This Is A Tall Tale… From A Lobster

, , , , | Right | April 23, 2019

(My family goes out to eat at a higher-end and expensive chain restaurant known for fondue. About halfway through the meal, the server comes up to us.)

Server: “Is there anything else I can bring you?”

Dad: *jokingly* “How about a free lobster tail?”

(The server just laughed, but a few minutes later, she returned… with a free lobster tail! Turns out that she’d made an extra for another table by mistake and was just going to throw it out if not for my dad’s silly request.)


A Kindness Souvenir

, , , , | Hopeless | April 16, 2019

I have flown to Washington DC with my grandma to meet my aunt. I am returning home by plane, as my home is over a thousand miles away. As a minor — I turned fifteen a month ago — I can bring in my relatively small suitcase, but I run into a problem at the security checkpoint where the fluid in my suitcase — a souvenir — is a problem, and I will have to check in the luggage. Okay, no problem.

I make my way back and notice my grandma, who has watched me through the security checkpoint, has already left before the problem and is most likely currently going through security at her own gate. My aunt dropped us off but did not come in with us.

I head over to the check-in service and wait in line, before finally coming up to the nice lady manning the station. I’m socially anxious, as well as hard of hearing — I wear hearing aids — so it takes quite a while for me to understand and do everything; this is my first time doing it without parental help. She tells me it will be a $20 fee.

My mother has given me my personal debit card and has told me to never let my balance go below $10. However, I have spent quite a bit on souvenirs, bringing the total on my debit card to $12. I do not know this, so I hand her the debit card and it is declined. Slowly, it starts to sink in that I do not have enough money. I’m starting to panic and start texting my mom. Again, being socially anxious plus hard of hearing means I can’t hear my mom over the phone.

A few minutes later, she hasn’t texted me. I’m just awkwardly smiling at the other passerby while trying so very hard not to cry. She finally texts me, and my heart plummets when I read it. She can’t transfer money to my debit card.

I don’t want to bother my grandma to come back through security. I don’t have any change. And I’m currently a thousand miles away from home with no way getting there. I start crying, trying to cover up my tears, and sobbing and apologizing profusely to the lady. She’s offering a smile but it’s hopeless; I can’t get back. I can’t get rid of the souvenir, either, because my grandma got it for me, and it included some other things.

All a sudden, the lady working in the next booth over speaks up and pays for it — all $20. I honestly can’t remember what happened because it was all such a haze, but I was either too dumbfounded to utter a thank-you that sounded sincere or was thanking her non-stop.

Thanks to that lady, whom I can honestly not thank enough, I got home safely. I will always forever be grateful for her, and even as I’m writing this, I’m fighting back tears. She has my undying thanks. I wish I could find her and pay her back the $20.

After the ordeal, my mom and I have vowed I will now keep at least $30 in my debit account, working to make $100 in there and keeping it in there.

Kindness In A Bottle

, , , , | Hopeless | April 8, 2019

I usually save up my can and bottle recycling for when I’m pretty broke and need groceries. I took my recycling to a store in Downtown Crossings in Boston and noted that the plastic bottle machine was out of order. I took care of my can recycling and then counted my plastic bottles as another grocery store allows it. When I went to the customer service desk, I asked about counted bottles and was told yes, they allowed that. I said, “Thank you; that’s basically my grocery money for the rest of the month.” It came to about $15. I was told to go wait in the small eating area they have in the main store with my cart, and I thought they needed to get someone to take the full trash bag. When the cashier came back to me, she told me that she and a coworker wanted to help, so they got me a $50 gift card to the store. I was in tears and was so grateful for the card. She also gave me an ad so I could find sale items and make the card go further.

When I went to the registers, I told that cashier what happened and that I wanted to talk to a manager because they have awesome employees. The customer service cashier was called over but didn’t want me to give a compliment; all she wanted was for me to pray for her.

Living on Disability and needing a new computer made this last month pretty difficult because I couldn’t get any editing jobs, but thanks to this woman and her coworker, my month became much better. I did call the next morning and tell the store manager and he was delighted to have such wonderful employees. And my four brothers replaced my computer for me, so now I can get some editing jobs and not have to worry about groceries.

Entree-Level Honesty

, , , , | Hopeless | April 5, 2019

I’m pretty strapped for cash, but I am out running errands and really want to have lunch at a new favorite spot that is having a “buy-one-get-one-free” deal on their entrees. I get there on the last day of the deal and place my order, but I realize the cashier forgot the deal when he tells me my total, so I gently remind him. He re-rings my order, but he doesn’t tell me my new total.

I take my receipt, get my drink, and sit down to wait for my meal; I plan on having the second entree for dinner. Halfway through eating, I decide to check my receipt, just to see which entree was taken off, and am surprised to see that both entrees were deducted, and I was only charged for my drinks and a few extras.

I’m not going to lie; I am sorely tempted to not mention it, seeing as I am super broke, but as a longtime reader of NAR, I don’t want to be that customer. Besides, I’d hate to see the cashier get in trouble later for entering the order wrong.

So, when I’m ready to leave, I approach the cashier — off to the side, so as not to alert his manager — and quietly show him my receipt, explaining I’ll be more than happy to pay for the incorrectly-deducted entree. To my surprise, he alerts his manager and explains what happened. I make sure to point out that I do not want the cashier to be penalized in any way, and that I am ready to make good on the balance, but the manager doesn’t seem to mind. She says, “Don’t worry about it; today was your lucky day!”

I’m really grateful to both of them for cutting me a break and not making me pay for the extra entree. I think the employees were surprised I actually made them aware of the error and offered to pay, but I know “what goes around, comes around,” and had I snuck out without mentioning it, it would have come back to haunt me later. Honesty sometimes really is the best policy!

Your Car Is On The Highway To Hell

, , , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2019

(I am a customer witnessing this epic exchange. My tire goes flat in rural Florida. I get it to what has to be the only shop in 50 miles. I sit down to wait while the shop owner talks to another customer getting an oil change.)

Customer: *looks through the window into the work bay* “Hey! I don’t want that [Religious Slur] working on my car.”

Owner: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I said, I don’t want that [Religious Slur] working on my car!”

Owner: *after a pause* “Well, you’re in luck. Today at [Auto Shop], we’re giving out free life lessons. Today’s lesson? Don’t piss off the man who owns the lift your car is sitting on top of.” *opens the window to the bay* “[Mechanic], drop the [Car].”

Customer: “Hey! What the h*** are you doing?”

Mechanic: “It’s not done, boss.”

Owner: “Drop it anyway and push it to a parking spot.” *closes window*

Owner: “You see, that is [Mechanic]. He’s worked with me for ten years. He’s my best and fastest guy on oil changes. Given how long he’s had your car, I can say with complete certainty that your vehicle doesn’t have a drop of oil in it. And it’s not going to… not from my shop.”

(The owner hands the customer a business card.)

Owner: “That’s the number for the only tow truck that doesn’t charge extra for coming out this far. But I’m not sure he can help you once I call him. His kids are in little league with [Mechanic]’s kids. Given how long it takes other tow companies, I’m going to give you 45 minutes to get your vehicle out of my parking lot. Then, I’m going to call the sheriff’s office. [Deputy] is on shift today and his mom plays bingo with [Mechanic]’s wife every Saturday. I’m sure he’ll be willing to tow it to an impound lot for you. You’re also banned from my store, which makes you standing there trespassing. Feel free to wait outside, no closer than fifty feet from the building.”

Customer: *looks like he might say something, but just stands there, silent*

Owner: *steps forward, leaning into the customer’s face* “Thus endeth the lesson.”

Me: *applauding as the customer heads out towards his car*

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