A Fair Degree Of Encouragement

, | FL, USA | Hopeless | October 6, 2016

(I have put in my two weeks’ notice, as I am transferring colleges. My coworkers aren’t exactly supportive of this decision, as they think “no one needs a degree.” I am working a register when another coworker runs up to me…)

Coworker: “YOU RESIGNED?!”

Me: “Yup.

Coworker: “WHY?!”

Me: “Well, I’m transferring to [College], as they have a better program for the degree I want to get—”

Coworker: “You don’t need a degree! [Grocery Store] is a great company to work for, and they don’t require a degree!”

Me: “See, that’s the thing. I don’t want to work here forever.”

Coworker: “It’s a steady job! You’re not even guaranteed to find a job after you graduate! You’re crazy to throw this away.” *walks away*

(I roll my eyes and sigh, as I’ve had similar conversations with multiple coworkers in the last week. An older gentleman walks up to my register.)

Customer: “I couldn’t help overhearing. You are transferring to [College]?”

Me: “Yes, I am!”

Customer: “I graduated from there. So did my kids. You’ve made a good choice. You won’t have any problems finding a job after graduation.”

Me: “Thank you, sir!”

Customer: *leans in and whispers* “Don’t worry about what other people think. At the end of the day, you get to leave.” *shakes my hand* “Good luck, young lady.” *walks out*

(Two years later, I graduated with honors. I found employment in my degree field just a couple months after graduating. Thank you, nameless customer, for taking time out of your day to give me some encouragement.)

Be The Change (Giver) You Want To See In The World

, , , | Scotland, UK | Hopeless | October 3, 2016

(I am serving an elderly man at the checkouts — nothing unusual, as the local area has both sheltered housing and lots of bungalows.)

Me: “All right, your total is [amount].”

(Man #1 gives me change from his coin purse; I count it up.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, this is a pound short.”

(Man #1 opens his coin purse again, but it’s mostly coppers. If it has been less than 50 pence I could have used coupons, but as it is, there’s not much I can do. The next man in line catches my eye and puts a pound coin on the conveyer belt. I pick it up and add it to the others.)

Me: “Oh! Sorry, sir, one of the coins was hiding! That’s [amount].”

(Man #1 brightens up.)

Man #1: “That’s fine, lassie; happens to all of us.”

Me: “Enjoy your day!”

(Man #2 steps forward.)

Me: “Thank you.”

Man #2: “It’s fine; hopefully someone would help my dad if he was a bit short.”

(I ended up using a 50p coupon for Man #2, based on a tiny dent on a cereal box. Not really supposed to for such tiny, near non-existent damage, but I was really glad to that man, both for helping the elderly gentleman and for doing so in a way that let him keep his pride!)

Hope For Humanity? It’s In The Bag

, , , | Gray Summit , MO, USA | Hopeless | August 22, 2016

(I have just found out about a discount grocery store. This store has items that are close to expiration dates and sell at a really low price. I usually can’t afford to get all the groceries needed for my house.)

Cashier: “Your total is $27.47.”

Me: “Oh, I don’t have that. Let me put a few things back.” *starts looking at the items I will return*

(An an older fellow I assume is the owner is bagging my things.)

Man: “Tell you what. You pay what you can, sign the receipt, and come back when you get caught up and pay us, okay?”

Me: “Thank you! I don’t have much, and I have family coming and don’t want my house to be empty; this means so much! *near tears as I sign the receipt*

Man: “Not a problem. You come back when you get caught up, if you get caught up, and pay us, all right?” *pats my shoulder as I leave, while I’m almost crying*

(Sir, you have no idea how much that meant to me. I got enough groceries for snacks, and even a full meal, when I had nothing. I will continue to shop there just on principle.)

On The House, By And Large

, , , , | Newark, DE, USA | Hopeless | August 18, 2016

(It’s chilly so I’ve decided to get a cup of cocoa on my way home and stop at a VERY well known coffee shop. It’s my first time going to this shop seeing as I don’t drink coffee.)

Barista: “Hi there! What’re you interested in today?”

Me: “Uhm, can I just get a medium hot chocolate with whipped cream?”

Barista: “Are you sure you don’t want a large? They’re free today!”

Me: *looking around for any promotional banners* “Are you sure? Is there some kinda promotion going on?”

Barista: “Nope. Register’s broken so the drinks are on the house today!”

Drive It Forward, Part 3

, , | Montreal, QC, Canada | Hopeless | July 10, 2016

(It’s December 26th and it’s raining pretty hard. I am waiting for the bus without an umbrella, on my way back from shopping for cookie-baking material. A man is waiting besides me, also without an umbrella. A car stops in front of us, a lady at the wheel.)

Driver: “Hop in! I’ll drive you as close to your destination as possible!”

(The man and I briefly hesitate, but it’s Christmas and we’re soaked. The driver makes pleasant chat before dropping him, then me, at our chosen destinations.)

Driver: “Just pay it forward when you can!”

(The next day, I’m waiting in line at a thrift store with my purchases. An older lady in front of me is exchanging items, but she’s missing $10 to complete the transaction.)

Me: *handing a $10 note towards the cashier* “Excuse me?”

Cashier: *thinking I’m impatient to pay for my own purchases* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you’ll have to wait until I’m done with the lady.”

Me: “Oh, no, I mean to pay for the difference for her.”

Lady: *stunned* “What? Are you sure?”

Me: “It’s frozen all over outside now, so it’ll be safer for you not to make the trip back here. I received a very helpful kindness just yesterday, so this is me paying it forward.”

(She thanked me profusely, and agreed she would pay it forward herself. I do wonder what she did to continue the chain!)

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