Even Numbers Means an Odd Donation

, , , | Hopeless | February 4, 2018

(I am in a queue of people waiting to be served at the only till that was open. There are three people in front of me. The shop is having a promotion for Christmas, asking people to donate £1 for a dog food in a local shelter for the holiday period. The three people in front of me all decline the request with a very short and abrupt ‘No.’ Then it is my turn.)

Cashier: “Would you like to donate to [Local Shelter] for a dog’s Christmas lunch?”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Cashier: “Oh, okay. Your total will be—”

Me: “I would like to pay for the three people who refused before me and one from me.”

Cashier: *surprised* “Wow, are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “Er, that will be [total] plus your donation of £4.”

Me: “You know what? I hate even numbers. Make it £5.”

Cashier: “…okay. Your total is now [new total].”

Me: *makes payment*

Cashier: “Can I ask, why did you pay extra?”

Me: “We recently lost our own dog after 14 years. This is my way of helping others in remembrance of our pet.”

Cashier: “I understand and I will make sure the [Local Shelter] gets told about this for you.”

They’re All Behaving Crackers

, , , , | Hopeless | February 2, 2018

(My wife and I take a coach tour up to the vineyards in Sonoma. It’s a Tuesday, so the bus, which leaves at 7:30 am, is full of pensioners, and us. The tour guide is obviously surprised to see us, but all is well once we explain that we’re on “vacation” for our honeymoon. He seats us near the front of the bus so we get a good view. On the way to the vineyards, we stop for a rest and coffee break in a small town, where the tour guide informs us:)

Tour Guide: “This where you buy your crackers. Crackers are REALLY expensive at the vineyards. You need to buy crackers here. HERE.”

(We’ve never been asked to provide our own crackers at a wine tasting before, but all the other patrons seem keen, so we follow along, and buy a small packet of eight crackers. As we get back on the bus every one of the pensioners is struggling under the sheer weight of the number of crackers that they’ve bought. Most have more than ten large packs each. More than you could reasonably eat in a month. I’m starting to wonder if crackers are a form of currency in wine country, like cigarettes in prison. Half an hour later we arrive at the first vineyard. As the bus stops, the other passengers are already barging each other out of the way, trying to get off first. Even though we’re at the front, no one allows us to get off until everyone has gone past us. Of course, they’re all rushing for the bathroom. Not a problem. Some older people need to use the facilities more regularly than most. By the time we get into the visitor center, the queue has formed, and they’re all arguing with each other:)

Pensioner #1: “I had two coffees back in town. Let me go first.”

Pensioner #2: “I had bowel cancer. I need to be given priority!”

Pensioner #3: “I’ve GOT bowel cancer right now. I need priority!”

(We make a mental note to make sure we’re off the bus quickly at the next stop, which is a larger vineyard that also has a restaurant as part of the visitor centre. I get into the bathroom ahead of the pensioners; there is only one cubicle, and two urinals. A man and a young boy enter behind me, and go into the cubicle. As I’m washing my hands, the mob of pensioners descends. They begin banging on the door to the cubicle.)

Pensioner #1:  “Get out. I’m a senior citizen. I need this more than you!”

(Then, the in-fighting starts again.)

Pensioner #2: “Hey, I told ya, I’ve got cancer. I need to use the cubicle.”

Pensioner #3: “We’ve all got cancer, buddy. Get back in line.”

(The man in the cubicle shouts that he is in there with his son, and will be out in a minute.)

Pensioner #1: “Hurry up!”

Pensioner #2: “I’m next.”

Pensioner #3: “No way. You went ahead of me at the last winery.”

(There’s jostling. Then pushing. I manage to squeeze past them to exit. They continue pounding on the door to the cubicle, as if that will make the little boy speed up. I find the tour guide chatting to the manager of the restaurant, and explain what’s happening. They both roll their eyes.)

Manager: “It’s always the Tuesday tour, ain’t it?”

(He walks back and shouts at the top of his voice for the seniors to behave themselves. The poor little boy comes out but has clearly been crying. The manager takes them up to the bar, and beckons my wife and me over as well.)

Manager: “All you guys, anything you want, it’s on the house today.”

Me: “Oh, that’s not necessary—”

Manager: “No, I insist. You’re visitors to this fine state of ours, and I want to make sure you have the best time.”

(We ordered a sharing platter starter, for which he insisted on doubling all the portions, including the wines, then gifted us a bottle to take home with us. After lunch there was another winery to visit, but the seniors were much better behaved this time. We were back by six pm, and watched as they all left the bus with their unopened boxes of crackers. I don’t think anyone had more than about four, anyway. Even though that was eight years ago, I still buy a bottle of the wine from the vineyard that made us so welcome, every time I see it. They do a mean Lodi Zinfandel.)

Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soul

, , , , | Hopeless | January 31, 2018

((A customer who I recognize from my shift yesterday walks in and comes to my register. I should note that she is Indian, and her family is vegetarian for religious reasons.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. What can I get you?”

Customer: “Well, I came in yesterday to get soup, and I got chicken noodle with my order. My family is vegetarian.”

Me: “I am so sorry about that, ma’am. I’ll go get the manager and we can do a refund—”

Customer: “No, no, we got all the soup that we wanted; there was just chicken noodle in the bag. I wanted to pay for it.”

Me: “Wait… You want to pay for soup that you didn’t want?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Did you eat it?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s fine. You got all the soup you wanted, and we don’t make customers pay for our own mistakes. Besides, you said your family was vegetarian.”

Customer: “But I would feel bad.”

Me: “I refuse to charge you for this soup, ma’am.”

(After that we awkwardly bid farewell to each other. The woman is now a regular, and I tell that story to every new employee. She is one of my favorite customers.)

Hard Work Gets A “Nice” Reward

, , , , , | Hopeless | January 29, 2018

(I am rushing through a busy day at a popular fast food place. I answer the drive through, take their order, and meet them at the window for payment.)

Me: “That’ll be $11.62, please.”

Customer: *looks at me, peers around, sees the enormous crowd inside, and then turns to her grade-school son* “See her?”

Son: “Yeah.”

(My stomach twists.)

Customer: “See how hard she’s working? And see how nice she’s being to us?”

Son: “Uh-huh.”

Customer: “It doesn’t matter what kind of job you get, or what you want to do when you grow up; as long as you’re like this nice lady, you can be whatever you want, okay?”

Son: “Okay!”

Me: *flabbergasted*

Customer: “I bet you get a lot of people belittling you because you work here, huh?”

Me: “You have no idea, actually.”

Customer: “Trust me, I do. I used to work for [rival Fast Food Place] while paying off tuition. The only consolation to that was watching their faces go red when I told them this. I’m guessing this isn’t your permanent job?”

Me: “No, actually. I’m an intern on weekends at the radio station.”

Customer: “And there you go. You’re not in the best place yet, but you will be.”

(She handed me the money, and I had a hard time ringing her up through the tears in my eyes. After she pulled to the other window, I snuck a few packs of cookies into their bag. Wherever you are, nice lady, thank you a hundred times over!)

Drowning In Hope

, , , , , | Hopeless | January 27, 2018

I am a swimming teacher. I just found out that one of my colleagues has suddenly passed away and that the family forgot to inform the club; we thought she was still recovering from a mild illness. I’ve known her for about 20 years, first as her student and later as her colleague. [Teacher] was a quirky one — for example, she would periodically dress in 100% pink, socks and shoes included — but she was a great teacher. If any kid was considered absolutely hopeless, she could manage to turn him or her into a decent or even good swimmer. I suddenly remembered an incident from about ten years ago.

We had a group of great swimmers going in for an exam. The kids were all around age 15, and had several certificates and diplomas. My dad, their teacher, decided to give them a special exam — a part they could not fail — and asked two parents to be drowning victims. The parents didn’t tell anyone about it, not even their son, who was in the exam. All teachers were informed… but my father forgot to inform [Teacher].

The parents pretended to fight on the side of the pool and “suddenly fell into the water.” They started splashing around, and we suddenly had a drowning situation. Their son was most confused, because he knew his parents could swim. He quickly realized it was part of the test, however, and was embarrassed.

However, because we forgot to inform [Teacher], she immediately went into lifeguard-mode, jumped into the pool, and started saving the parents. We tried to call her out of the pool, but [Teacher] wouldn’t faze easily; people needed to be saved.

When [Teacher] finally understood it was just part of the exam, she got out. One of the members of the board tried to get her out as well, but because of the chaos, he fell in, as well. To this day, my dad and the member of the board won’t tell me if this was planned or not.

The exam turned into a complete chaos, with [Teacher] shouting instructions from the side, three “victims,” kids trying to figure out how to save them, and several other teachers shouting to [Teacher] to just let the kids do their thing.

Like I said, the kids couldn’t fail and it was good test for them all, us included. And it was nice to know that [Teacher] would never just ask, just do. If this hadn’t been a test, these two parents would’ve been safe and sound, thanks to her quick thinking.

Page 5/162First...34567...Last
« Previous
Next »