Just Another Christmas Miracle

, , , , , , | Hopeless | March 8, 2018

A coworker’s husband, who is a department head at another grocery store, had a customer come through the cash lane with just about $50 worth of groceries. Her card was declined. She started crying and asked him to try it again. It was declined again. She explained that the problem with the card should have been fixed, and she didn’t know what to do, because she and her kids hadn’t eaten a real meal in three days.

Anyone in a position of power that works in retail has heard this type of story a million times, and at least 999,990 of them are scam artists trying to get stuff for free.

She asked him to hold her items while she made some phone calls in a last-ditch attempt to fix whatever was blocking her from her money. She called home. A kid answered. He could hear the voice on the other end say excitedly, “Mommy! Are we going to eat for Christmas?”

He decided to take the risk, and paid for her food, with several coworkers pitching in, which made her cry harder than before. I think of that family every year and I hope they’re doing better now!

Toying With The Charities

, , , , | Hopeless | March 6, 2018

(It’s December. My mother is at the checkout in a supermarket.)

Cashier: “Hello! Today, and only today, you can have a free soft toy with your groceries! Would you like one?”

(The toys are adorable, small, and soft baby animals.)

Mother: “Yes. Can I have the baby penguin one, please?”

Cashier: “Of course. You’re going to make your grandson or your granddaughter very happy!”

Mother: “Actually, I do voluntary work for a charity. Every year, we give Christmas presents to children whose parents are too poor to afford it.”

Cashier: “That’s such a beautiful thing to do!”

(She looks very moved. The following week, my mother goes to the same supermarket. At the checkout, there’s the same cashier.)

Cashier: “Hello! You’re the lady who works for a charity, aren’t you?”

Mother: “Yes, I am.”

Cashier: “I told all my coworkers about you and we all agreed to do something for you. These are the soft toys nobody wanted. We would like you to give them to your wonderful charity!”

(She gave her a big bag full of cute toys. So, thanks to these lovely ladies, more children had toys for Christmas!)

Introducing A Wonderful Situation

, , , , | Hopeless | March 4, 2018

I was working at an independent non-profit animal shelter. We’d gotten a few new adult dogs in that day. A man came in to visit and found a dog that he liked. He filled out the application and said he’d be back later in the day so his wife could meet the dog. This is common and usually goes fine, so mentally I figured that dog would be going home that day.

When the wife came in, they visited with the dog, but then the wife asked to visit with another dog. So, the husband was in one room with the first dog, and the wife was in another room with a different dog. They went back and forth between the two rooms. I thought that the wife must have changed his mind, and they’d be taking home the other one instead. Not a big deal, though I was starting to feel kind of sorry for the first dog. But then the couple came up to a coworker and me and asked, “Could we introduce these two dogs? We’d kind of like to take them both home.” We said we’d be happy to do it, but it was a busy dinner shift, so they’d have to wait a little bit. The couple was very patient, and spent their time visiting with the two dogs individually.

After a little while, my coworker and I were able to take the dogs to a play area and introduce them. They were immediately friendly and playful! They started running around the play area. They got along great, and the couple took two dogs home that day.

Enabling A Magical Christmas Gathering

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 2, 2018

(I work in an online store that sells ‘Magic: The Gathering’ cards. It is almost Christmas.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help?”

Boy: *sounds about 15* “Hi, I’m building a deck for a Christmas tournament tomorrow, and the shop that I ordered the cards from has just told me that they are out of [Card]. It’s sold out everywhere, even on your site. I don’t want to be that guy, but do you have any in stock that were not loaded onto the website?”

Me: “I’ll check for you.”

(Sure enough, I find we have some.)

Me: “Good news: we do! You can check them out on the website. If you choose the international shipping option, I’ll use a courier service; it should be there tomorrow.”

Boy: “Thank you so much. You are a lifesaver!”

(Three days later, I got a package. It was a box of chocolates, a picture of the boy holding a trophy, and a note: “Thank you so much! I managed to come first. Enjoy these!” I love my job.)

Multiculturalism Enriches Us All

, , , , , | Hopeless | February 28, 2018

(I have dark curly hair, and always wear a hat — I’m Quaker — so I am sometimes assumed to be Jewish. One December day I’m at our service counter, and a client wearing a hijab comes up to me.)

Me: “Salaam aleikum.”

Client: “Aleikum salaam.”

(We transact her business, and she thanks me.)

Client: “Happy Hanukkah!”

Me: *smile* “‘Merry Christmas’ for me, actually.”

Client: *startled, but smiles* “Merry Christmas, then.”

(I love multiculturalism.)

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