You Donut Know What I Have Been Going Through Today

, , , , | Hopeless | May 1, 2019

(The gym where I’m employed has a monthly fee and a smaller fee that’s automatically charged on the same day once a year. This fee is to help cover maintenance, new equipment, paint and tile upgrades, parking lot resurfacing, etc. I work at the front desk and, as this is my first year, this is my first time fielding questions regarding this charge. I have been dealing with dozens of phone calls and walk-ins from angry members for the past week when a regular member comes in carrying a box of donuts.)

Member: “I saw that you all charged me a fee on top of my regular monthly fee last week.”

Me: *preparing for the worst* “Yes, ma’am, if you still have a copy of your contract, you’ll see—“

Member: “Oh, I know. I read my contract after seeing the charge and found where it says you all need a yearly enhancement fee. I bet you’ve had to explain it to many angry people.”

Me: “You have no idea!”

Member: “Well, I was almost one of them until I read my contract again. I can only imagine what you all up front have had to go through with this. I thought these donuts might brighten your day, as well as that of the rest of the front desk crew.”

Me: “Wow! Thank you so much!”

Member: “No worries. Don’t let the bad ones get you down!”

(My faith in humanity and my club’s members was pretty much restored after that!)

Classic Car, Not-So-Classic Owner

, , , | Hopeless | April 29, 2019

(I’m driving home from work. I’m driving a beater car, and a noisy ride is the norm. However, today something doesn’t feel right. The car starts shaking oddly and I pull over at the next gas station to see if I have a flat. I do all the checks I can think of, but everything checks out. So, off I go, planning on taking it easy and having my fiance check it out once I get home. Back on the highway, it almost instantly gets WAY worse. It’s rush hour, and pulling over where I am is not a safe bet. I start taking my normal highway exit, planning to get a quarter of a mile down the road to get off onto a side street. The car has a different plan. As I’m in the turn, there is a bang and all sorts of grinding, and I feel for a moment like I’m going to lose control. Luckily, I’m able to get coast over and come to a stop not ten yards from the end of the exit ramp. On this particular day, I have my two-and-a-half-year-old rescue puppy along for the ride. So. there we are, rush hour, end of a busy ramp, cars flying by at 55 to 60 mph, unable to really get over because of where we ended up stopping. I climb out the passenger side door to look at the damage. Not only did I NOT blow a tire, but my tire is no longer connected to the car. Luckily, because I was turning into that side, the tire has wedged itself under the car’s frame at an odd angle. Later, I find out that the wrong size lug nuts were used by the last owner, and they have all sheared clean off, causing the tire to disconnect while going 50 mph. As I’m trying to grab our things and get my poor, frightened pup ready to get out of the car, a beautiful classic Jaguar Convertible pulls over in front of us. The passenger jumps out and walks over.)

Gentleman: “Hey, you doing okay?”

(I am just getting my puppy, Todd, out of the car onto the grass.)

Me: “I think so. I’m…”

Todd: *frantic, overwhelmed barking*

Me: “I’m so sorry. He is a bit overwhelmed. We are going to walk off the highway and make some calls.”

Gentleman: “Is it a tire? I could help you change it quickly if…” *noticing the awkward angle of my not flat tire* “On second thought, I don’t think that is going to cut it. Why don’t you let us give you a ride off the highway at least?”

(The driver of the Jaguar is a tiny, blonde woman.)

Woman: *waves* “Come on, sweetheart!”

Me: “I really appreciate the offer but I have Todd with me, and I wouldn’t want to get fur or–“

Gentleman: *cuts me off* “Nonsense! We have dogs, too; he will be no trouble. Come on. Let’s get you two off this busy highway.”

(As we walk over, I realize that the convertible has a backseat bench, but is so tiny that you can only sit in the front two. Before I can say anything:)

Gentleman: “I’ll jump the fence and meet you over at [Restaurant].” *proceeds to walk away*

Woman: “Oh, look at you two! Get in the front seat; your dog can either sit on the floor or on your lap.”

Me: “Are you sure it’s okay? We can just–“

Woman: “I insist! Now, get in, so we can get out of here. This is a terrible spot to be broken down.”

(We get situated, which is a little tricky, seeing as I have trained Todd to not get into the front seat of vehicles, but we are soon ready to go. Suddenly, I realize that the gentleman is walking back toward us.)

Gentleman: “I may have both underestimated the height of the fence and overestimated my climbing abilities so…”

Woman: “Well, get your a** in the back, then, and hang on!”

(He climbs onto the back of the car, his feet the only part of him that fits on the back bench, and we drive along the edge of the highway looking like a one-car parade. He even waves at a few passing cars along the way. As we drive, I find out that they were behind me when I first pulled over, and had driven around taking four different exits to get back to me on the side of the road. They drop me off, but they refuse to leave before making sure I have a fully-charged phone, a few bottles of water for me and Todd, the number for two different tow companies, and the name of the gentleman’s buddy’s auto shop. Then, as I am thanking them, the tiny blonde shoves $40 into my hand.)

Me: “I really can’t accept–“

Woman: “Well, we refuse to take it back, so I suppose you will have to pay it forward when you can.” *winks at me before giving me a big hug*

(They drove off with a few fewer bottles of water, 40 fewer dollars, and dog hair all over the front seat of their classic car. There is also a selfie somewhere of us all packed into their tiny Jaguar. I was too shocked to ask for a copy of the photo, or their names, and I still regret that. A terrible drive home was turned into a slightly amusing story of how a girl and her dog got to ride in a classic Jaguar Convertible. My fiance is still jealous.)

Never Too Old To Fly High

, , , | Hopeless | April 28, 2019

(The main building in the Military Memorial Park has several modern exhibits, amongst them one about aviation. I’m on duty in that station in this day, manning the MIG-29 simulator. The day is slow, and I’m starting to get bored, when a sweet old couple walks in. The husband looks at the simulator, which consists of a real cockpit with the booby-hatch from a MIG-27 plane, and a control panel in front of a big screen, and cheers up.)

Old Gentleman: “Honey, look at this! This seems like just the real deal! And I suppose you, young miss, are the pilot? You will take us on a journey?”

Me: *smiling* “Almost, sir. I will assist you, but you will be the one piloting! I’m just a navigator for you. Would you like to take a seat? Or you, ma’am?”

Old Lady: “Can we both try it? Is it even possible for old farts like us to do this?”

Me: “But of course! Fun has no age limits!”

Old Gentleman: “And what happens if we fail? Will we crash and die?”

Me: “No, sir, I’d never let it! You see, I can operate the catapult here, so if I see that you are in danger, we just leave the plane… Would you like to try it?”

Old Lady: “I think I will die from happiness! This is fantastic! Let me try!”

(They both tried it, screaming in childish glee, admiring the game’s realistic view, and generally behaving like kids in a candy shop. They both failed the mission first, but as it was a slow day, I confirmed with the receptionist and let them play with the simulator as long as they wanted, helping them using the controls. After a while, both of them managed to safely land — not an easy feat for anyone! They were really nice and genuinely happy, really cheering me up. Even just dealing with them already made my day, but later they came back with sweets and a small pendant for me. They insisted I have them, and the old lady even gave me a hug!)

You Give Me Butterflies

, , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2019

(The hotel I work in is right next to the ocean, and we have beach chairs spread out along it.  One day while I’m monitoring the beach, I notice a girl, about 14, fast asleep on a chair. She looks pretty sickly, big bags under her eyes and all.  Her dad is sitting watching her, looking worried.)

Me: “Sir? Is… everything all right?”

Father: *distracted* “Yes, yes, fine. Thank you.”

Me: “Sir, I can’t help but notice that you look upset.  Is something wrong?”

Father: *quietly* “Actually… yes. My daughter. She… She’s a very smart girl, and a hard worker.  A little too hard working. She’s been quite busy lately. Very busy. She’s been pulling all-nighters to get all her work done, and if she does sleep, it’s about two or three hours. She bites off so much more than she can chew, but she gets it all done somehow. For some reason, she’s still crazy insecure. I… I found out recently that she’s been bullied at school recently, and she’s developed social anxiety, making her even more insecure. She passed out in the halls a week ago, and the doctors recommended that I try to get her away for a bit, so she can de-stress. I’m worried about her. I want this vacation to be nothing but fun for her, to relax. She can’t relax properly, though, and I don’t know how to help. Her mother’s gone, and I can’t ask. What makes a girl tick?”

Me: *pauses to think for a moment* “Sir? What room are you guys staying in?”

Father: “[Number], why?”

Me: “That’s one of my rooms. Tell you what. In my experience, chocolate always seems to help.  I hope she likes ice cream!”

(We chat a bit more, and then I leave. I come up to their room later with a small chocolate sundae. I’ve added little chocolate swirls and decorations and made it as fancy as I could. The girl answers the door, surprised.)

Me: “Hello. I believe you need a sundae?”

Customer: “Um… well… I’ll go grab some money.”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. This is on the house. You look like you could really use it.” *smiles and hands it to her*

Customer: “T-thanks… Thank you! Thank you so much!”

(She beams at me before closing the door.  A few days later, when they leave, I go into their rooms to clear up.  I find a note.)

Note: “Thank you so much for taking care of us, and especially for the sundae! I’ve had a somewhat stressful time at school, and it really made me feel better that somebody noticed and cared.  A little chocolate goes a long way! You are really the best staff member I could have hoped for. The butterflies are for you!”

(Next to the note, I find $15 in one dollar bills, each folded into a butterfly shape. It’s really nice to think that in the midst of her own troubles, she took the time and trouble to make my day special. To the girl, thank YOU!)

Wheelchairs, Trains, And Automobiles

, , , , | Hopeless | April 26, 2019

My parents came to visit me in Japan. On the second day of us all being together, we were walking through the hotel garden and my mom hurt her foot. She iced it as soon as we got back to our room, but an hour later she couldn’t put any weight on it. The hotel we were staying at organized a taxi for us to a local hospital that had an ER open at midnight. We got there and the doc and nurse that cared for my mom spoke English. It was midnight and they had English-speaking staff on duty!

When they wheeled my mom into the ER from the waiting room, she had an anxiety attack, so back to the empty waiting room we went for the rest of her care. In the end, she had broken her foot — her big toe really. There was nothing that could be done for that but for her to stay off it.

Yeah, right. Day two of a two-week vacation in Japan? Ha! We rented crutches for the next two weeks and borrowed the hotel wheelchairs wherever we stayed.

After getting back to the hotel, the staff there were able to organize a rental wheelchair for us for our week in Kyoto.

Before Kyoto was Hiroshima. Our hotel was basically connected to the train station by a long walkway. Dad contacted the hotel, and two employees met us at the ticket gates with a luggage trolley and a wheelchair. At the end of our stay, one pushed Mom to the station as Dad and I had the luggage. Dad used the wheelchair to get Mom up to the shinkansen waiting room and returned the empty chair to the hotel staff member.

In Kyoto, the rental company delivered the wheelchair to the door of our B&B and collected it from Kyoto station, after we wheeled Mom up to the shinkansen platform.

After returning to Tokyo from Kyoto, Mom made her way to a waiting room. I went from ticket gate to ticket gate to get a wheelchair to get her from the shinkansen waiting room to the local train line. The employee wheeled her from the waiting line to the ticket transfer gate where two local line employees met us. One pushed Mom and the other lead the way, breaking traffic. It was over 700m to get to our train and Mom would never have made it on her crutches.

At the train, Mom was asked to sit on the train seat and the ladies took the wheelchair. At our exit, another employee was there with a wheelchair. She took us to the Tokyo Monorail line where we had another employee and chair. He got Mom onto the monorail where yet again there was an employee waiting with a chair for Mom.

Japan is nowhere near as wheelchair friendly as the US. People here have smaller personal bubbles and got too close to my mom for her comfort, but the level of care my mom got from train and hotel employees was amazing.

Page 3/21112345...Last