He Just Got Awned

, , , , | Right | October 3, 2018

(I work in a small convenience store in a town that’s very quiet out of season, and very busy during holidays. We sell the usual essentials you’d find in a corner shop: bread, milk, eggs, tobacco, etc. The store is TINY; you can see all the products wherever you stand because there are no aisles.)

Customer: “Hi, I’ve come here on my holiday, but I left my caravan awning at home. Do you sell them?”

Me: *jokingly* “If you can find one in here amongst the pasta and tinned beans, I’ll sell it to you!”

Customer: *actually starts moving tins of beans around to look underneath them*

Me: “Wait! Stop! What are you doing?!”

Customer: “You said you had an awning under the beans!”

Me: “I was just kidding, dude! Do you want directions to a specialist store in [Nearby Town]?”

Customer: “Yes, but first could you tell me… what I should have been looking for?”

(Turns out he’d been lying about forgetting the awning at home; he didn’t even know what it was! He came back the next day having purchased one from a specialist, and he comes back with his kids every holiday now and pretends to look for an awning under the beans. They’re some of my favourite seasonal customers!)

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!)

Disservice With A Smile

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2018

(I work in a high-end department store known for its excellent customer service. In fact, one of our mottos is, “We wear smiles, not name tags.” We’re trained to smile and ask customers if they’re finding everything all right when they’re in our department, if they’re not already being helped by someone else. I’m currently ringing up a gentleman in my department when a young woman runs over to him from the ladies’ shoe department.)

Dad: “Did you find any you like?”

Daughter: “No, I can’t stay over there. There are too many salespeople.”

Dad: “Were they being too aggressive?”

Daughter: “No, they were all just asking me if I was doing okay. I can’t stay over there!”

Dad: *long pause* “Honey, this is [Store], and that’s their job. That’s why I shop here. Let’s go to [Other Store]; they’ll ignore you there.”

(Thanks, Dad, for recognizing and appreciating the difference between being attentive and being aggressive.)

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!)

Allies From The Most Unexpected Places

, , , | Hopeless | September 17, 2018

(A guy walks into a bakery, looking uncomfortable. As I’m looking at the cupcakes, I overhear the conversation.)

Guy: “Do you have something… gay?”

Cashier: “Gay, sir?”

Guy: “Yeah… like rainbows or something. Do you have something gay?”

Cashier: “Um… We could certainly make a rainbow cake. What’s the occasion?”

Guy: “See, one of my employees, he was talking about his birthday coming up, and he said he was going to celebrate it with his partner, Richard. And then he kind of… Well, I think I was kind of shocked. So, I want to let him know I’m okay with the gay thing. Do you have anything like that?”

Cashier: *lights up* “Absolutely, sir! I have some pictures of our rainbow decorations, here. Would you like a cupcake or a full cake? We also have mini personal-size cakes.”

(The guy spent a while looking at designs and trying to find a good cake. As a gay person, this really warmed my heart. It proves that you don’t have to understand something or be comfortable with it to be good about it.)

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