Having A Good Day

, , , , | Hopeless | October 2, 2018

(I am a generally shy person, but do sometimes shock with jokes. I’m at an old historical estate in New York. I am in my car driving towards the ticket collector. In the car is my twin brother and my younger brother.)

Gatekeeper: *sadly* “Hello, welcome to [Estate]. Tickets, please.”

Me: “Three tickets, right here!”

Gatekeeper: “Head to the left to park and then head left to go to the mansion, or right for a tour.”

(This guy looks generally upset and tired, so I want to make his day better.)

Gatekeeper: “Anyway, have a good day.”

Me: *pretending anger* “DON’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE!”

Gatekeeper #2: “What the—”

(I speed off, but not before “dropping” a nice bonus for the sad gatekeeper.)

Twin: “What the heck! What just happened?”

(I ran into the gatekeeper on the way out. It turned out that he got the extra money I gave him, and he said it was the first thing that made him laugh. He was sad because of a family member’s funeral. The money was enough for him to have a free dinner at a local restaurant. He thanked me profusely!)

An Ending Not Won’t Cry About

, , , , | Hopeless | October 1, 2018

(A mother with a pram comes to my till. Her son is obviously displeased with something and cries loudly, so that everybody hears it. She leaves the pram behind her to make her purchase. I am encouraged to chat with customers while ringing up.)

Me: “Someone seems displeased with life here. Hey there, big guy. What’s up?”

Child: *continues crying*

Mother: “Well, you know kids; sometimes they simply aren’t happy. He’ll be all right.”

(She continues to talk to her child, trying to soothe him, but it doesn’t work.)

Me: “Okay, that will be [amount], please.”

(While the mother is looking for money in her purse, an elderly gentleman and his wife come behind her in line. The man looks at the crying child for a couple of seconds and then suddenly speaks.)

Elderly Man: “Whoa, no need to be so unhappy, buddy! Look at this t-shirt! Don’t you think it’s a great t-shirt? Or these pants; look how fine they are! Don’t you think?”

(He continues babbling like this, but the child is so surprised that he stops crying and just looks at the smiling man. His mother finishes her purchase and takes him away, which results in more cries. The elderly pair comes up to me.)

Elderly Man: “Oh, dear, he’s clearly unhappy. Listen how he cries.”

Elderly Man’s Wife: “Oh, come on, [Husband], he’s little. Children sometimes cry like that.”

Me: “This is true. And even adults are unhappy now and then and behave similarly. We’ve all been there.”

(I ring them up, and they turn around to leave the store. Suddenly, the mother of the crying child returns with him in her arms, and holding a pack of simple balloons.)

Mother: “He would like these, please.”

Me: “Great, big guy! Now you have something from the shop, too!”

(The boy grinned from ear to ear, incredibly happy with his balloons. Nearby, the elderly pair were standing and looking at him, and when the mother carried him back out, they waved goodbye. Normally people would complain and b**** about a crying child, but these two seniors were simply awesome!)

This Sunshine Rose In The East

, , , | Hopeless | September 28, 2018

(I am an exchange student in Japan, and I also work part time at an English school. Currently I am handing out leaflets for my school in front of a subway station. A lot of people glance at me, but very few take the leaflets, so I feel a little embarrassed. I am reading out a spiel in Japanese about our school when a little old lady comes up to me.)

Little Old Lady: “[Something in Japanese that I can’t hear because of a train passing by]… very beautiful!”

Me: *in Japanese* “I’m sorry?”

Little Old Lady: *after a little thinking, in English* “Your hair!”

Me: *in Japanese* “Oh, thank you!”

Little Old Lady: *in Japanese* “Yeah, you have a really beautiful hairstyle! How do you braid it like that?”

Me: *in Japanese* “Oh, it’s really simple…” *explains how to braid the hair*

(We end up chatting about hairstyles a little more, when I remember why I’m there in the first place.)

Me: “Oh, would you perhaps be interested in taking English classes?”

Little Old Lady: “Oh, no! I’m too old to remember all that stuff!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sure that’s not so!”

Little Old Lady: “I’m sorry for not being interested in what you’re promoting.”

Me: “No, that’s okay! Thank you!”

(She didn’t take a leaflet, but she was the best customer I had! Thank you, lady, for brightening the day of a silly, lost, foreign girl! I really wish I knew an equivalent of, “Thanks for brightening my day!” in Japanese!)

Kindness: It’s All In The Delivery

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 25, 2018

(I work for one of the largest supermarkets in the UK, delivering groceries to customers at home. One of the worst aspects of the job is stairs. I often have to take shopping weighing 80 to 180 kg up multiple flights of stairs. Customers often aren’t willing to help at all, and often the response when asking is, “That’s what I pay you for.” There have been two exceptions to this that make me feel good about humanity. The first comes back when I first start working. I have a delivery of about 120 kg that I have to take up three floors. I carry the first tray up and go back for the remaining six, thinking that doing it one at a time is doable but will make me late for my next delivery. Just as I hit the ground floor, the door to the block opens and two young guys come in.)

Guy: “Is that for [Flat Number]?”

Me: “Yes, it is!”

Guy: “We got this.”

(They both grab two trays each and RUN up the stairs. As a man, I can’t allow myself to be outdone, and carry the last two trays up behind. I thank them both for the help, but they just shrug it off, saying:)

Guy: “We’re all humans and need to help one another out.”

(The second came when I had been having a pretty rough day. It was during the heatwave, and I had just had a customer with a big order up several flights of stairs. I had drunk all my water and I was exhausted. I got to my next customer around fifteen minutes late. She was sat outside her house, and I thought I was in for a lecture. However, she was incredibly patient with me and understanding about the substitutes, and despite being wheelchair-bound, she helped as best she could to take shopping indoors. She then insisted I take not only a can of Coke but two bottles of cold water. Some customers don’t seem to think delivery people are humans at all, but the rare times we get a little kindness go a long way!)

Balloons And Joy

, , | Hopeless | September 23, 2018

I was having a real cruddy day. My hours got cut at work without notice, after I was just promised more hours for my strong work ethic a few days ago. My favorite shoes got a hole in the sole. My cat threw up in my bed sometime during the night and I woke up in it. It was just a nasty day that kept getting worse. Being broke, and soon to be even more broke, I decided to take a walk at the park, hopeful that feeding a few ducks and listening to happy kids would brighten my day.

The playground was surprisingly empty when I pulled in, but I could hear happy squeals of joy coming from somewhere. Curious, I grabbed my bag of seeds and walked towards the noise. A woman was twisting balloons into swords, crowns, Pikachus, dragons, and all kinds of crazy designs I’d never seen before at an impressive speed for a crowd of eager kids. Distracted from my duck goal, I took a seat nearby and watched her go to town. After the crowd dissipated, she pulled a green and red balloon out and smiled at me while working her magic. In no time she made a beautiful rose and wordlessly handed it to me. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite animated movie, so it was extra special and unexpected. She then just walked off. I took my rose and seeds and newfound smile to feed the birds. I overheard a few moms talking to one another when I was walking out and found out she visits randomly and makes balloon animals for everyone, paying for the supplies out of her own pocket. I figured the city paid her!

Some people really do just want to make this world a better place. My circumstances didn’t change, but my attitude did. Thank you, balloon lady! Little things mean a lot.

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