A Pretty Nice Change From The Norm

, , | Hopeless | July 18, 2016

(I am working as a checkout operator in a local supermarket. The town has always been fairly rough; pretty high poverty rates, a lot of gang activity, etc. The clientele of the supermarket generally reflected this, and most customers are pretty gruff. A little boy and his mother approach my checkout with a small shop; not too many items.)

Little Boy: *as he approaches me sitting in the trolley* “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!”

Mum: *laughs* “He’s been saying this to everyone all the way around the supermarket today.”

Me: “Hi, kiddo! How are you today?”

Little Boy: “Good! You’re really pretty!”

Mum: “He hasn’t said that to anyone else!”

Me: *to the little boy* “Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say!”

(It may not have been much, but I’ve always been very self-conscious about my appearance, so it’s lovely to hear someone say that, even if it was a four-year-old boy!)

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Getting A Leg Up On Your Day

, , , | Hopeless | July 13, 2016

(I have ME/CFS but am also in the somewhat difficult position of being a carer for both of my parents. On days when my ME is bad, I tend to use crutches or a walker. On this particular day, my parents, who are both elderly and partially disabled, are both unable to walk more than a few steps but since we need to go shopping, I push my mum in her wheelchair and use that as a walker, while my dad hires one of the store mobility scooters. My parents and I have reached one side of the shop when I suddenly remember I need to go back to the other for coffee and cereal, so they ask to stay where they are while I head off. I’m limping badly because of severe sciatica and have just picked up the cereal and reached the coffee aisle when I hear a voice beside me.)

Boy: “I’ve got one of those!”

(I look down at the box of cereal and see an advertisement for a ball inside it. I debate just smiling and shrugging it off, but see his parents nearby with the good old ‘here we go again’ look on their faces.)

Me: “Really? They look cool! I got a smaller box last week but there was nothing in that one.”

Boy: “Yeah! I got that one.” *points to the ball in question* “It’s a special one!”

Me: “Oh, wow! I’m gonna have to be really lucky to get that then.”

Boy: “Yeah, but the other ones are cool, too. You’ll have to see which one you get. It could be good!”

Me: “I will. Thanks for the tip!”

(I grinned at him and then looked at the parents, who gave me bright smiles as the boy ran back to his mum before his dad paused to tell me that the boy was actually very shy and I was the first person to listen to him chatter about the toy he got. He thanked me, but that was the first time that day when I hadn’t felt close to tears from the pain in my leg and had actually forgotten about it, and being scared of people myself, getting to talk with that little boy and his parents was a joy. I think it’s me who owes them more thanks!)

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Made Your Day Magical, Part 2

, , , | Hopeless | July 12, 2016

(This story takes place a couple of years ago. There is a comic and game store inside a local mini mall that I frequently visit to play Magic: the Gathering. It is between rounds in a small tournament they’re hosting, so I am passing the time on a bench just outside the store. Across from the store is a hair and nail salon, and I see a little girl start crying. I get up and approach the girl and her mother.)

Me: “Is everything okay? What happened?”

Girl: *crying* “Mommy, owie!”

Mother: *to me* “It’s okay. She just pinched her finger a little in the door.”

(The mother turns to her daughter and begins to comfort her. I look down at my phone and see my cell phone charm of an anime character I really like. I take the charm off my phone and hand it out for the girl.)

Me: “This is [Anime Character], and he always does a good job of making me feel better whenever I’m sad or hurt. I’ll let you borrow him for a little while if you promise to take care of him, okay?”

Girl: *wipes her eyes and nods, taking the charm* “Thank you…”

(I headed back into the game store for the next round of the tournament. When I came back out during the next break the girl’s mother was waiting for me near the bench and returned my charm to me, telling me that her daughter was feeling much better and wanted to thank me for what I did. In the end I placed near the bottom in the Magic tournament, but I’m glad I was able to brighten that little girl’s day.)


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While You’re Waiting To (Card)Board

, , , | Hopeless | July 11, 2016

I am returning home from spending the holidays with my significant other and his family in the UK (I live in the US). However the return trip involves an eight-hour layover in Chicago, plus on top of that, when I land I find that the domestic flight I’m booked on is going to be delayed for another four hours.

Having just endured a sixteen-hour transatlantic flight plus having to face another twelve hours stuck in the airport, I’m a bit on the grumpy side. I do everything I can to pass the time, get lunch, wander around the shops in the concourse, get dinner, etc. About ten hours in I am very noticeably irritable so I just head to my gate where I hide in a corner with my iPad so I don’t have to interact with anyone and end up being one of THOSE passengers.

I’m sitting in the corner watching a video on my device and grumbling to myself when I feel someone tug on my sleeve. I look up to see this kid who can’t be more than four years old. I glance around seeing his mother sitting nearby watching, I take off my headphones and mustering up as much politeness as I can:

Me: “Yes? Did you need something?”

He hands me a piece of scrap cardboard that he had scribbled on with his crayons.

Boy: “Hi. You don’t look very happy so I made this for you.”

I could barely hold back the waterworks as I take his little present.

Me: “Thanks so much, sweetie; it’s exactly what I needed!”

I put it in my bag as he happily ran off back to his mom. I still have that scrap of cardboard hanging on my wall.

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Goofing Around Is Free

, , , | Right | July 7, 2016

(I am working the register, and a mother with two children comes in. We proceed through the transaction as usual, until the time came for payment. She hands me a $100 bill. I hold it up to the light, as one step of ensuring its authenticity.)

Guest: “When you hold it up the light, he sticks his tongue out.”

(The children giggled, and I smiled.)

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