Cooking Up A Sweet Moment

, , , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2020

(At the particular place in the college cafeteria where I like to eat, you tell the person behind the counter what you want, and they circle it on an order pad and hang it up for the cooks to see. The people who write the orders also do the cooking if there aren’t very many coworkers on duty.)

Me: “I’d like a grilled cheese on wheat, please.”

(The cook hesitates and stares at the pad for at least a minute. The longer it goes on, the more panicked he begins to look. After a while, I decide to help him out and point to where “GRILLED CHEESE” is written.)

Cook: *circling my order* “Oh, thank you! One moment, please.”

(He hangs up the order for his coworker and comes back to wait for other kids. Since it’s before the lunch rush, though, I’m the only one there, and I decide to make small talk.)

Me: “Are you new?”

Cook: “Yeah, just started an hour ago.”

Me: “You looked kind of freaked out there.”

Cook: *sheepish* “I’ve heard stories from the others.”

(I can only imagine; just a few weeks ago, a girl threw a tantrum in the middle of the cafeteria because she couldn’t get a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, which this particular cafeteria does not offer.)

Me: “Vegan grilled cheese girl?”

Cook: “Among other things.”

(Now my sandwich is done, and I have to go.)

Me: *waving* “Well, good luck with the job!”

Cook: *waving back* “Thanks! I’m going to need it!”

(About a week later, I run into him during a slow hour; he’s the only one working the kitchen, so that means he both takes my order and makes my food. I order another grilled cheese sandwich before deciding to chat some more.)

Me: “You know what would be really cool? If you guys allowed the option to put vegetables or something on the sandwiches.”

Cook: *grins* “Yeah, that does sound pretty good.”

Me: “Anyway, how’s the job been?”

Cook: *peering at me* “Oh! You’re the girl from last week!”

Me: “Um, I guess so?”

Cook: “Okay, one moment, let me get your food ready.”

(After a few minutes, my sandwich is done.)

Me: “Thanks a lot!”

Cook: “Hey, no problem. It’s always nice to see a friendly face.”

(I took the sandwich and went back to my dorm to eat. When I unwrapped it and bit into it, I discovered that he’d put diced tomatoes and onions in it! Just that little gesture made me tear up a little bit. Thank you, whatever your name is! Your special sandwich was delicious and kept me smiling for the rest of the day!)

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It Pays To Look Out For Each Other

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(I have been receiving government benefits for a little while after leaving a violent relationship and being homeless. I finally get my own place and inform the agency responsible for the benefits; they tell me will send a rent certificate out so my landlord can sign it so I’ll receive assistance in paying rent. Fast forward a month: despite asking numerous times for it, it never arrives. I’m just managing to pay my rent but have very little left for food, bills, and essential medication. I go into an office to get one so my landlord can sign it before leaving the country for three months. I spend an hour and a half waiting for two pieces of paper, run and get my landlord to sign what he needs to, and then head back to the office. I wait another hour for a lady to take the papers.)

Lady #1: “It will be in your next pay.” *starts to walk off*

Me: “Excuse me, but I’ve waited for a month for the rent certificate. I really need the money. Shouldn’t I get back paid?”

Lady #1: “It will be with your next pay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I was told it could be done immediately. I would also like to know how much the assistance will be.”

Lady #1: “Fine, take a seat and I’ll find out.”

(I wait another twenty minutes.)

Lady #1: “It will be [amount that’s $50 less than should be] and will be with your next pay. If you want money now, you have to get on the phone.” *walks away*

(I get on the phone to a department that is notorious for keeping people waiting and then not helping. I am extremely lucky to get a woman who goes above and beyond. She messages the lady I originally dealt with to actually upload the paperwork — which she hasn’t done — and gets the amount I am to receive corrected. Because the office I am in is closing, the lady I originally dealt with tells me I have to leave. The second lady promises to call me on my mobile once she has everything sorted out. Twenty minutes later, [Lady #2] calls me and verifies who I am.)

Lady #2: “I have some good news: [correct amount] will be in your account overnight. I’m sorry for what happened today at the office but I’ve had four people working on it and it has been escalated to a supervisor.”

Me: “Thank you so much. Everyone else I’ve dealt with didn’t care, but you’ve been amazing. I really appreciate it.”

Lady #2: “Not a problem; I’m glad I could help. Now you mentioned you need medication; is there anything else you need tonight? I won’t be able to give a lot right now as the money will be in your account tomorrow, but I can see what I can do.”

Me: “Just my meds, which will be about [amount], and something for dinner.”

Lady #2: “What about getting home? It’s too hot to be walking long distances.”

Me: “I have enough on [travel card] to get home. Thank you.”

Lady #2: “Okay, I’ve just put [amount] on your account, which means you’ll get [amount] tomorrow. Things will get better; keep your head up.”

Me: *now crying* “Thank you so much. You’ve been amazing. No one else I’ve talked to has cared. Thank you, have an amazing rest of your day.”

(This might not seem like a lot, but the second lady I spoke too really went above and beyond to get it sorted and make me feel better. So, to the lady, if you’re reading this, thank you; your kind words and going the extra mile to fix others’ mistakes for someone on the end of the phone really made a difference.)

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Reading NAR Can Get You Free Pizza!

, , | Right | January 13, 2020

(My husband and I are both having a bad day, so I decide to get some pizza. I get to a pizza chain and order two pizzas. I calmly wait and things should be done in ten to fifteen minutes. However, after eight minutes, one of the girls hurries to me.)

Employee: “I am so sorry, but there was a mistake with your order. We need to redo one of the pizzas.”

Me: “Oh, sure. Go ahead.”

Employee: “I’m really sorry.”

Me: *being a long-time lurker at NAR* “I can go and shout, but that won’t speed things up.”

Employee: *visibly relieved* “Ah, thank you. You can pick out a drink from behind you.”

(I go to the cooler and get a drink. I wait about ten minutes longer, and when my name is called, I come to pick up my order. I get five boxes.)

Me: “Eh, is this…?”

Employee: “Well, we had to remake your pizza and would have to toss away the old one, so we thought we’d give it to you anyway. The other pizza was just cancelled so we’d have to throw it out, as well, so we’d thought… why not throw it in, as well? Oh, and a lava cake, because you were so patient.”

(Baffled, I took the pizzas and headed home. The “wrong” pizza was the same as we ordered, just the wrong size. The extra pizza was pretty basic, but the ingredients were also found in the other pizzas, so I guess that’s why they thought it was safe to donate it to me. The lava cake was chocolate heaven. We didn’t finish all the pizza, but we don’t mind reheating things, so we had pizza the next day, as well. Thanks, pizza place!)

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Not Trying To Be A (Buda)Pest

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

About six years ago, I went on a family vacation to Budapest on Portugal’s flag carrier. This happened on the flight back home.

After climbing for about fifteen or twenty minutes, the Captain made an announcement.

“Hello. Unfortunately, we will have to return to Budapest to pick up some passengers who did not board. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

We turned back, landed twenty or so minutes after the announcement, and taxied to a gate only for the doors to open and a four-member family to board. They were not famous and they were not important; they were a family on vacation in Budapest, just like mine.

Later on, we found out they made a mistake and entered the wrong bus, saw our plane depart, and spoke to the bus driver who passed the information along for everyone to coordinate the return of the aircraft and boarding of the passengers. It was nice to see that, for a change, an airline didn’t have a “Your mistake, your problem, buy a new ticket, we won’t waste our money with fees and fuel” attitude, but were rather truly interested in getting all their passengers from A to B.

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Monstrous Behavior Calls For Monstrous Treatment

, , , , , , , | Right | January 9, 2020

(I have just gotten off my fourth 12-hour shift working for a game at a convention where I dress in a rubber monster suit and let players dressed as space marines shoot me with pellet guns. I am tired and sore as I slump into a booth next to a table of cosplayers dressed as characters from a webcomic)

Waitress: *with a strong southern accent* “You look tired, hon. What’ll you have?”

Me: “A peanut butter milkshake and the largest burger you have.”

(The milkshake comes, and I lose myself in a book I picked up on my lunch break. About fifteen minutes later, I’ve finished the drink but the burger still hasn’t come. I don’t care, because I’m getting to sit down.)

Waitress: “Sorry it’s taking so long.”

Me: “That’s fine; it’s busy with the convention. If you don’t mind me here, I don’t mind the wait.”

Waitress: “Let me get you some water, baby.”

Cosplayer: “What’s a water baby? She talks funny.”

(I rise up to my full 6’3” height and use my best monster voice)

Me: “I am tired. I am hungry. I just spent four days letting random people shoot at me. This woman is being a polite, excellent waitress, despite me having to wait so long for my food. Keep it up, and I’ll solve the problem by cooking and eating you.”

(The table suddenly find their sodas fascinating, and they leave soon after but don’t make another peep until then. My food comes, and then…)

Me: “I’m ready for the check when you have a minute.”

Waitress: “Oh, no, sweetie, someone as nice as you shouldn’t have had to wait so long for their food. You’re comped.”

Me: “Wait, no check? I was going to tip on my debit card. I only have two dollars cash on me, and you deserve much more. You’ve been amazing.”

(She took it and told me not to worry about it. Waitstaff who put up with large crowds of geeks so kindly deserve all the love in the world!)

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