shoes are upstairs. This particular shoe is upstairs, meaning I have to radio my colleague.)

Me: “Certainly, sir! Let me see. Ah, there’s no code. Could you show me where you found it?”

Customer: “Of course, just over here on the wall!”

(At this point I realise it’s the last shoe we have, and it’s a few sizes too large. I explain this and the customer laughs.)

Customer: “No problem, miss.”

Me: “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

Customer: “Actually, I had a question. This shoe—” *he points to one of our more expensive brands* “—here, if I showed you a magic trick, could I get a discount?”

Me: *laughing* “I’m afraid not, sir.”

Customer: “Hmm, all right. What if I told a funny joke? Could I get a discount?”

Me: “I’m not sure my manager would appreciate that, but a joke might cheer me up!”

(He proceeds to tell a rather unfunny joke that I heard at school, but it does make me laugh because of its simplicity.)

Customer: *grinning* “See! You laughed! Discount?”

Me: *laughing and shaking my head* “I’m afraid not, sir!”

(This goes back and forth for around ten minutes before he finally finds a comfortable shoe. I pride myself on being a very chatty person who loves to smile, as retail is my favourite place to work despite its drawbacks, and the customer picks up on this. As part of our job we are required to sell branded shoes with the same brand of trainer as proof that we are competent at our job, and we must sell insoles and half-soles with shoes, which gets us extra money every month. Not only does the customer buy two of both, the only reason he didn’t buy socks was because he didn’t purchase the correct brand.)

Customer: “But you’ve been so patient and helpful; how could I possibly repay you?! Do you have a card I could fill out? Maybe a tip I can give you?”

(The customer pauses and thinks for a second, while I radio my manager to find out any way he can say thank you. The only option is an online survey, but the customer has no access to a computer. Part of our policy is to walk any stockroom-shoes to the till for the customer as those shoes aren’t tagged and can be stolen. I start walking towards the tills with his box and other items and place it on the rack. As I’m walking back, the customer gently catches my wrist and smiles.)

Customer: “Would you perhaps go on a date with me?”

Me: *holding back surprised laughter* “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid I have to say no. My boyfriend might have something to say about that!”

Customer: “Aw, that’s a shame! Well I hope you have a wonderful day, miss! See you around! What’s your name?

Me: “My name is [My Name], sir.”

Customer: “I’ll ask for you personally next time I’m in!”

Me: “Why, thank you, sir! I hope you have a good week!”

(I’d had a string of rude customers that day, including one who actually threw a shoe at me, and that customer made my entire week! My boss even congratulated me, as he hadn’t had someone ask for an in-store way to say thank you in a while. It gave me and my mother a good laugh when I got home! I haven’t seen him since as I moved to a new city soon after, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the short half hour I spent with him. Thank you!)

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