A Few Shades Happier

, , , , | Right | July 3, 2020

Thanks to some fun genetics, I start finding gray hairs around age sixteen. It really picks up as I enter my mid-to-late twenties, and before age thirty, my temples are mostly gray, with streaks of white throughout the rest of my head.

Since I’m a brunette, it stands out quite a bit, and while I try not to let it bother me too much and I’m too stubborn to dye it, I’m a little insecure about it.

I’m at a conference with some work colleagues in another city, and we stop at a small restaurant near our hotel for dinner. I’m picking up my food at the counter when the cashier, a young man, says, unprompted, “Your hair is really pretty!” Nothing else; he just complimented me, smiled, and handed over my change.

My colleagues asked me what I was suddenly so happy about when I walked back to the table, and I didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the evening. Sometimes, little kind gestures can really make all the difference.

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Anger Danger

, , , , | Right | July 2, 2020

I am a customer at a well-known fast food restaurant. I’m also a single mother with a four-year-old son. We’ve sat down to eat in a booth when a customer takes exception to a rather well-mannered and happy worker. He is swearing very loudly so that everyone can hear him. I don’t hear most of it but there are a lot of obscenities.

Another customer turns to the angry customer and says, gesturing to my son:

Other Customer: “Hey, there are young children here. Have some respect.”

The angry customer is still loud but now a little sheepish.

Angry Customer: “Oh, there are kids here?”

This customer soon left. Afterward, the worker who was the “cause” of this came over to my booth and apologized, followed by the cashier and the assistant manager. I was so impressed with how the workers handled the whole situation that I called the 800-number to give feedback, and I ended up getting coupons for free milkshakes.

It made my week to see people in such terrible circumstances care about all their customers enough to apologize over a situation that was not their fault.

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A Smelly Symphony Saved!

, , | Working | July 1, 2020

I’ve recently moved very close to our city’s symphony orchestra center, and I want to attend performances when I can afford it. Unfortunately, the symphony is pretty expensive, and even a seat at the very back of the concert hall has to be budgeted for. 

I purchase my first ticket, and I am so excited! I figure, since you’re at the symphony to listen more than to watch, being at the back of the concert hall won’t be that bad. I make it to my seat, and just before the show starts I feel someone take the seat behind me. I am immediately engulfed in a cloud of noxious perfume, so bad my eyes start to water instantly. 

I’m a little sensitive to strong perfume or aerosol smells, but the average amount most people wear isn’t enough to trigger a reaction. This case is ridiculous. It’s like she’s DOUSED herself with the entire bottle. She also keeps fidgeting and leaning closer to the back of my seat as she rearranges herself, each time bringing the smell closer. 

I try to enjoy the music, but by the intermission I can barely keep my eyes open, my throat is burning, and my nose is clogged. I leap up and go outside for some fresh air. This symphony ticket is the most expensive thing I’ve bought for myself in months, and I think I am going to have to just deal with it. 

I am coming back inside when an older woman who is volunteering as an usher comes over to me. 

Usher: “Are you all right, sweetie?”

Me: “Huh? Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.”

Usher: “You look like you’ve been crying. Are you sure?”

Me: “Oh! No, it’s okay. I wasn’t crying, but the woman seated behind me has on some very strong perfume and it’s aggravating my sinuses.”

Usher: “Well, we can’t have that!”

She grabs my arm with a surprisingly strong grip and propels me over to the box office. 

Usher: *To the ticket agent* “This young lady needs a new seat, please. She’s having a reaction to another guest’s perfume and it’s affecting her ability to enjoy the symphony.”

Ticket Agent: “Of course!”

The ticket agent prints off a new ticket and hands it to the usher.

Ticket Agent: “I hope you enjoy the second half of the performance.”

All this is done in seconds, before I can even get a word in. Then, the usher has me by the arm again and we head down the stairs to the main floor of the concert hall. She leads me to an amazing seat in the center orchestra section. This seat easily costs twice what I paid for my original seat.

Me: “Wow, thank you so much! You didn’t have to move me to such a nice seat.”

Usher: “Nonsense! Everyone should enjoy their time at the symphony! You take care, now.” 

I got seated with just a few minutes to spare before intermission was over. Thankfully, no one around my new seat had the same perfume over-application as my previous seat, and I was able to truly enjoy the second half. It had honestly never occurred to me that I could ask to switch seats, if one happened to be open. Now I know, at least at this venue, that it’s an option.

Thank you again, kind usher lady. You made my first symphony experience so much better!

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There’s No Accounting For The Kindness Of Some People

, , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2020

I had to buy a new-to-me car when mine gave up the ghost. Happily, I found a three-year-old used car at my favorite dealership and started all the necessary paperwork. I had enough money for a sizable down payment but was still going to need the three-year plan to pay the car off.

When I sat down with the dealership’s “number’s guy,” he had one of the best senses of humor I’d ever seen in an accountant.

I have many acquaintances who are accountants and not one has a grain of humor in their being. I apologize to accountants on this site who are actual humans. I know you exist; I just haven’t met any of you.

We finally got to the nitty-gritty of the monthly payments and he quoted me a price that stunned me because of how low it was.  

Then, he said, “Oh, wait. I’m supposed to offer you [Product]. Do you want that?”

Truth was, I did want that. So, with the product added, the low price went up considerably, but it was still within my budget.

The accountant looked at it for a minute and shook his head.

“Gosh, I forgot you were in last week looking for the car when we were offering the discount. I’m such a klutz.”

“Um… I only just came in two days ago,” I said.

He said, rather sharply, “No, no, I distinctly remember discussing this with you last week. I know car shopping is stressful, but surely you remember coming in last week and discussing the discount.”

It took me a minute, but then I said, “Oh, right. Sure. Last week.”

He applied the discount, which reduced my payment below the original monthly payment he had quoted me.

That is one of the reasons I keep going back to that dealership for service and will probably buy my next car there, as well.

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Everyone Is Awesome!

, , , , , , | Right | July 1, 2020

I’m working at the cash register when two men enter the store. One of the men wants to return a pair of faulty shoes, while his friend waits by his side.

Me: “All right, guys. Let me call my manager down and we’ll get this started for you.”

I call my manager down, since they have to verify the return. I’ve only worked at the store for nine months, so I don’t have the authority to run anything through on my own.

Me: “Okay, it’ll just be a second. We have to call the managers down to start this.”

Customer: “That’s fine.”

Me: *Jokingly* “I can’t do it because I’m not awesome enough to be a manager.”

Customer’s Friend: *Very serious* “Why would you say that?”

Me: *Laughing* “It’s fine, believe me. I’m okay.”

Customers’ Friend: “You shouldn’t say that about yourself.”

My manager arrives and clears them for an exchange. They wander through the store for a bit and then come back to the registers to complete the transaction with my manager. I happen to finish with another customer at the same time. I turn around to watch the store for anyone needing help.

Customer’s Friend: “Hey!”

I turn to face him.

Me: “Yes?”

Customer’s Friend: “Don’t you do it. Don’t you say anything bad about yourself.”

I try to placate him.

Me: “All right. I am awesome, then.”

Customer’s Friend: “I have a friend who does that all the time. I get so angry at him. You should never self-defecate yourself.”

I blink for a second in shocked hilarity.

Me: “I won’t, sir, I promise.”

It took me a second to decipher what he meant from what he actually said. After he left the store, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate response than embarrassed laughter.

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