Just A Little Stroll

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 12, 2019

I work in product allocations for a well-known children’s store chain at their head office.

One day, I get a phone call from a store that has a bit of a strange and upsetting situation.

A woman and her seven-year-old son have gotten into a car accident, as pedestrians. He is severely autistic, as well as having several other disabilities that mean that he cannot walk for long distances. He has a special stroller, which has since been discontinued. The stroller was destroyed in the car accident.

The store phones me because they cannot find a way to order the stroller anywhere. We literally don’t sell it anymore and we were one of the only places in the UK that did. The mother needs it ASAP because they are being released from the hospital and don’t have a car. She is injured so can’t carry him. She is a single mum.

I manage to find the stroller in the stock files of a store about 80 miles away from me — 350 total miles from the mum and child. I phone the store, but the manager isn’t helpful. He just says he is too busy and that they don’t have it, even though their files very clearly say that they do. 

Their stocktake was only last week, so I am certain it is accurate.

Lucky for me, because of my job, I can schedule impromptu store visits. I drive down to the store and search the stockroom for this hidden stroller for a few hours before finding it. I phone the mother’s local store and tell them to expect it.

After loading it onto a truck to travel another two hundred miles, the local store assistant meets the truck right before her shop closes and drives the stroller to the children’s hospital to give to the mum. She does the full demonstration and then drives the woman and her son home and gets them settled.

When I speak to the store assistant later, I learn that she and the woman have become close friends.

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Don’t Know Sandwich Way This Will Go

, , , | Right | August 12, 2019

(The franchise owners I work for recently bought another location from a fellow owner, and the store was shut down for about a month while we cleaned out the new place. I was transferred to the new store and promoted to shift manager. This is my third day in this new position. A customer ordered food ten minutes ago, and has come back to the counter.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, what can I do for you?”

Customer: “I just had the [food item]? You need to tell whoever made my order—”

Me: *internally freaking out that I have to deal with my first complaint*

Customer: “—that they need to go over to [Nearby Franchise Store still owned by aforementioned owner], and teach them how to make a sandwich!”

Me: “Well, thank you! I appreciate it.”

Customer: “You made my order? Best sandwich I’ve had at a [Store].”

(My bosses were thrilled to hear that we were doing a better job than the previous staff.)

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Calling Out Bad Behavior Results In Good

, , , , | Hopeless | August 8, 2019

(I ride the train to school every morning. Unfortunately, this train line is known as the most unstable in the country, so most of us passengers are used to it. One morning, the train is very late and we keep stopping between the stations because of some technical error. It is becoming clear that everyone will be late to work or school. The train driver and the conductor update us a little over the speakers. Suddenly, we hear a message over the speakers:)

Conductor: “This is the conductor speaking. Thank you so much for your patience this morning. I know that you are all stressed, but most of you have been so kind to me. We are doing the best we can to get you to your destination. Thank you for not yelling at the staff, except for the gentleman who spent five minutes complaining and yelling at me. We hope to get clearance to continue on our journey soon. I wish you all a pleasant day.”

(The mood lightened after that. Several people smiled and started talking to each other — in Denmark, you generally don’t talk to strangers unless absolutely necessary. I don’t know who the rude man was, because there hadn’t been any yelling in my car. I hope that man learned not to yell at innocent staff.)

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Never Discount The Power Of Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 7, 2019

I was buying an extremely small coffee for a friend before school, using a gift card she hadn’t given me the day before. I made small talk with the cashier about how I was buying for my friend, as I ended up having to check my phone for what she had wanted me to get. She thought there were a couple of dollars, enough for the drink she wanted, but there wasn’t nearly enough. 

I have trouble talking to people I don’t know, and I started stuttering as I apologized and asked the cashier to cancel the order, but he just smiled at me and muttered, “Oh, you’re military? And you work here, interesting!” as he applied the discounts, making enough for me to pay. 

It wasn’t a lot, but it has stuck with me as one of the nicest things a person has done for me, and it made both me and my friends day.

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Making A Graceful Exit… Eventually

, , , , | Hopeless | August 5, 2019

(I’m the bad customer in this story. I drop my fare card after passing through the subway gantry, so when I reach my destination, I have to talk to the station staff. I pay my fare in cash on the spot so he lets me through, and they call to my entry station to ask them if they have found my card. Luckily, it was in a distinctive cardholder, and they are able to find it. That evening on the way home, I stop at the office to collect my card. The next morning, I have a bout of asthma, so I’m running slightly late. When I reach the station, I try to use the card, only to be told “exit error.” The card was used for an entry yesterday, but not an exit. I have to talk to the station staff.)

Me: “I dropped my card yesterday after tapping in.”

Staff: “Yes, it’s showing that you tapped in, but did not exit.”

Me: “Yes, but I collected my card from the office here yesterday evening. They knew that I’d dropped it; why didn’t they reset the card?”

Staff: “Oh, perhaps it was a different staff member who found the card.”

Me: “But when I collected the card in the evening, I had to explain the situation again. The staff member who passed me the card could have done it then.”

Staff: “Okay, I’ll do it now.”

Me: “I’m going to be late.” *panicking by this point*

Staff: *scanning the card* “Okay, so when you reached [Destination] did you pay your fare?”

Me: “Yes, I paid the fare in cash. You can call the station and check with [Staff] who helped me yesterday.”

Staff: “Do you have the receipt?”

(I try to search but I can’t find it.)

Me: “I don’t think I kept it.” *panicking*

Staff: “Okay, but I know there’s no way you could have gotten out unless you’d paid. Since you’re standing here and not stuck at [Destination], I’ll reset your card and refund the charge on your card.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you!” *realises that he is trying to make me feel better with a joke*

(I get to work on time, thanks to his quick thinking. Later, I find the receipt, which fell to the bottom of my bag. On the way back a few days later, I see him on the night shift. I stop by to apologise.)

Me: “Hi. Do you remember me? I was the girl who dropped my card and was not able to tap in the next day. I found my receipt, and I wasn’t late to work, thanks to your able assistance.”

Staff: “That’s great. Yeah, I remember you. I’m glad you made it to work on time.”

Me: “I’m sorry if I was impatient the other day. It wasn’t that I was upset with you. I had a bout of asthma before that, so I was running late for work. I would usually be there in plenty of time.”

Staff: “No wonder you were in such a panic. I could see you were just frazzled and in a big rush. I didn’t take it personally. But it’s nice you stopped by to say thanks. I appreciate it.” 

(He looked quite happy. Thank you, friendly station guy, for helping me, keeping your cool when I was upset, and trying to make me feel better with a joke!)

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