It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas

, , , , | Right | December 20, 2019

(It’s December, a week or two before Christmas. I’m walking back toward the office when I see a man coming up an aisle near the restrooms. I pause for a moment to greet him and ask if he needs any help, and he pauses to think.)

Customer: “Actually, yes. This is going to sound really weird, and you’ll probably never hear it again. Your store has the best-smelling public restrooms I’ve ever been in.”

(I pause and blink at him for a minute.)

Me: “Well, thank you! We try to keep them clean!”

(I then proceeded to answer another of his questions and try to help him find an item he was actually looking for. Definitely my favorite interaction of the week.)

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From The Mouth Of Babes

, , , , , , , | Right | December 18, 2019

Our family went out for dinner one evening. As the waitress came to take our order, we could see that she looked like she was having a terrible day. She looked like she was completely exhausted and worn out. She took our orders and left, returning to the table shortly with our drinks orders. My nine-year-old son looked up, gave her a big smile, and said, “Awesome service!”

Her whole face lit up. From then on, we received VIP treatment, everything was perfect, she couldn’t do enough for us. We asked for her name and told her manager the service was great. Every time we went after that, we asked for her, and every time, we got amazing service and big smiles.

Sometimes just a kind word or two can make such a difference.

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Paying It Forward: Birthday Special

, , , , | Right | December 15, 2019

(One of our regulars usually stops in with a friend on Monday nights for our special. He’s a college kid on a budget tight enough to only get one meal a day, but he’s always upbeat and fun to talk to, even if he can only tip around 10% most of the time.)

Me: “Same burger as usual?”

Customer: “Nope. It’s my birthday, and I just got a gift card, so we get to splurge a little bit tonight. Just no singing, please.”

Me: *chuckle* “You got it.”

(For splurging, the two of them stay pretty frugal, and the bill comes to just under twenty dollars.)

Customer: “Thanks, and hey, can you do me a favor? Next time someone gets caught without their wallet, or you see someone who’s had a bad day or something, can you have them use this for me?”

Me: “Sure.”

(To my astonishment, he not only left me a 25% tip, but there were still 25 dollars left on the card. We managed to cheer up a couple of break-up victims a couple of weeks later, and though he doesn’t know it, he hasn’t been charged for a drink since.)

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The Power Of Politeness  

, , , , , | Right | December 12, 2019

(I work a summer internship at a local electric cooperative. One afternoon, I’m working the front desk when several of our power lines go down. This leads to about an hour of people calling to report outages and ask how long they’ll be out of power. It’s busy enough that every time we finish a call, the phone immediately rings again. Sometime in the middle, I get a call from an older gentleman. I give the standard greeting.)

Customer: “Hello, how are you?”

(I’m surprised enough that it takes me a couple of seconds to respond.)

Me: “I’m doing all right, how are you?”

Customer: “Good, thank you.”

(He reported his outage, staying pleasant even when I told him I didn’t know how long power would be out. It’s been over a year, and I still smile thinking about it. A little politeness can go a long way!)

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Looking After Those Who Look Over  

, , , | Hopeless | December 6, 2019

(I’ve had possibly the worst six months of my life, but recently everything is finally looking up. This week, I paid off a hefty loan and flew my sister from another state for brain surgery, completely out of my own pocket as my mother is extremely poor. A regular of mine comes in while I’m working and starts chatting away. My phone buzzes in the drawer next to me.)

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s the hospital calling again. My partner is there, though; I’m sure everything is fine.”

Customer: “Oh, doesn’t he work nights? He should be asleep! And why are you here? You should be there.”

Me: “Well, I wasn’t going to let a three-year-old go blind because she couldn’t get treatment, and medical bills are expensive. You know what [Customer’s Husband]’s bills are like. [My Partner] and I have been switching staying with her, so we can both work and she’ll have someone to wake up to.”

Customer: “Oh… you did all that for her? You’re not getting anything back, either, are you?”

Me: “Family isn’t expendable; money is. We both work. We’ll be fine. I just want her to open her eyes.”

Customer: “That’s so kind of you.”

Me: “It’s not; it’s human decency. How’s your husband doing? And the kids?”

(We continue talking through the hefty transaction, and as I hand her receipt to her, she takes my hand and pushes paper into my palm.)

Customer: “You look after me, and everyone else it seems. Make sure you’re okay, too. Put that in your pocket and don’t lose it.”

(I thanked her and continued my shift. When I got to finally see what it was, I realised she’d handed me cash. I unashamedly cried. The next day, my sister opened her eyes to see — for the first time — a teddy bear the size of her, which is now the customer’s namesake.)


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