Helping A Stranger Is Good Medicine

, , , , | Hopeless | April 23, 2019

(I decide to spoil my daughter and myself on this particular day. I have just gotten paid, as I get paid monthly through Social Security Death Benefits, and have just finished paying all bills and doing whatever shopping we need. I have taken my daughter out to dinner at a restaurant we don’t normally go to, as it is a bit pricey. While we are there, an older lady is trying to get ahold of a pharmacy and her insurance. I happen to overhear a snippet of her saying she was just released from the hospital after having a heart attack, and doesn’t know how she’ll be able to afford her medication. It is all I could do to hold tears back, remembering how hard it was when my husband was alive, and we were struggling to pay for his medication after his first heart attack. I tell my daughter to stay where she is and I walk up to this lady.)

Me: “Ma’am, I couldn’t help but overhear, but did I hear you correctly when you said you were just released from the hospital after a heart attack and didn’t know how you’d be able to pay for your medication?”

Lady: “It’s $1,100 a month! I don’t know how I’ll afford that and my insurance is being a pain. They may not get it going until tomorrow, but today I have no idea how I will get that medicine. I need it.”

Me: *understanding exactly how much she needs this* “Miss, if you allow me…”

(I press $40 into her hand, and hold it.)

Me: “My late husband had a heart attack, and it was a struggle to pay for his medication. Please accept this to get you by for today, at the least.”

Lady: “Oh, you don’t have to.”

Me: “Ma’am, I want to. I know how hard it is.”

Lady: “Thank you so much!”

(My daughter and I left before finding out if her insurance was able to cover today or not, but lady, I sincerely hope it got better for you. I know $40 is hardly enough to cover the cost of medication in this place, but I know even a little can go a long way.)

This IS The Cat You Are Looking For!

, , , , | Hopeless | April 22, 2019

(My friend loves cats; her husband does not. After much discussion they agree to adopt one, but they must both agree on the cat. At the shelter they are introduced to many cats, but my friend’s husband isn’t too keen on any of them. Then, my friend notices one last cage tucked away in the corner, which turns out to belong to a timid little grey female. The shelter employee opens up the cage so they can interact with her, but as my friend’s husband reaches in to pet her the tiny, wide-eyed girl lets out a fearful hiss. My friend fears this is that is the end of that, but instead he turns to her with a wide grin.)

Husband: “I like this one; she sounds like Darth Vader!”

(They took her home that day. Three years later, she is still the undisputed queen of their house and the perfect cat for them.)

You Always Remember Your Last Great Customer

, , | Hopeless | April 20, 2019

(At my store, we get a lot of older ladies coming in. Most of them are nice, and a few are entitled and rude. But occasionally, we get angels sent from Heaven. A woman comes up to my register one day and sets down a bag for a return.)

Customer: “I bought this yesterday, but I found out it’s on sale today for half off. Can I return it and rebuy it?”

Me: “Actually, we can do a price adjustment! You’ll get the same amount back as you would with returning it and repurchasing it, with half of the steps!”

Customer: “Oh, that’s even better!”

Me: “I’ll just need to start with your receipt!”

(She looks through her purse and suddenly looks upset.)

Customer: “I think I left it at home. I’m so sorry!”

Me: “Do you have the card it was bought on? I can look up your receipt that way!”

(She hands me her card. Luckily, it pulls it up, and I do the adjustment. She’s getting about $50 back.)

Customer: “Oh, thank you so much! I forgot to use my gift cards when I bought this, but I also forgot to get some fabric, so I guess it works out.”

Me: “Things always work out! You’re free to go look at fabric now!”

Customer: “You’re my hero, [My Name]!”

(About an hour later, she comes back through my line.)

Customer: “I think I got everything I needed this time. If not, I’ll be back tomorrow!”

Me: “And I’ll be here! Your total is [amount], and don’t forget your gift cards this time!”

(The customer pulls them out of her wallet.)

Customer: “Why thank you!”

(She finishes her transaction but asks to see a manager before she goes. She moves enough out of the way that I can keep ringing people out, but I can still hear the conversation.)

Manager: “Hi. You wanted to talk to me?”

Customer: “Yes, [My Name] is a wonderful person and I’m so glad she was working today. I have awful memory problems, but she’s made this trip so much easier on me. Is there anything I can do to show my appreciation?”

(She ended up filling out a form for corporate about me. She’s also promised to come back to see me. People like that are why I love what I do.)


They Manipulate Grass Now, Too

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 18, 2019

I’m an adult living with my parents. My mom’s chiropractor lives across the street from us. One day at an appointment, she is telling him that she is rather sore. She has to do most of the chores around the house, including mowing the lawn, because both my dad and I are recovering from surgery.

A few days later, my dad steps outside to get the newspaper and finds the chiropractor mowing our lawn for us.

A Kindness Souvenir

, , , , | Hopeless | April 16, 2019

I have flown to Washington DC with my grandma to meet my aunt. I am returning home by plane, as my home is over a thousand miles away. As a minor — I turned fifteen a month ago — I can bring in my relatively small suitcase, but I run into a problem at the security checkpoint where the fluid in my suitcase — a souvenir — is a problem, and I will have to check in the luggage. Okay, no problem.

I make my way back and notice my grandma, who has watched me through the security checkpoint, has already left before the problem and is most likely currently going through security at her own gate. My aunt dropped us off but did not come in with us.

I head over to the check-in service and wait in line, before finally coming up to the nice lady manning the station. I’m socially anxious, as well as hard of hearing — I wear hearing aids — so it takes quite a while for me to understand and do everything; this is my first time doing it without parental help. She tells me it will be a $20 fee.

My mother has given me my personal debit card and has told me to never let my balance go below $10. However, I have spent quite a bit on souvenirs, bringing the total on my debit card to $12. I do not know this, so I hand her the debit card and it is declined. Slowly, it starts to sink in that I do not have enough money. I’m starting to panic and start texting my mom. Again, being socially anxious plus hard of hearing means I can’t hear my mom over the phone.

A few minutes later, she hasn’t texted me. I’m just awkwardly smiling at the other passerby while trying so very hard not to cry. She finally texts me, and my heart plummets when I read it. She can’t transfer money to my debit card.

I don’t want to bother my grandma to come back through security. I don’t have any change. And I’m currently a thousand miles away from home with no way getting there. I start crying, trying to cover up my tears, and sobbing and apologizing profusely to the lady. She’s offering a smile but it’s hopeless; I can’t get back. I can’t get rid of the souvenir, either, because my grandma got it for me, and it included some other things.

All a sudden, the lady working in the next booth over speaks up and pays for it — all $20. I honestly can’t remember what happened because it was all such a haze, but I was either too dumbfounded to utter a thank-you that sounded sincere or was thanking her non-stop.

Thanks to that lady, whom I can honestly not thank enough, I got home safely. I will always forever be grateful for her, and even as I’m writing this, I’m fighting back tears. She has my undying thanks. I wish I could find her and pay her back the $20.

After the ordeal, my mom and I have vowed I will now keep at least $30 in my debit account, working to make $100 in there and keeping it in there.

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