The Cutest Little Peanut

, , , , | Hopeless | January 27, 2019

(Following the death of my son-in-law, my daughter and her two children come to live with me. I’m not the richest lady around, so we have to seriously budget while my daughter gets back on her feet. It’s been rough on everyone, the eldest girl, age three, especially, since she and her father were so close. That particular day, we are frequenting a local thrift store that always has some sort of deal going on, looking for some cheap clothes for the kids. My granddaughter is getting restless and doesn’t want to sit still in the cart. I start handing things to the lady at the register, but I keep having to stop to try to keep my granddaughter seated. All of a sudden, she starts yelling and reaching for something.)

Me: “Hey, hey, careful. What is it, sweetie?”

(The cashier looks where my granddaughter is pointing. She reaches over to grab something.)

Cashier: “Maybe she wants to hold Woodstock?”

(I look to see the cashier holding a little yellow bird that I only know from the “Peanuts” comics. It is a little dirty but it is still in great shape and is quite cute. She hands the stuffed bird to my granddaughter and the girl immediately quiets down and snuggles it. I feel myself getting a little choked up.)

Me: “Thank you.”

Cashier: *smiles* “No problem. He’s my register buddy for today. I found him in toys. Woodstock is the best bird, so I just had to have him up here with me.”

(I return the smile as she scans my stuff.)

Me: “It makes sense that she would notice it there. Her father used to read her Peanuts books all the time. She loves that series.”

(The cashier pauses for a moment, and her smile starts slipping a little.)

Cashier: “I got into Peanuts through my dad, too. He gave me all his books when I was little. It’s something we both enjoy together.”

Me: “Really? That’s sweet.”

(The cashier finishes ringing up my stuff and is preparing to move on to payment when she stops for a moment. She looks at my granddaughter, and then at me.)

Cashier: “Does she want to keep him? She can have him if she wants.”

Me: “No, no, we can’t. I’m already tight on money.”

Cashier: “Actually, it’s fine. We have a special kids’ club here where children under 12 get a $0.99 toy or a kids book for free with any purchase. He’s a $0.99 toy, so he qualifies for the deal.”

Me: *surprised* “Really?”

Cashier: “Yeah.” *looks at the bird* “I wanted it for myself, but I think she needs him a little more than I do. After all, Woodstock is the best bird. He deserves only the best home.”

Me: *holding back tears* “Thank you. Thank you so much.” *turns to my granddaughter* “Sweetie, she says you can keep the bird. Can you say, ‘Thank you’?”

Granddaughter: “Thank you.”

Cashier: “You are very welcome.”

(We finished checking out and left. My granddaughter quietly hugged that bird all the way home. I think it’s going to make a great addition to our home.)

That Free Meal Cost Dearly

, , , , , , | Working | January 25, 2019

(My wife and I are in a restaurant having a night out. The restaurant is crowded and clearly understaffed; only one waitress is running to serve everyone. Although it’s clear that she’s exhausted, she keeps smiling and being nice to the customers. I don’t know what happened but suddenly I hear her speaking to a customer in a really angry tone.)

Waitress: “Are you serious?”

(She then she shouts to the entire restaurant:)

Waitress: “Attention, people! This man here just had a 150-Euro meal. He even licked the plate clean as dogs do, and now he’s telling me that his meal wasn’t properly cooked and he won’t pay.”

(Her boss comes out of the kitchen. A heated discussion between the boss, the waitress, and the customer starts. It is soon clear to everyone that the boss is going to let the customer go without him paying for his meal. The waitress is furious, but the boss ignores her. As the customer is ready to leave, the waitress raises her voice once again:)

Waitress: “Dear customers, since my boss decided to let a jerk walk out without paying for the food, I have decided that I’m quitting right now. I suggest you all leave without paying because you all have been patient and lovely. If jerks can get free meals here, I am sure that [Boss] can’t object to nice people getting free meals.”

(With that, she opened the door and motioned for people to leave. Everyone left without paying, but the waitress got some generous tips on the way out!)

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Kindness Knows No Language Barrier

, , , , , | Hopeless Right | January 10, 2019

I’m a customer in a pharmacy in Berlin, behind an older man. I don’t speak German as I’m just a tourist, but he is very obviously driving the cashier crazy, pointing to everything five times and asking the price, wasting her time by debating the price, raising his voice, and flailing his arms about. Even though I can’t understand a word he is saying, his rudeness is clear! The cashier is doing a great job of staying calm, but he is visibly upsetting her.

When he finally leaves — some five minutes later, only having purchased one thing — I approach the register, smile, and roll my eyes. As she serves me, she chats away about the customer — made obvious from the things she points to while talking — and it’s clear from the relief on her face that she just needs to unload on someone who understands. I smile and nod and laugh when she laughs, and say, “Ja,” a couple of times, and she seems much calmer and happy by the end of the transaction.

Dear cashier, even though I didn’t understand a word you said, our conversation was wonderful and friendly; we both speak the universal language of “hating bad customers”!

See How Nice It Is When The Customer Isn’t Always Right?

, , , , , , | Right | January 7, 2019

(I have been working at a restaurant owned by a German man for the last five months, and he is, hands down, the best boss I have ever had. He moved to the States eight years ago when he married an American woman. Back in Germany, he had three successful restaurants which he sold once he moved, and with the money, he opened one in Chicago. He does not believe in the American way to run restaurants, so he does it the same way he did in Germany. Plates do not overflow, there are no free refills, the customer is not always right, and the best, the staff does not rely on tips to pay rent; we get a proper salary — and still get tipped! After two weeks of working there, I have the unpleasant task of serving one of “Those” tables. The four ladies eat everything they are served, and once I bring them their bill this conversation happens.)

Customer: “I will not be paying for our second round of drinks, and I will not pay for the meals, either. They were disgusting.”

Me: “There are no free refills at this restaurant, so I am afraid you will have to pay for all your drinks, ma’am, as you will have to pay for your food.”


(There’s no need to call the owner as he heard the screaming and is already on his way.)

Owner: “Hello. My name is [Owner], and I am the owner. May I ask what the issue is?”

Customer: “We were charged twice for our drinks, and our food was disgusting; we will not pay.”

Owner: *to me* “Have they been charged twice for the same drink, or were they given drinks twice?”

Me: “They all had two drinks.”

Owner: “Okay, madam, we do not do free refills here, which means you are going to have to pay for all your drinks. Regarding the food, you ate everything, so it couldn’t have been that disgusting. However, if it was, you now know what not to order next time.”

Customer: “Your waitress was very rude! I demand to be compensated!”

Owner: “I am sure she wasn’t; we’ve had no complaints thus far. Anyway, if you consider the service to have been subpar, don’t tip your waitress. I now have other customers to attend to. I wish you all a nice evening.”

(At this, he turned around and went back to charming the remaining customers. The complaining customer stood up and left, but fortunately one of the other three ladies had the decency to stay behind and pay.)

Health Care(less), Part 4

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 5, 2019

In the spring of 2000, I came down with a cold that lingered nearly two weeks, then got weird. I went to see the doctor and she ordered several tests to be done at the hospital next door to the office building.

It was there that I was told that one of the tests she wanted done — a pulse oximeter reading — required pre-approval from my insurance company, which would take about three days to go through the process.

When I told my doctor about that, she was furious. It was a fairly simple test, but her office did not have the necessary equipment. Once she had a break between patients, she marched over to the hospital and spoke to a friend who worked in the emergency department. She then brought my husband and me through the back hallways to her friend, who placed a clip that looked like a clothespin on my finger. In a couple of seconds, the nearby machine showed the necessary data and I was finished with the test in less than five minutes. I was never billed for it.

It turned out that I had pneumonia. I was sent home with the needed prescriptions and instructions. I was back to normal in a few days.

The next time I went to that doctor, she told me that the office had acquired their own equipment.

It’s now eighteen years later, and her office has several of them. I noticed this morning that you can buy one online for about the price of two fast-food hamburger dinners. And the insurance company had wanted three days before approving the procedure!

Health Care(less), Part 3
Health Care(less), Part 2
Health Care(less)

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