Getting Into A Good Habit

, , , | Europe | Hopeless | May 12, 2016

(I am on an international flight going home from studying in Germany. I’m exhausted and stressed out by headaches at each air pressure change, when a baby starts wailing. This goes on for nearly an hour quite close to me, but then I hear a different voice.)

Woman: *to the mother* “You need some rest, dear. Do you want me to take your baby for a while?”

(I look up and see a nun in her full robe and habit. The mother quickly agrees.)

Nun: *to baby* “You just need to be walked a bit, don’t you? You’re so cute. Here, let’s give you a bounce and go see what’s on this end of the plane… then the other. I know you don’t like the air pressure changes either.”

(The baby soon stops crying, and the nun starts singing to it in Italian. She held it for the next two hours, even after it spat up on her habit!)

Paying It Forward Is Never Declined

, , | MN, USA | Hopeless | May 11, 2016

(I work at a grocery/superstore whose employees wear red and khaki. I normally work in the attached big name coffee shop, but today I had to cashier. Up until this point it’s been relatively slow, so there hasn’t been a line. A woman comes up; she seems to not be from around here, with a very strong accent and it seems that English isn’t her first language. She’s not buying much, but it’s obvious that these are her groceries for the week. The transaction goes smoothly, until it’s time to pay.)

Me: “All right, your total is [amount].”

(She inserts her card into the chip reader, and it’s declined.)

Woman: “Oh, I know what I did. Let me try again. I have two pins and I used the wrong one.”

Me: “That’s just fine, ma’am.”

(She tries again, and her card is declined. She tries a few more times, and again, declined.)

Woman: “I don’t know what’s wrong! I’m using the right pin but it won’t work!”

Me: “Here, let me see if it’s the machine or if you’re just pulling out your card too soon.”

(I go around to see the card reader, and there seems to be no issue with the machine, but her card is bent. I figure this is the issue but I don’t want to mention that. By this time, a line has formed of three or four people.)

Me: “Here, let’s try it once more.”

(It’s declined. The man behind her steps up, and gets her attention.)

Man: “Ma’am, do you mind?” *he gestures to the card reader* “Like, you won’t be offended?”

Woman: “What?” *she seems extremely confused*

Man: “I’d like to pay for your groceries.” *he steps up and swipes his card without waiting for her response* “All I ask is that you pay it forward for someone else someday.”

(I don’t know who you are, sir, but you made my night better just with that little action. Thank you for helping out a woman in need without asking anything in return. You restored my faith in humanity.)

Neighborhood Cat Watch

, , | France | Hopeless | May 11, 2016

(As a teenager, I was bullied at school. The bullying lasted four years and it traumatized me to the point I have now a hard time trusting people. Now I live in my own apartment with a cute, very friendly cat. My cat disappears one night and I worry a lot. I remember I have the phone number of a neighbor. I’m phoning her answering machine.)

Me: “Hello, I’m sorry to bother you. I’m Ms. [My Name] and my young calico cat, [Cat], went missing yesterday. So, I’m wondering if maybe you saw her. Anyway, maybe she’ll be back tonight. Have a nice day!”

(She calls back later.)

Neighbor #1: “Hello, yes, I know this cat! She often asks me for cuddles when I’m back from work! You know what? I know a neighbor who feeds the stray cats around. I’ll tell her everything; maybe she saw her! I think you should make small posters. What do you think?”

Me: “That’s a great idea! Thank you ever so much!”

(I try the small posters method. Then I get another phone call.)

Neighbor #2: “Hello, I’m [Neighbor #2] and I found one of your posters. I’m really sorry for you. I mean, your cat is so lovable; my grandson loves her! If I were you, I would tell my vet and go to [Place].”

Me: “Thank you very much. I’ll do that!”

Neighbor #2: “Also, could you please tell me when she’s back?”

Me: “Of course!”

(In the following days, many neighbors went to me, asked me if my cat was back and gave me some advice about how to get her back. I was really worried, yet I couldn’t believe how kind these people were. Then after three days, my cat came back home on her own, hungry yet unharmed. I sent a collective text message to thank my wonderful neighbors. This was a few weeks ago, yet there are still people who come to me and tell me they’re glad my cat is back!)

Giving You A Reason To Smile

, , , | OR, USA | Hopeless | May 11, 2016

(It’s about 4:30 in the morning and I am just starting the three-hour commute back to my job after visiting my parents. I am running kind of late so I just rolled out of bed and threw on some shoes to drive, so I look like a hot mess. In my state, you don’t pump your own gas; an attendant comes and does it for you. This time, the guy is about my age, and comes outside to the pump with the biggest smile on his face.)

Attendant: “Good morning, miss! Wow, you look beautiful today! You have the nicest smile I’ve seen around here all night!”

(I’m still half asleep so all I can manage is an embarrassed “Thank you!” The attendant continues to chatter happily, and after I’ve paid, asks me to stay for a moment while he runs inside.)

Attendant: “Here, miss, have a cup of coffee, on me! It’s a cold morning and you can’t be expected to drive without fresh coffee! Have a wonderful morning now, and keep that beautiful smile on!”

(I haven’t seen him since, but I’ll always remember his kindness and how he made my whole day that morning!)

Making A Clean Getaway

, | Ireland | Hopeless | May 10, 2016

(I work in the skincare area of a large pharmacy. One very busy day a mother and her almost teenage daughter come in looking for advice. The mother has just been diagnosed with rosacea and is looking to update her skincare products. I spend around a half hour – being regularly interrupted by other customers – helping her understand the condition and find suitable products within her budget. She ends up buying a lot!)

Me: “Okay, so your total comes to €70. I’ve also given you some samples of more products to try at home!”

Mother: “Oh, how kind! Thank you! But before we go, my daughter has been getting some spots recently and I was wondering what she could start using?”

Me: *remembering that we have a free full-sized cleanser that would be perfect for her young skin, I pop it in the bag with her other items* “This gentle cleansing wash would be very gentle and non-drying on her young skin.”

Mother: “That sounds great. How much will it be?”

Me: “Absolutely free! You’re spending quite a lot already, so let it be a nice extra for you both!”

Mother: “Are you sure? Wow, that’s too much!”

Me: “You’ve been so patient and lovely that you more than deserve it! Thank you!”

(The mother and daughter thank me profusely and leave. I’m stocking shelves a little while later when someone taps me on the shoulder.)

Mother & Daughter: “You were so helpful and nice that we just had to get you something to say thank you!” *hands me a box of chocolates*

Me: “Thank you so much!”

Daughter: *hugs me and waves goodbye*

(Their thoughtfulness really made my day! I ended up sharing the chocolates with my colleagues as we were all very stressed that day!)

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