Warrants A Good Action

, , , , | Hopeless | April 18, 2016

(I’ve been pinching pennies for months. My house in a town three hours away has been listed for sale for five months and I’m living in a tiny rental room near my new job, so I’m paying for my house, taxes, bills, plus a rental, and finances are tight. I found out a few days before that my transmission needs to be fixed for $2700 or replaced for $3500. This bill will cripple my finances at this time. I am at a dealership service department.)

Me: “I’m here to drop off my car for an inspection; I’m really really hoping it’s covered under warranty. Can you call me if the bill is going to go over $100?”

Serviceman: “Yes, we sure can. If the repair turns out to be under warranty then the inspection is covered, too. If not then the inspection fee is less than $100 for sure.”

(Six hours later…)

Serviceman: “Hi there, has your car had any work on it in the past on the transmission?”

Me: “Yes, there was a fix to the axle or something in January. I’m sorry; I don’t remember all the details anymore, though.”

Serviceman: “Did you pay for that work? Where did you get it done?”

Me: “In [Other Auto Repair Shop].”

Serviceman: “Well, they used the wrong part and that fix would have been covered under your warranty, so I’m going to cover this whole mess under your warranty so it won’t cost you anything else.”

(He couldn’t have been nicer about it! I’ll be taking them some freshly-baked treats when I get my car back later this week!)

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Out Shopping For A New Friend

, , , | Hopeless | April 18, 2016

(I am a teenage Chinese male, but was born and raised in Scotland, so I have the local accent and cultural awareness. For as long as I can remember, a grumpy old woman has lived on the other side of the street. She would moan and scowl at most passersby, but is mostly harmless. I am leaving my house for football practise, when I notice the old lady get off the bus with what looks like heavy shopping bags.)

Me: “Excuse me, would you like me to help you with your shopping?”

(The old lady just stops and stares at me for a moment, like a deer in headlights.)

Me: “I know you only live down the road, but those look heavy.”

(The old lady is still staring, but wordlessly hands me her bags. I take them and we slowly walk towards her house.)

Me: “Wow, you seem to have a lot in here. Are you planning a feast?”

(My efforts of small talk don’t seem to get anywhere, so we walk slowly in silence, until we get to her front door.)

Me: “If you’d like, I can take these to your kitchen for you?”

(At this point she finally speaks.)

Old Lady: “How long have you been able to speak English?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Old Lady: “Your English. It’s almost like you’re a local.”

Me: “That’s because I am. I was born in Dundee.”

Old Lady: “All this time, I thought you couldn’t speak English.”

Me: “Well, I guess we just never spoke to each other until now.”

Old Lady: “No, I suppose we didn’t.”

(She then opens her front door, and gestures for me to take her bags inside. Straight away, I can tell that this old lady might not be able to take care of herself very well, as the house is a bit of a mess, and the kitchen surfaces are dirty and sticky. The old lady seems a little embarrassed so I don’t make anything of it.)

Me: “Right, let me know where you want me to put your shopping.”

(I put the things away for her, making small talk. She says she’s seen me grow up over the years but just assumed because we are Chinese we don’t speak English and don’t associate with ‘locals.’ I am able to correct a few of her misconceptions, too. I finally put the last of her shopping away.)

Me: “Okay, that should be everything.”

Old Lady: “Would you like to stay for a cup of tea?”

(I’m about to mention that I will be late for my football practise, but the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice indicates that she probably hasn’t shared a cup of tea with anyone for a long time.)

Me: “You know what? A cup of tea sounds fantastic.”

(And for the first time in my entire life of knowing this grumpy old woman on my street, I see her smile.)

Old Lady: “Oh, lovely! I’ll get out the good biscuits!”

(For the next hour we chatted some more and got to know each other. She was a widow in her seventies who had lived alone for the last sixteen years, and didn’t make friends easily. From this one hour chat, we established an ongoing plan where I would go to the local supermarket with her once a week to help with the shopping and come back for a cup of tea, and I helped out around the house to keep it clean and tidy. We invited her over to our house for every birthday, Christmas, and even Chinese New Year, which she found very interesting, although the food may have been a little too spicy for her! We remained friends for ten years until her death, where my entire family attended her funeral, much to the surprise of her family, who hadn’t visited her once in the last decade. She will always be a close friend I will remember for the rest of my life.)

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Not A Custom To Such Kindness

, | Hopeless | April 17, 2016

(I’ve received a notice that the local post office is holding a piece of mail for me. As it’s right down the street from where I live I run over after getting home for the day, finding a queue has expectedly already formed. I get in line, and wait till it’s my turn.)

Post Office Employee: “Hey, just so you know, there’s a five pound import fee due on this.”

Me: “Really?”

Post Office Employee: “Yes, looks like it was shipped from overseas so you must claim on it.”

Me: “Uh… well, do you accept cards? I don’t have any actual cash on me right now.”

Post Office Employee: “Sorry, mate, only coins or notes. You can always come back later to pick this up if you want.”

Me: “Right… well, I do apologise for wasting your time, and yours.” *gesture to the folk still waiting behind me*

(Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder.)

Man Behind Me: “Here, I’ve got this. Save yourself having to come back here.”

(He hands the employee a fiver and I thus get my package.)

Me: “Uh… wow, that was very kind of you! I… don’t know what to say!”

Man Behind Me: “Think nothing of it. Believe it or not, you’re the first young person I’ve seen today that’s behaved themselves, dressed sensibly, and isn’t trying to buy smokes or filthy pornographic material.”

Me: “Yeah… uh… right. Well, again, thank you.”

(I promptly left, feeling absolutely terrible about the fact that my package, which the man paid for, in fact contained two packs of an exotic brand of cigars that weren’t available in the UK. Needless to say it was one of the reasons I gave up smoking as I grew older.)

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Don’t Give Up On The Game

, , , | Hopeless | April 16, 2016

(I have just finished high school and am visiting an orientation day at a college in my city, together with my mother. I have always loved art and carry up to three sketch books and supplies with me at all times. I am very shy and had a bad experience with school up till now. My mom and I sit down at one of the booths where teachers from the school are giving information on a personal level.)

Teacher #1: “We have a number of different educations here. Like programming, desktop publishing, game art, and many others!”

Me: *surprised and hopeful* “You can become a game artist…?”

Teacher #1: “Yes, indeed. Do you have any experience with art and games?”

Me: *takes out my main sketchbook and put it in front of him* “I love to draw and play several games. Is this any good…?” *nervous anticipation*

(The teacher proceeds to look through some of the pages. Meanwhile, the teacher at the next booth over apparently overhears while helping another prospective student.)

Teacher #2: *grabs my sketchbook from the other teacher and shows my drawings to the girl he’s helping* “See here? If you can draw like this you can be sure you will at least be accepted for your drawing skills.” *the teacher gives my sketchbook back to me*

Me: *blushes nervously at the unexpected indirect compliment* “T-thank you. Do you really think I can apply?”

Teacher #2: *enthusiastic* “You definitely should! Go up there right now and apply!”

(I and my mother thank the teacher(s) and go up to a separate classroom where applications are handled. However, they tell us that I can’t apply for that course as I have not graduated my high school with math, which I need. My mother asks if there’s anything else we can do, but we’re waved away. I’m pretty down having my hopes crushed like that and want to head for home, but my mother rushes over to the teacher booth we were at previously.)

Mother: “Hi again, we tried to apply for game art and they told us we couldn’t apply because my daughter hasn’t graduated with math as a major.”

Teacher #2: “Now, that’s nonsense. I’ll talk with the higher-ups. Just apply and tell them I sent you there!”

Mother: *to teacher* “Thanks a lot!” *to me* “See? You just have to try!” *winks*

(I can’t believe my luck. We apply as instructed and a few weeks later it’s time for interviews and my personal math test that the teacher arranges for me as an exception. I’m placed in an empty classroom with my bag and portfolio and the math test on the computer.)

Random Employee: “The test will end once you’ve made a certain number of mistakes. After that, your interview will be with [Random Teacher] in [Classroom]. Got it?”

Me: “How many questions does this test have? How do I know when I’m done?”

Random Employee: “No one really knows. It just stops at some point, okay? Go ahead now. Call out to us once you’ve finished.”

Me: *nods head*

(The following hour-and-a-half or so, I try to answer the questions to the best of my abilities. As time goes on, I wonder when I’ll finally be done as I’m currently well over a 100 questions. Someone comes into the classroom I’m doing the test in.)

Random Employee: *surprised* “Oh, hey! You’re still here? I’m so sorry. Your interviewer already went home. We completely forgot about you!”

Me: *my stomach drops upon hearing this* “W-what do I do now?”

Random Employee: “I’m afraid you’ll just have to go home for today. The next interview date we have is on [date close to school year starting].”

(I’m feeling pretty panicky right now. If I don’t get accepted on that date, I have no time to apply to other colleges as a plan B. I get home, tell my mother what happened, and she decides to call the college.)

Mother: *on the phone* “Hello? You’re speaking to [Mother].” *explains situation* “Oh, that’s great! Well, thank you for all you’ve done for us!” *hangs up*

Me: “What did they say? Can I do the interview earlier?”

Mother: “Better even. You’ve been accepted! The one I got to speak to on the phone was that same teacher that liked your art on the orientation day. He said he accepted you on basis of what he’d seen back then!”

(I was so happy; I had gotten so lucky. I even started seeing it as a miracle. True to his word, I got accepted with just that and started in the new class I wasn’t supposed to be able to get into and without an interview. I met my best friends there and even my now boyfriend. A little over a year ago we had a baby boy and we’re immensely happy. None of it would’ve happened if it hadn’t been for that one teacher who, in my eyes, performed a miracle for me! Thanks, Teacher! I still get happy tears in my eyes when I think about this!)

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We’re Above Such Crap

, , , | Hopeless | April 15, 2016

(I live in a suburban neighborhood with lots of other families of elementary aged children. I’m walking my daughter to the bus stop in the middle of winter when a young boy comes running past us, crying hysterically.)

Man: “Zach, come over here, dude. What happened?!”

Boy: “I fell!”

(I then notice the boy is smeared in dog mess from head to toe.)

Man: “Well, it’s too late for me to walk you home to get changed. You’ll miss the bus.”

(The man proceeds to take off his coat and shirt, puts his coat back on and uses his shirt to clean the poor kid up.)

Man: “There you go, kiddo. The bus is here, but I’ll make sure you have clean pants at school before I get to work.”

(Our kids all get on the bus, and we waive them off. I approach the man as he is throwing his shirt in a nearby trash bin.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that happened to your son, but great quick thinking in a pinch!”

Man: “Oh, thanks, but that’s not my son. Honestly, I can’t stand that kid. The only reason I know his name is because I always hear his mom grumping at him for picking on the other kids at the bus stop, but I’m not going to let a crying crap-covered kid get on the bus even if he is a total jerk.”

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