An Open And Closed Case Of Awesome

, , , , | Working | December 29, 2017

(A friend and I are getting dinner at a popular fast food restaurant after a movie. As we are walking in…)

Worker: “I can’t believe this. What is it with the morning people that think they can do this? It’s all a mess!” *he notices me* “Sorry, what can I get for you?”

Me: *jokingly* “Oh, yes, the morning people hate the evening people and the openers can’t stand the closers; it’s always the way of things! We get it!”

Worker: *stares at me for a second* “Worked here?”

Me: “Five years ago, yep.”

Worker: “Haha, nice. What can I get you?”

Me: *orders*

Worker: “I’ll have that right out.”

(As the tray gets filled up, I notice a discrepancy.)

Me: “Um, we paid for medium fries and drinks and these appear to be larges.”

Worker: “I know.”

Me: “Ah… Thanks!”

(We head over to the table and start eating. About halfway through our meal, the worker comes around again, this time with ice cream in a cup, with brownie crumbs spread over the top.)

Me: “Is this even on the menu?”

Worker: “Nope! Enjoy!”

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Not Even A Charitable Excuse

, , , , , | Right | December 28, 2017

(It’s the first winter during the refugee crisis in Europe. A lot of asylum seekers haven’t been able to register and be assigned to a home due to the sudden influx of people, so they are camping in front of the respective government agencies in the cold. The owner of the secondhand shop where I work decides to help, and starts a campaign where you can donate winter clothing for refugees at our store and get 10% off on your purchase in return. Sadly, that does not only bring kind-hearted people to our store but a lot of people wanting to complain.)

Customer: “Hi there. I want to speak to your boss about the program you’re doing. Honestly, it’s a disgrace you’d run a charity for refugees here while there are so many German families that are poor and can’t buy clothes.”

Me: “Sadly, my boss isn’t in today. However, if you’re coming in because you’re concerned about poor families, I have good news for you. See, that promotion is actually modelled after a promotion we’ve been continuously running since 2008, where you donate children’s clothing and get off 10% of your purchase. Do you have some children’s clothes you’d be willing to donate?”

Customer: “Absolutely not! They can shove that free clothes up their a**es. They need to stop being lazy, spongeing off of others, and feeling entitled to get free stuff just because they are too lazy to make a living.”

Me: “May I remind you that your initial complaint was that we provide charity to refugees while there are poor German families?”

Customer: *dumbstruck for a second* “Umm… I mean… JUST F*** YOU GUYS!” *walks away*

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Keeps This Santa Train Running

, , , , , | Related | December 24, 2017

(My siblings and I are at the zoo with my parents. It is December, so they have a Santa’s Grotto for kids to visit. I’m about four and my sister is six. Whilst my mum takes my baby brother for a feed, my dad takes my sister and me to see Santa. We both still believe in Santa, but our parents have also told us that the “Santas” you see in shops, etc, are almost never the real one, just his helpers, because he’s too busy to visit everywhere in the run up to Christmas. This is why there are so many different Santas around.)

Santa: “Hello, girls! What can I get you for Christmas?”

Me: “I want a toy dog, please!”

Sister: “Sparkly pens, please!”

Santa: “My, what good choices! I’ll see what I can do!”

Me: *loud whisper* “Daddy, is it really Santa or one of his helpers?”

Santa: *overhearing, turns to my dad with a smile* “Ah, sorry, sir! What did you say your name was?”

Dad: “Oh, it’s [Dad].”

Santa: “Oh, [Dad], of course! I almost didn’t recognise you. How’s the train set I gave you all those years ago? Still got it?”

(My dad tells him that the train set is at his parents’ house. Santa smiles and says he is glad my dad enjoyed it. My sister and I each get to choose a cheap present from Santa’s sack before we leave. As we’re going, I turn to my dad.)

Me: “Daddy, did you really get a train set for Christmas when you were little?”

Dad: “Yes, I did! I played with it all the time. We should ask Granny to get it out when we go round there!”

(In awe, I gazed back at Santa, who smiled and waved at me. Until I became old enough to realise Santa wasn’t real, I was convinced that I had met the true Santa!)

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Keeping All Those Plates Spinning

, , , , | Learning | December 24, 2017

At my school, the food tends to not be very good, and the company in charge of dining services does not treat their employees very well. However, the employees working in dining services here work extremely hard to do what they can with the food provided and turn it into something better, and are some of the nicest people you could meet.

We had a big snowstorm, during which the school closed all dining facilities except the dining hall. The school has some rooms in one of the residence halls for food workers to stay during situations like these. Of course, the workers were going all day, working extremely hard with what they had.

The next day when I went in, I gave my student ID to the person manning the register to pay for my meal as per usual, and he held it for a second, staring off into space, before he said, “I’m trying to smile, but it’s not coming”. I laughed and said that it was all right, they all had a long day the day before. I also added my thanks to them for working so hard, and that I was sure other students felt the same way, even if they didn’t show it. He just shrugged his shoulders and told me that the students had to eat.

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The Smallest Of People Getting The Biggest Support

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | December 20, 2017

(I work in housekeeping at a hospital. My job is pretty simple: clean rooms, mop vomit, and pick up trash. One day I’m making my rounds, getting trash from patient rooms, when I pass by a mother who has just found out her newborn son has some serious medical issues and they don’t know when he can leave. She is sobbing as she goes back to her room. My sister was a NICU [Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit] baby when she was born, and I know my mom had a hard time when she was told the same thing. I want to comfort this mother. My heart is racing as I go into the room. I just keep thinking, “Should I say something? What would I say? Am I allowed to even talk to patients on a personal level like this?” I enter the room and the mother is still sobbing. I decide I have to say something.)

Me: “Ma’am, I know I am just a housekeeper, but I want to tell you about my sister.”

Mother: *looks at me, surprised, and smiles* “Go ahead, dear.”

(My heart is racing and I am terrified.)

Me: “My sister was a NICU baby like your son. When she came out the doctors broke her arm, her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, and my mother was told she probably wouldn’t live long. On her first birthday we took her in for another appointment; doctors were amazed that she was alive and healthy. They told us she probably would be mute. It took her a while, and she does have speech issues. But she can talk. There have been many other things they doubted her on. But what I’m saying is that her whole life doctors have doubted her, and every time she has jumped over the hurdle and proved them wrong. Don’t give up on your son before he has the chance to do the same.”

(The woman breaks into complete tears and asks me over for a hug. She then asks, as I’m pulling away:)

Mother: “How old is your sister now?”

Me: “She is 16, going to her first homecoming next month.”

(The woman cries, holding me, for five minutes.)

Mother: “Thank you. Thank you so much. I needed to hear that he would be fine and you have given that to me.”

Me: “It will not be a easy road. But with your love and support he will jump through those hurdles, too.”

(I have to leave to get the rest of the patient trash. A week passes by. I am cleaning the lobby when the child’s father passes me and recognizes me.)

Father: “Were you doing trash last Thursday?”

Me: “Um, yes, I believe I was.”

Father: “You gave my wife the words she needed, and she has completely changed her feeling on the situation.”

Me: “I’m so glad to hear that! How is your son?”

Father: “He is still in the NICU, but he should be getting out in the next couple of days. My wife and I have been reading up on how we can help him grow up strong like your sister. Thank you so much, and tell your sister thank you, as well.”

(That day was the moment I had been waiting for, for the last year. Four months later, it is still amazing, and I still cry at the fact that they remembered a housekeeper. I guess the quote is true: “People may forget what you did for them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I don’t know their names; I don’t even know the boy’s name. But I really hope their son is well and is a strong, happy four-month-old. I’m glad I could be the light in the mother’s life and make the difference for her.)

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