The Infection Is Happily Spreading

, , , , | Hopeless | November 19, 2017

(My husband and I are having one of the worst nights of our lives. I won’t go into the full story, but it involves an argument, a broken-down car, and dealing with a parade of rude, inconsiderate people. We’re finally on our way home, around 1:00 am, and since neither of us have had dinner, I stop at a 24-hour fast food restaurant. There’s a sign on the drive-through speaker to pull through and order at the window, so I pull up. The girl who comes to the window looks to be in her early twenties, and she has the biggest, most sincere smile on her face.)

Cashier: “Well, good evening to you, folks! How are you doing tonight?”

Me: “Ha… Well… To be honest, it’s been a rough night, but it’s almost over.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry to hear that! Let’s get your order through so you can get home!”

(I order, and she has this incredible, cheerful attitude throughout the whole transaction. It’s kind of infectious, and I’m smiling, too, by the time we get our meal.)

Cashier: *hands us our food out the window* “Here you go, sweetie! I hope you get home safely and that tomorrow is much better for you!”

Me: *nearly crying from finally being around someone nice* “Thank you! You have a good night.”

(The next day, I am still thinking about that cashier, so I call the restaurant and ask for a manager.)

Manager: “Yes?” *sounding a little wary*

Me: *thinking he must be the one who handles complaint calls* “I just wanted to tell you that the cashier you had on the drive-through last night was wonderful!”

Manager: *surprised* “Oh? Well, thank you very much. Do you know their name?”

Me: “No, I didn’t think to ask her, but she looked college-age. We came through around 1:00 am and we had [order]. Maybe you could look up our transaction in the computer?”

Manager: “That’s very helpful; I’ll give that a try. And thank you for letting us know about her.”

Me: “Absolutely! We were having a terrible night, and she made it so much better.”

Manager: “Well, I’ll make sure she is rewarded for making our customers so happy!”

(It was a little thing, but that girl really was the bright spot in an otherwise completely horrible evening. I hope to run into her there again!)

How Very Tot-ful

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 18, 2017

Every fall, we run a donation drive to benefit Toys for Tots, an organization run by the United States Marine Corps which collects new, unwrapped toys, and donates them to children whose families can’t afford them for the holidays.

Today, I had a family come through my line to buy a parakeet: a father, his daughter, around 12 or 13 years old, and his son, around 9 or 10 years old. After ringing up the bird, I asked the father if he’d be interested in donating to Toys for Tots. He turned to his daughter and said, “It’s your money; it’s up to you.” She said, “Yes. It’s a nice thing to do.”

This year, we have stuffed dogs, cats, and bunnies available for donation. The bunny is very popular, and when people ask to donate a specific toy, that’s almost always the one they choose. I asked the girl if she cared which toy she donated, and sure enough, she chose the snuggly pink rabbit.

Each toy has a name. The dog is Chance, the cat is Lucky, and the bunny is Hope. So, I told this sweet young girl who chose to spend $5 of her own money, “Thank you; you’re giving a child Hope,” and her face lit up. I won’t soon forget this young girl or her generosity.

A Lesson in Perspective

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 17, 2017

(I work part-time at a department store. I am in a bad mood about some trivial things when a very nice man comes up to the cash register to buy something. We are having a pleasant, even fun, conversation. After I learn that he is from a foreign country, I ask:)

Me: “Are you here [in Southern California], for business or pleasure?”

Customer: “Pleasure. I am here with my two little kids.”

Me: “Have you been to [Amusement Park #1]?”

Customer: “Yes, and to [Amusement Park #2], [Amusement Park #3]… All over.”

(Then he points to a surgery “bump” on his mostly bald head and says matter-of-factly:)

Customer: “I have a brain tumor, and I won’t be here much longer. I want to leave my kids with as many pleasant memories of me as possible.”

(I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to say, so I just continued in silence. Then, he went to buy something in another department, but before he left the store, he came out of his way to shake my hand and thank me. I felt ashamed of myself for being in a bad mood over such trivial things.)

Leaving You High And Dry

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 15, 2017

(I’ve gone to the hospital for an ultrasound scan. On my way to the hospital, I am caught in a flash rainstorm and have no umbrella, so I am completely soaked through by the time I arrive.)

Doctor: “Ms. [Surname]?

Me: “Hi.”

Doctor: “Oh, you poor thing; you’re soaked though.”

Me: “Yeah, it was raining really hard out there.”

(We enter the ultrasound room.)

Sonographer: “Hi. I’m [Sonographer], and I’ll be doing your scan today. If I could ask you to lie on the bench…”

Me: “Sure. Uh, I’m sorry; I’m going to make it a little damp, I think.”

Doctor: “Don’t apologise; we’re just sorry you’re so wet. Wait, hold on. We have spare hospital gowns somewhere.”

Sonographer: “In the waiting room. I’ll grab one. Hopefully your clothes can dry a little when we do the scan.”

(She goes out.)

Doctor: “Right. Let’s see if I can switch the air-conditioner off in here, or get it to run hot.”

Me: “Thanks!”

Doctor: “Not a problem.”

(The sonographer comes back with a hospital gown, so I get changed. After the scan is done…)

Doctor: “All done. Do you have to be anywhere? Otherwise, maybe we could see if there’s somewhere for you to sit so your clothes can dry.”

Me: “That’s very kind, but I have to go back home and carry on working.”

Doctor: “Hmm, I wonder if we can get you a hairdryer for a quick solution, then.”

Sonographer: “Let me think…” *pause* “I’m pretty sure we don’t have any we can use, but if you take the first left, there are some toilets with a pretty good hand-dryer, which you might be able to stand under.”

(I ended up having to rush back, but I was extremely grateful to the doctor and sonographer for trying to find a way to dry me off!)

Insistence Is The Mother Of Generosity

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 13, 2017

(At the time of this story, I’m 19 and working as a cashier to pay college tuition. I’m also battling some autoimmune issues that have not been officially diagnosed. All of the baggers have wandered off, so I’m pulled off a register to bag. A lady with three young children and a full cart comes in. She’s got her hands full, so I offer to help her out to her car. We get halfway out the door, when…)

Customer: “Hey! When I said I needed help, I thought one of the boys would do it. I’ve got all those packs of soda and water bottles. I don’t want to make you lift it! Go back inside. I’ll find a guy.”

(All the boy baggers are hiding in the breakroom, and won’t be out anytime soon. I don’t want to say this, as my manager is in earshot.)

Me: “Oh, it’s no problem, ma’am! I’m used to it.”

Customer: “I see. Typical male behavior. They wander off all the time, huh?”

Me: “I…”

Customer: “Oh! Your manager is right there. You can’t talk. Well, let’s get this cart to the parking lot, and I’ll help you unload when I get these kiddos buckled in. So, I’m guessing you’re a college student. Where do you attend?”

(We chat all the way out to the car. While she’s turning on the car and buckling in her kids, I get the cart unloaded. She comes back, and…)

Customer: “Wow! You are so fast! I said I’d help; you didn’t need to do that all by yourself!”

Me: “You don’t need to do that. It’s my job!”

Customer: “Well, at least let me give you a tip or something.”

(We are not supposed to take tips; however, management allows us to accept if the customer insists we take it. We have to decline it once, first, however.)

Me: “No, ma’am; that’s not necessary.”

Customer: “But I insist! Is that the magic word? I insist that you take this tip, and I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Me: “Well, if you insist, I can take it.”

Customer: *places something in my hand* “Don’t look until you get inside. And good luck with college!”

(Once I got inside, I ducked into the bathroom. She had tipped me $20! I never saw her again, but if she’s reading this… THANK YOU!)

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