Paying It Forward Sometimes Comes Back Around

, , , , | Hopeless | February 20, 2019

(I work in concessions at a movie theater. I’m serving a customer at the beginning of the week on a slow day. She’s interested in some popcorn, but the prices are too high for her to consider buying some. It’s slow, and I’m feeling generous, so I give her some popcorn in a small bag at no cost. Touched by this gesture, she offers to pay me for the popcorn. The money is tempting, but I refuse, since I wanted to do something nice for her. I don’t necessarily want to be paid for trying to be nice. She won’t take no for an answer, though, so I get an idea.)

Me: “Pay it forward; do something nice for someone else.”

(She agrees and leaves the cinema. A few days later, I’m working concessions again when a teenage girl comes to order food, and she has her grandma with her. Turns out it’s the same lady from before! She recognizes me, although I don’t remember her. She turns to her grandchild, and says:)

Customer: “I have to tell you a story. This lady right here gave me some popcorn for free, and refused to take any money for it. Instead, she told me to pay it forward. I went and cried in my car afterward, and I’ve been telling my friends for a couple of days. I just wanted to say thank you for that.”

(I am overcome. I honestly didn’t think it would make all that much of a difference.)

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. I’m actually leaving for an internship in a few days, so I’m glad you told me this, and that I got a chance to hear how much it meant to you.”

Customer: “Oh, you’re leaving for an internship? In that case, take this, and have a good time!”

(She placed something in my hand, and I looked down to see a $20 bill! I opened my mouth to protest, but she was already gone. Wherever you are, thank you, ma’am!)

A Breakdown Evens Out A Breakup

, , , , | Romantic | February 12, 2019

(I am a cashier at a drugstore, trying to get through my last year of university, when I see a girl in the same uni hoodie as mine enter the store. She seems to be around 18 or 19 and is holding an aftershave that usually costs around £40.)

Girl: *in tears* “I’m so sorry. I bought this a couple of weeks ago and I want to return it. I know I might not be able to because it’s opened, but is there anything you can do?”

Me: “Er… My manager is just over there; I’ll grab her. Is everything… okay?”

Girl: “No, I’m sorry. My boyfriend is at [Distant Uni], and I bought some of his aftershave so I could make his hoodies smell of him — I know that sounds strange — and he broke up with me last week, and I can’t bear to smell this stupid f****** smell anymore, but there’s loads left, and I don’t want to waste my money…“ *breaks down again*

Me: “Oh, no! I’m so sorry about that. This is my manager; could you explain that to her?”

Manager: “I heard, honey, and I’m so sorry. Give me a second and I’ll see what I can do.”

(There are a few seconds while my manager tries to refund it.)

Manager: “Sweetheart, I have some good news: I can refund you even though it’s opened.”

Girl: “Thank you so much. Do you want me to just… I mean… Should I…”

Manager: “I’ll take it from you, honey. Do you want cash?”

Girl: “C-Cash is fine, it’s okay. Thank you.”

Manager: “While you’re here, sweetheart, get some chocolate or ice cream or anything you need, on me. I got divorced last year and I needed all the chocolate I could get!”

(The girl declined, but she came in a week later with a box of chocolates and a thank-you card each for me and my manager. In my card was a phone number. Ten years after that, we’ve been married for five years, and we have a baby daughter.)

Branded With Kindness

, , , , , , | Hopeless | February 8, 2019

I was dropping off some prescriptions at my local 24-hour pharmacy around ten at night. There were only two employees working at the time: a pharmacist and a pharmacy tech. They were obviously extremely busy. When I was asked when I’d like to pick up my prescriptions, I simply said I’d like them as soon as possible. The tech looked genuinely terrified to inform me that there was at least an hour wait time. Of course, I expected as much, so that was no problem at all. I could tell from her demeanor that other people had not been as understanding. I told her that I was planning on going out to eat, so she could take her time and that I hoped that customers would learn to be more understanding.

When I returned to retrieve my medicine, one of them was ringing up at four times the amount I expected. As I have a heart condition that prevents me from working, I knew there was no way I could afford that. I purchased the other medication and decided that I would just call the hospital and ask if they could send a cheaper alternative prescription to the pharmacy. Upon speaking to the pharmacist, I was told that it would be another thirty minutes before he would even be able to check for an alternative. I decided to sit in the waiting area, as I had nothing else to do at the time and I wasn’t in any particular rush.

At that point, it was clear that the young lady’s shift had ended and she had left for the night. The pharmacist was now working by himself. I waited patiently as I watched this man run around and assemble orders, answer phones, type furiously on the computer, check inventory, and deal with customers in both the drive-thru and at the counter. That poor man didn’t have a breath to himself. Eventually, he looked up and noticed I was still there. He called me to the counter and rang up my medicine at a huge discount — much less than I was expecting to pay in the first place. I thanked him profusely and wished him a better night than the one he appeared to be having. It was only when I reached the car that I realized that he hadn’t had time to find a generic alternative and he had given me the name brand medication. He brought it down from 105 dollars to 17. As someone struggling financially, that meant the world to me.

I made sure to call the manager in the morning and tell them how wonderful their employees were. I will definitely be going back there. It might cost a little more than other pharmacies and it might take a little longer, but the customer service cannot be matched.

Moral of the story: a little patience and kindness go a long way.

The Kindness Muffin

, , , , | Hopeless | February 1, 2019

I was working the evening shift on a very quiet Sunday and I ordered some dinner through a food delivery company. It was raining badly outside; all our guests complained about it. The delivery guy, on a bike, came in completely soaking wet! I said I was so sorry to make him deliver my food in such bad weather and that I was happy to eat a nice, warm dinner during my break. He looked so cold and wet that I insisted he take some hot coffee from our coffee machine, and I gave him some chocolates that are usually for members of the hotel when they check in. He was very happy!

Several weeks later, I was working the same shift and again ordered my dinner through the same company. The same guy came with my food, and when he saw me he said he had something for me. He ran back to his bike and came back with a box of homemade muffins! His wife had made them and he really wanted me to have one, too. It was the most delicious muffin ever. Be kind to your delivery person!

The Boss Has A Big Kingdom Heart

, , , , , | Working | January 31, 2019

(My boss and my boss’s boss are all awesome. I have been anticipating the release of “Kingdom Hearts 3” and decide I’m going to do something I have never done: take time off specifically to play a video game. I notice the allotted time for the department is negative seven hours one day and negative four hours for the next, but I put in the request, anyway, since there’s always a chance someone will cancel or I can get it approved. I send an email to my boss asking if she can take a look and approve the time off. The next day we’re talking and I bring up the time off request.)

Me: “Oh, by the way, if I can get that time off, awesome. If not, it’s not a problem. I’m literally just going to play a game I’ve been waiting on for years to release.”

Boss: *laughs* “Oh, yeah? What one?”

Me:Kingdom Hearts 3.”

Boss: *silently mouths it and looks like she’s thinking* “Huh… I think I’ve heard of that…” *teases me* “You going to stream it?”

Me: “Actually, yeah!”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll let my kids know to look out for you. But you better keep it family-friendly when you stream!”

Me: “I promise to keep it simple and clean.” *chuckles*

Boss: “Good! Waaaaait… I feel like that’s a reference somehow.”

Me: *laughing* “Yeah, it’s the name of the song from the first game.”

Boss: “I know what game that is now! My kids really like them! Okay, I’ll put in the approval.”

(Ten minutes later, I had approval for the time off! My boss’s boss approved the override with the message, “Have fun with it!” Great bosses are freaking awesome!)

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