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.)

Kindness Has Found Her Calling

, , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2018

(I work in a call centre that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve just experienced a huge snow storm, which is completely out of the ordinary for Ireland, and the call centre had to close for two days. When we reopen, it is incredibly busy, and customers are furious at how long it is taking to get through. Then, I get this lady.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to customer services. This is [My Name] speaking. Apologies for the long wait, and thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry about me. You’re obviously very busy today.”

Me: “Yes, I do apologise about that. We’re just experiencing a backlog after being closed because of the snow. I can log a complaint for you, if you wish?”

Customer: “Oh no, no, no. I used to work in a call centre myself. Tell me, what’s your target handling time for calls?”

Me: *confused* “Um, five minutes?”

Customer: “Okay, so I’ve been speaking to you for just under a minute. That means I can continue to talk to you for four minutes without ruining your stats.”

Me: “Okay. And what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Oh, nothing at all. I just know how awful the customers must be treating you today, so I wanted to ring and have a friendly chat so your day isn’t all bad. I’m ringing the call centres of any suppliers I use and doing the same thing. You shouldn’t be shouted at all day because it snowed.”

(She genuinely had no query, and just filled the next few minutes with idle chit-chat. She just wanted at least one person to get a nice call on what was an otherwise awful day. We were so busy that she must have waited nearly an hour just to be nice to someone for five minutes!)

Customers Make You Go He-He

, , , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(This happens in a supermarket. I’m standing at a register, ready to pay, when a customer comes in holding several inflated balloons, asking to return them. The cashier is a young girl and obviously new, so she doesn’t know what to do and calls for a manager.)

Manager: “How can I help?”

Customer: “I’d like to return these.”

Manager: “Why?”

Customer: “They don’t float!”

Manager: “What?”

Customer: “I inflated them all myself; they don’t float!”

Manager: “How did you inflate them?”

Customer: “With a bicycle pump.”

Manager: “So, you inflated them with air. That’s why they don’t float. If you want them to float, you need to fill them with helium.”

Customer: “That doesn’t make sense! The air in the balloon is not heavier than the air in the… air.”

Manager: “But the air in the balloon plus the weight of the rubber is.”

Customer: “Wait…”

(You can almost hear the gears in the customer’s head start to grind.)

Customer: “Actually… it does make sense… D*** it, I’m stupid… but where can I get helium now?”

Manager: “I suggest you go to [Hardware Store]; they should have some. Keep in mind, though, helium bottles are large and heavy, so you’ll need a large car and some helping hands.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

(The customer hurries out of the store. The manager stares after her. A worker steps up to the manager.)

Worker: “Did she actually just admit that you were right and she was wrong?”

Manager: “Remember this day well. You’ll probably win the lottery twice before this happens again.”

Restroom Does Not Provide Restful Encounters

, , , , | Right | August 27, 2018

(We only have two bathrooms. We have signs posted that say, “Customers only; ask attendant for key,” and we are very strict on this rule. People come in a lot while we are in the middle of helping actual customers, and ask us to use the bathroom. Today a woman comes in and interrupts me as I am ringing up a customer.)

Woman: “May I have the key to the bathroom?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to purchase something before I can give you the key.”

Woman: *gets very snotty* “Well, I was going to buy something, but now I am going to take my business elsewhere!”

Me: “I apologize, but these are the rules.”

Woman: “Whatever. You’re going to lose a lot of business for this stupid f****** rule!”

Customer: *gets annoyed because I still haven’t been able to ring them up* “You have no right to speak to her like that. You’re the one who is interrupting her as she is trying to help a real customer. And you weren’t going to buy s***, just use this place as a rest stop. No wonder they have these rule: because of people like you!”

Woman: “It’s still a stupid rule!” *now embarrassed, storms out to her car*

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