Angels In The Outback

, , , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2020

(I’m on holiday when the town I live in is evacuated due to bushfires that have claimed three lives and damaged or destroyed over 200 homes. My husband, our three kids, and I have been staying in a motel for a week when the owner knocks on our door just after the evacuation orders are given. We are due to check out the next morning.)

Owner: “You guys are from [Town], right? I just heard that it’s been evacuated.”

Husband: “Yes, we’ve just heard. We might need to extend our stay if that’s possible.”

Owner: “You should be able to get housing through [Government Service]. I have a contact there; I’ll see what I can do. If not, we’ll work something out. Don’t worry about checking out tomorrow; just come to the office around 9:00.”

Me: “Thank you so much.”

(The next morning, he calls his contact, but due to us not being in our home they can’t help us.)

Owner: “Look, don’t worry about paying for the room. It’s yours as long as you need it; you guys have enough to worry about.”

Me: *crying* “Wow, thank you so much. This is our first holiday since before [Oldest Child] was born. I don’t know what we’d do, otherwise.”

Owner: “If you need anything, let me or [Owner’s Wife] know.”

(Thank you to these angels who have given us a little bit of hope when we don’t know if we could lose everything as there are catastrophic fire conditions throughout New South Wales and Queensland today. Please keep the people living in these areas in your thoughts and prayers.)

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When Life Gives You Lemonade…

, , , , , | Working | March 10, 2020

(On my thirteenth birthday, my family moves halfway across the country — yes, on my birthday itself. We have a party before I leave, but I am perhaps understandably a bit miserable about the move and the timing of the whole thing. Once we’ve settled into the new place, we go out for pizza as a family. I have a sweet tooth and dessert is usually my favourite part of a meal out, but on this occasion, I’m too full and grumpy about the move and don’t want a dessert, which my parents seem quite concerned about.)

Mum: “Oh, go on. Have a little cake or something! It’s a treat!”

Dad: “You can make room for dessert, surely? They have your favourite…”

Waiter: “We could do a smaller portion for you, if you would like?”

Me: *quite confused by their insistence* “No, I don’t want anything!”

Mum: “Not even a little thing?”

Me: “Well, I guess I wouldn’t mind another lemonade.”

(My dad begins to object, but the waiter interjects.)

Waiter: “Lemonade! Coming right up!”

(He disappeared into the kitchen area; my parents continued to seem disappointed about my lack of dessert. I was still quite confused about this until the waiter reappeared with a bottle of lemonade, with a napkin tucked into the neck of the bottle, supporting a birthday candle! I suddenly realised that my parents had asked the waiter to put the candle in my dessert ahead of time, and I’d spoilt their plan by not ordering one. The waiter’s improvisation made me laugh and really cheered me up at a time when I needed it. It was a long time ago but I still think of it fondly, and yes, he did get a generous tip from my parents.)

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A Huge Jolt Of Positive Energy

, , , , , | Right | March 9, 2020

(I didn’t start drinking coffee until college because I never liked the taste, and like Jon Snow, I knew nothing about it. I have a [Fast Food Company] free drink coupon, and I decide to try a mysterious something called a “mocha frappe.” It is diluted enough that I can drink it, and it gives me a huge jolt of jittery energy. I start drinking them once in a while for an energy boost, but in a few years, this magical elixir loses its power and just gives me a sugar crash. Picture me, one morning, dragging my weary carcass through the doors of the popular coffee chain near my school, and up to the counter.)

Me: *hoarsely* “Um… I don’t really know what the different drinks are, and I don’t really like the taste of coffee. But I just pulled an all-nighter, my presentation is in twenty minutes, and mocha frappes don’t work for me anymore. Can you help?”

Barista: “Hey, no worries. I got you!”

(She flits around behind the counter, whips up a drink, and hands it to me.)

Barista: “Here, try this. Can you drink it?”

Me: *taking a sip, eyes widening* “Yeah!”

Barista: “Great! That’s a tall iced coffee with milk, four pumps of sweetener, and an espresso shot. I’ll write that down so you know what to ask for.”

(I thank her profusely, pay for my drink, and head for the doors while she cheers behind me.)

Barista: “You’ll do awesome on your presentation! You got this!”

(Best barista ever.)

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Pass Me Once, Shame On You…

, , , , | Right | March 5, 2020

(I’m a regular at a fashion shop and I’m going to the changing rooms with two items to try on. There’s a customer with no items in her hands standing behind a second customer waiting to try her items. Also, there’s a girl working for the store that calls out when a room is free.)

Me: *to [Customer #1]* “Excuse me, are you in line for a room?”

Customer #1: “No, I’m just waiting for someone.”

(She moves away from the line. [Customer #2], who was before her, goes in and then it’s my turn.)

Worker: *to me* “You can go in number five now.”

Me: “Great! Thanks.”

(I’m about to go when [Customer #1] comes in front of me with two new items.)

Customer #1: “I was here first! It’s my turn, not hers! It’s my turn!”

Me: “Whatever, just go.”

Worker: “Wow. It was your turn, right? I saw you ask her earlier if she was in line and she said no.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I just don’t want to make any trouble; she seemed agitated.”

(Another room is free and I start walking when [Customer #3] pushes me and tries to go in.)

Worker: “Excuse me, ma’am, this young lady was here before you. You need to go back to the line and wait for your turn.”

Customer #3: “I’m with [Customer #1], so I get to go in with her.”

Worker: “I’m sorry but I can’t allow two people in the same room. Please wait for your turn.”

(I start walking to the room when the worker starts walking with me.)

Worker: “There was no way someone else was going to pass in front of you again!”

Me: “Thanks a lot! Have a great day!”

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When The Employee Is The Kind To Hang With Bipedal Dogs With Antlers…

, , , , | Working | March 2, 2020

(I am in a bookstore to buy a specific book — a rather unusual fantasy story about, among others, a bipedal dog with antlers, his talking sword, and a land shark — and can’t find it. What I do find, however, is an employee who doesn’t seem too busy at the moment.)

Me: “Hi! I’m looking for a book!”

Employee: “For real? What a surprise!”

(He smiles expectantly.)

Me: “It’s [Title].”

Employee: “Oh, [Title]! That’s one of my favourites. Haven’t sold it in quite a while… Is it for you?”

(He goes to a computer to look it up.)

Me: “Yup, and I’ve read it already. Now I moved, though, and it’s at my parent’s house. But I felt like reading it again, so…”

Employee: “Say no more, I got you. We have it in stock; let me fetch it quickly.”

(After a minute, he returns with the book.)

Employee: “There you go. I guess you could also buy drugs, but this is cheaper.”

(He winked. I stared at him and at the book, and then I started laughing so hard I got the hiccups. If you’re reading this, bookstore employee, you made my day!)

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