Cashing Out Some Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | October 8, 2017

(I work for a bulk store that also has a little eatery inside where you can purchase freshly-made food like pizza and hotdogs. I am wearing slacks and a polo shirt, which is the requirement for my area. I don’t have on my lanyard with my name tag, because I’m on my lunch break in line for the eatery. There are two older ladies who are in front of me, with three or so people in line in front of them, and they look me up and down a few times before it clicks in their minds.)

Lady #1: *with a sound of concern* “Do you work here?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m on my lunch break right now.”

Lady #2: “Then you have to go in front of us!”

Me: “Oh, no, that’s fine. You don’t need to—”

Lady #1: *cutting me off and gently taking my arm to move me in front of her* “Yes, I do! You’re on a time limit; you go right ahead!”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Lady #1: “Oh, yes. We used to work for a living, too; we know how it is.”

Me: *touched, because this has never happened before* “Thank you! You know, in almost five years, you two ladies are the first people to ever let me go ahead of them.”

Lady #2: “I bet that’s because you’re not wearing your vest or your name tag! You should try that; I bet it’ll happen more often!”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I don’t usually wear my name tag on my lunch breaks, because every time I forget someone sees it and spends the whole time either trying to ask me about what specials we’re going to have in six months, which they’ll know about before we do, or complaining about someone who made them wait five minutes while they helped another customer. These two ladies lit up my entire week with that little show of kindness on their part.)

Darwinism In Effect

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 6, 2017

The museum I love to visit has a huge central hall, with a big staircase at the back that splits to both sides about halfway up. On that landing, there’s a statue of Charles Darwin. Until quite recently, the view of the statue from the front of the hall was obscured by Dippy, a life-sized model of a Diplodocus skeleton, so to first time visitors, the Darwin statue would come as a surprise.

One time when I was visiting the museum, I was standing to the side of the hall near the stairs, not looking at anything in particular, when I saw three teenage girls passing Dippy on the way to the staircase.

As soon as they saw the statue of Darwin, their whole demeanour changed. They started squealing as if they’d just seen a boy band there, and then they raced each other up the stairs and took selfies with Charles Darwin.

Seeing that kind of happy nerdage at a time when mindless entertainment and pseudoscience seem to be on the rise everywhere really gave me hope for the world.

The Sorting Hat Must Have Been Wrong About Her

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 4, 2017

(I work at a retail store that sells lots of geeky merchandise for rather high prices. One day, a group of kids come in who are very excited. They spend about 15 minutes looking around the shop and choosing what they want, and then they come up to the counter. I ring them up and it comes to about $60. The oldest one, a girl, looks about 16 and is using a card to pay for everything she and her siblings are purchasing. It all goes well, and we joke about Harry Potter, as she’s wearing a Slytherin scarf, and they leave the store. Ten minutes later, they come back, looking a little apprehensive.)

Oldest Girl: “Umm, hi. We were checking our receipt, and we realised we weren’t charged for something.”

(I almost do a double-take; this is opposite of what I expected. She pulls out a stuffed Pokéball, which I remember being part of her stuff, and the receipt.)

Oldest Girl: “This wasn’t on our receipt.”

(I check the receipt twice, and she’s right; I forgot to ring it up. Unfortunately, it’s store policy not to give discounts or free items except during a sale, so I have to ring it up as well.)

Me: “Thanks, mate. I don’t think too many people would have come back.”

Oldest Girl: *nervous smile* “Oh, it’s nothing.”

(She paid and left with her siblings. I was really impressed, and was glad to see that kids have the honesty and integrity to come back, especially seeing as I’ve seen far worse from people older than her.)

The Power Of A Name

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 2, 2017

My best friend of 22 years recently got married. We grew up together, and our families were extremely close once. I consider her and her twin sister to be my soul-sisters, and their mother is like an aunt to me. They feel the same, and love my mother and me dearly.

My wonderful mother unfortunately passed away about eight years ago. Between then and now, I have been estranged from my biological family, and my friends’ family and mine also stopped talking completely, except for my best friend and me. I was therefore the only member of my biological family to attend the wedding, and I was a bridesmaid. Obviously, it was very emotional for everyone involved.

Of course, being a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding was a huge honor, and I loved every second, but my best friend had a bit of a surprise for me. She and her husband decided to observe a Jewish tradition in which you call upon the names of deceased relatives to join you in the special occasion.

Amongst the names of their respective deceased relatives, I suddenly heard the rabbi say my mother’s name. I was overwhelmed by the honor they had given my mother, and it stands as the most heart-warming gesture anyone has ever made in her memory.

Later, the bride told me that the rabbi had not wanted to include her name as “she was not related by blood,” but that she insisted on it.

Thank you, Sissa; I love you so much!

A Hurricane Of Volunteers

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 30, 2017

(My sister works for a travel agency. Most of her clients rent vacation homes in the Caribbean: Barbuda, Antigua, and other islands recently devastated by a record-breaking hurricane. Because of this disaster, she has been continuously fielding calls from irate customers who either demand refunds, want to know why their flight is cancelled, or generally display a lack of concern for those who lost everything in the hurricane. Then, she gets this gem of a gentleman.)

Caller: “Hi! I wonder if you can tell me about my upcoming vacation. I’m worried the hurricane probably ruined the beach house. I also want to check my flight and see if it’s possible that it’s still a go.”

Sister: “Okay, let me look up your account… Yeah, it looks like your reservation was on one of the islands affected; we haven’t been able to contact anyone on the island, period, let alone the specific owner of the condo you reserved. I don’t see any problems with the airline listed, but that doesn’t mean it will still fly out; everything is a mess down there.”

Caller: “That’s not too surprising. I looked up the airport information, and it looks like they had some damage but are staying open.”

Sister: “I don’t know how long it will take to get the systems back to normal, but I have the information you need to try and start the process for a refund. I know it’s frustrating that everything is held up at the moment, but if you could fill out the forms at least, we can send them for you as soon as possible.”

Caller: “Oh, I don’t plan to cancel. I am just loading up my suitcases with supplies that people are running out of down there, and I’m going to try and volunteer for something if the flight isn’t cancelled. Thanks!” *hangs up*

Sister: *speechless*

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