In Great Loss There Can Be Great Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 5, 2018

(Three weeks after the sudden loss of my daughter, I decide it’s time to take off the plastic hospital bracelet that matched hers, and have it replaced with an engraved bracelet. I find a store that carries jewelry, keepsakes, photo albums, dishware, awards, meaningful gifts, etc., that can all be engraved or personalized. I find a very nice silver bracelet and take it up to the counter to ask about having it engraved. There are two women, and the older one gestures to the younger one to help me while she’s with another customer. The younger woman comes over to me.)

Woman: *brightly* “Hi. How are you? What can I do for you today?”

Me: “Hi. I was hoping to get this bracelet engraved, and I’m wondering if there’s a character limit here.”

(The young woman turns to her coworker, and the coworker hands her a catalogue inventory book. The woman turns back to me.)

Woman: *flipping through book* “Thank you so much for your patience. Today is my first day. Okay, what did you want to have put on it?”

Me: “[Daughter’s Full Name], and I was wondering if I’d be able to get a couple of dates on the charm?”

(In addition to the main part of the bracelet, there is a small, heart-shaped charm near the clasp.)

Woman: “Of course!” *pulling out an order form and starts writing* “Okay, so, it was [Daughter’s Full Name]. And then on the charm…”

Me: *gives daughter’s birthdate*

Woman: *writing, pause* “You said a couple. Was there another date?”

Me: *deep breath* “Yes. To [date a few months later].”

(The young woman stops. She looks at me. I can feel my eyes starting to water.)

Woman: *quietly* “Was this your baby?”

(I nod, struggling to hold back tears. She steps forward and wraps her arms around me, giving me a warm hug.)

Woman: *stepping back* “My sister lost her baby. It’s been fourteen years; it’s still hard. But you will get through this.”

(I pulled myself together, and we finished placing the order and agreed to pick up in about an hour. When I returned, the young woman recognized me as I walked in and had everything ready by the time I got to the counter. Everything looked absolutely beautiful. It may have been her first day, but I think she will do very well in this particular shop. Her warmth and kindness gives me hope.)

Zero Nutritional Information Must Mean Zero Calories!

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2018

(I’m ordering food from a popular fast food chain. I see an advertisement outside about their new chicken sandwich. Inside, there’s only one other customer, and the cashier.)

Me: *to the cashier* “Sorry, do you happen to have the nutritional info on the new [Sandwich]?”

Cashier: “I don’t know for certain, but it might be on the board over there.”

(She gestures to the board on the wall showing nutrition facts for most of their items. I check the board and it’s not there. This makes sense, as it’s a new item.)

Me: “Nah, it’s not there. I’m sorry; I’m just bad at making decisions.”

(A customer who has been standing to the side chimes in.)

Customer: “Ah, c’mon, man! You can be good to yourself tomorrow; just get the thing, already!”

Me: “I’ve been good to myself today. This is my only meal!”

Cashier: “Exactly! You can worry about nutrients later!”

Customer: “Yeah, dude, you deserve this! It’s the holiday season, after all!”

Me: “All right, fine. I’ll get the [Sandwich] with fries and a diet [Soda].”

Customer: “See, there you go! A diet soda cancels out all the calories!”

Me: “Yeah, but haven’t you heard? Aspartame cancer, apparently.”

Cashier: “Cancer can wait. Besides, we’ll have a cure by the time you’re old!”

(We all shared a laugh. This exchange guaranteed I’ll be going back!)

Squishing A Customer’s Demands For A Discount Is Oh So Satisfying

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2018

(I work in a bakery. We mark down items that are due off the shelf that day for quick sale, as well as anything that is damaged. A woman comes up to me carrying a loaf of our expensive cheese and garlic bread that I KNOW is fresh, because I just baked and put it out myself.)

Customer: “You need to mark this down for me!”

Me: “Hi, ma’am, nice to see you. What’s wrong with it?”

Customer: “Are you blind? What kind of standards do you have? The top is all squished!”

(Note that while the rest of the loaves we bake and sell have rounded tops, the way this bread is baked, combined with the toppings and other ingredients, means it always comes out brick-shaped. It even comes with its own special label that we affix that has a photo of it on the front, showing how it’s supposed to look. She does not listen when I point this out.)

Customer: “[Company] is supposed to be all about quality… Does this look like quality to you?”

(She’s getting more and more obstinate, even jabbing a finger at my chest. Normally, I wouldn’t care enough to fight her on it, since I can issue markdowns easily, but I am not about to enable her attitude.)

Me: “It looks as it was intended to look, ma’am.”

Customer: “Don’t get smart with me. Do you want me to get your manager over a discount I know you can make?”

Me: “You know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. I see your point now. This is unacceptable.”

(She hands me the bread, looking incredibly smug… right until I crush it into a ball in front of her and nearly spike it into the trash can, still smiling politely at her.)

Me: “Obviously, we can’t offer such shoddy product to our customers. Thank you for letting me know so I could dispose of it. Have a good day!”

(While at the time it was easily one of the most satisfying moments I’ve ever had at work, in hindsight I’m amazed she didn’t go try to get me fired. Instead, she just stared at me looking startled and confused, then turned and ambled off like nothing had happened.)

The Shoe Doesn’t Fit Like A Regional Manager

, , , , | Working | November 27, 2018

(I go shoe shopping with my mom and brother. Earlier in the summer, Mom had two surgeries: a lumbar fusion and a partial knee replacement. She is walking on a cane, but moving very slowly. We get inside and are immediately greeted by a guy that works there. He has my mom sit down on the bench while he runs around and gets her different shoes to try on. This takes a while, since Mom can only try on one shoe at a time, and she has special inserts she has to put in each shoe she tries on. As soon as he is done helping her, he leaves. We all grab our shoes and head for the checkout.)

Mom: “Oh, I hope I didn’t keep him too long after he was supposed to leave.”

Cashier: “Oh, he’s not a worker here.”

Mom: “He’s not?”

Cashier: “No. That was our district manager.”

Never Get Tired Of Heroes

, , , , | Working | November 22, 2018

(My one-year-old car has been making an odd sound ever since I got it inspected at the dealership. I have taken it back twice, but they tell me it’s fine. I am now at the tire shop, buying snow tires.)

Tire Shop Owner: “Okay, I’ve got those tires you want in stock. With mounting and installation, the total will be [amount].”

Me: “Great. Can we get them on today?”

Tire Shop Owner: “I’m actually pretty slow today. You can have a seat; I’ll pull the car in, get the guys working, and then come out and finish the payment.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(I sit down to wait. I see him pull the car in and put it up on the lift, and he and a worker move towards the tires. The worker stops suddenly and calls over the boss, and they both look at the tire. Then the owner bursts into the waiting room.)

Tire Shop Owner: *yelling* “Who was the last person to take off your tires?!”

Me: “Um, I can’t remember. Oh! I guess they took them off to inspect brakes when I had it inspected.”

Tire Shop Owner: “WHERE?!”

Me: “Uh, the dealership, on [Street].”

(He marches back out to the car, checks the inspection stickers, and storms back into the waiting room. He grabs a sheet of paper off the desk and violently punches numbers into the phone. I can, of course, only hear his side of the conversation.)

Tire Shop Owner: “Yeah, it’s [Tire Shop Owner]. Put [Employee] on NOW!… [Employee]! I have [My Name] here, getting snow tires. She says your guys were the last ones to take off tires. Her car was inspected on [date]… YES! There’s a problem! My guys just took off lug nuts with their fingers!

(At this point he launches into an expletive-filled rant about the dangers, talks about how I should be suing them, threatens to never recommend them again. I actually lose some of the conversation because he’s yelling so loud and there are so many expletives thrown in that I am having a hard time not laughing. He finally hangs up and turns to me.)

Tire Shop Owner: “Ma’am, I am so sorry. You should not have had to listen to that. I’m going to be taking something off your bill today as an apology for my behavior. That just wasn’t right.”

(I’m stunned into silence for a second.)

Me: “You’re apologizing for screaming at the service manager who told me repeatedly that my car was fine when it was actually dangerous? No, you’re not taking something off the bill. I should actually be paying extra for this. He’s been nothing but trouble, but the car is still under warranty and they are the only dealership around.”

Tire Shop Owner: “Well, I don’t think he’ll be a problem anymore. If he is, tell him you’re calling me.”

(We finished the transaction and I took the car home. By the time I got there, I had a message from the dealership owner, apologizing and telling me that I had a credit on my account for a free inspection next year. When I went in the next time, the service manager was afraid to make eye contact.)

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