Cupcakes Have Restorative Ingredients

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 11, 2018

Last Thursday at school, the whole school was under a medical lockdown for two periods in the middle of the day; no one was allowed to leave the room they were in. We later discovered a much-loved teacher had collapsed, and suffered a heart attack in front of his students and fellow staff.

Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to revive him, and he passed away just after third period started. Our whole school was very shocked, and understandably a lot of students and staff were very saddened at the news.

The next day, there was a “dark cloud” over the whole school and the lessons were certainly not as cheerful as normal. A boy in my class took it upon himself to bake cupcakes for all the staff at school — 144 cupcakes in one night — plus ice them all, and leave a note saying, “It may not be a relief but just know that we are all here for you. -A message from all of your students.”

He really did restore my faith in humanity.

“It Gets Better” Requires Work

, , , , | Hopeless | August 9, 2018

I work in video game publishing as a producer. I’ve actually been in the industry for nearly a decade, but with this company for only a few years. My previous job was terrible. I worked for a guy who was awful to his employees and his customers — which meant they, in turn, were awful to us. I was working insane hours for no appreciation or recognition. He would regularly cut our pay because he “couldn’t afford us,” but then would take regular vacations to his luxury cabin in the mountains.

I stuck with it both out of a misguided sense of loyalty, and because at the end of the day I still loved the industry and wanted to be part of it, which is exactly the sort of cycle that enables awful working conditions like what I went through and worse. It didn’t help that so many people just tell you how lucky you are and how grateful you should be no matter what because they would kill to have your job, so you feel even worse about… feeling the way you do. I didn’t even notice how miserable and depressed I had been for years until I finally left and realized what an awful spiral I had been in. It was like I had existed for years in a sort of fog, and on the rare occasion I wasn’t working because I had time off, I was still unhappy because it was just looming over my whole life.

It was bad enough that I was actually scared to get back into the industry when my current company reached out about hiring me a few months later. I didn’t talk about my previous experiences. The first few months I felt like I was walking on eggshells. Whenever something went wrong, even something I wasn’t involved in, I would panic and become terrified, even though the owner was an amazingly chill, gracious, generous guy. My coworkers, who rapidly became actual friends, wondered why I was always so nervous or self-deprecating. One very bluntly asked me why I seemed to have no confidence, while praising my work. It was like being on another planet. Working with people who were themselves hard workers and good people, who valued my work and me, was literally a transformative but alien experience.

All of this came to a head when we attended a major industry conference and got invited to be guests of honor at an awards show. We weren’t up for any awards ourselves, but sitting there, surrounded by happy, excited people, listening to everyone talk about how much they loved their work just sort of overwhelmed me. I started to cry a bit because I finally realized after over a year that this was how it was supposed to be and that I was among friends.

I played off my tears as just being moved by the acceptance speech onstage at the time, but I do want everyone to know that you deserve to feel this way, too. You deserve to have work that is rewarding and that you enjoy, with people you like being around and who value you in turn.

I know I’m fortunate to do the work I do, and that a lot of people who will read this are working the jobs they have to in order to get by, and can’t do anything else right now for whatever reason. I guess I’m just sharing this to say that I hope one day you get to feel this way about your work, because you deserve to, no matter what that work may be. In the meantime, know that I’m sending good vibes to you no matter who or where you are, because I’ve been there, too.

Homeless Is Where The Heart Is, Part 10

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 7, 2018

I just started a new part-time job, and after my training I was assigned to a partner. At first, I didn’t like him; he was kind of lazy, honestly. But after giving it a chance, we became friends.

It was winter, and he told me that someone had stolen the tires off of his bike. I felt bad for him, finding out that he was riding a bike in the snow to get home, and now his tires were stolen.

I gave home rides to and from work until payday. But it was weird; he would have me go to gas stations or train stations, and he was always carrying a duffel bag. One time he had it open, and I saw that he was carrying around his birth certificate and other papers. It became clear to me that he was actually homeless.

He kept denying it at first, but finally admitted to me that he was, in fact, homeless. While I didn’t know him that well, I couldn’t just let him stay outside anymore.

So, I struck a deal. He could live in one of my rooms, for cheap — $200 a month. But he needed to get another job, something nearby, and start saving up money.

I also gave him a broken-down car that had been sitting in my driveway for a while. I told him that if he fixed it, he could have it. Little by little, he progressed. He got a full-time job to supplement the part-time job. He eventually bought a bed and dresser, and some more clothes. And he fixed the backyard car and got the tags.

By six months, he was flying out of the nest! It was one of the best feelings in the world to have helped someone get back on their feet!

Homeless Is Where The Heart Is, Part 9
Homeless Is Where The Heart Is, Part 8
Homeless Is Where The Heart Is, Part 7

Monthly Roundup: July 2018

Friendly Healthy Hopeless Learning Legal Related Right Romantic Working | August 6, 2018

It’s time for the July roundup! Our editors have decided among themselves which stories in July deserve the extra attention, regardless of the number of thumbs-ups they received. Out of the 817 stories we posted in the month, we’ve singled out fifteen.

If there are any stories from the last month you feel we should have included, please let us know in the comments!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite stories in the poll below! Note: You can choose up to three. The winner of the previous roundup poll was Dusting Off The Scum, from the Working category!


Must Be Friends With Aaron Schlossberg – Monkey see, monkey do!

Making A Collect Call – When common sense is offline.

That’s Some Truly Wonderful Bulls*** – This story is truly wonderful.

The Adventures Of Man-Bear – When Boris is too busy, you call in Man-Bear!

I Plead For Fifth – How to infuriate a librarian that thinks you can’t read.

I’ve Got A Lunch Hunch – Want to see how a lunch-stealer tries to justify it?

A Good Comeback Helps The Medicine Go Down – Your new healthcare plan won’t cure you, but it sure will judge!

This Wedding Is As Right As Rain – The most beautiful weddings aren’t always under the sun.

What’s His Deal? – The best way to deal with entitlement is to annihilate it.

The Key To Pressing Charges – Crime doesn’t pay, but it does sometimes pay the victim!

Needs To Learn To Housekeep Their Mouth Shut – Sometimes the best way to deal with customers is to give them exactly what they want.

A Physical Education – Violence begetting violence can be controversial, but oh so satisfying!

So That’s How Scotty Does It! – How to become a miracle worker.

Angelica Was No Angel – When customers lie, you lie right back!

A Pinch Of Good Parenting Can Go A Long Way – When it’s all an act, join the play!



Please choose your favorite story of the month!

View Results

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Reaching A Kindness Tipping Point

, , , | Hopeless | August 5, 2018

(I am a teenage girl at home by myself one night. I order a pizza and have it delivered, and as I am nervous opening the door to strangers, I add a special note to just leave it on the bench outside. I have taped a note to the door, along with a plastic bag containing the tip. However, when I notice that the pizza has been delivered, I discover that they did not take the tip. I decide to call the restaurant:)

Employee: “Hi, this is [Pizza Place]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi! I just had a pizza delivered with instructions to leave it outside, but I just realized that they did not see the tip that I left for them! Is there any way I could have that charged to my card to make sure they get it? I feel bad that they missed it.”

Employee: “Of course! What was the phone number with that order?”

(I give her the phone number.)

Employee: “Okay, would you mind holding for a minute? I need to ask my manager how to do this.”

Me: “Sure, no problem!”

(After a minute or two.)

Employee: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello!”

Employee: “Okay, we can do that! How much did you want to tip?”

Me: “[Amount].”

Employee: “Okay, we actually won’t need to do it electronically, but my manager will take care of it later. It was so nice of you to call in. Thank you!”

Me: “No problem. I guess they didn’t see the tip, and I just want them to get it! Anyway, have a good night!”

Employee: “Have a good night!”

(Be the change you wish to see in the world!)

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