My Mother The Monster

, , , | Right | September 1, 2020

I grew up with a mother that is every server’s nightmare. She always finds something to yell about and is not happy until she reduces the server to tears. I spent my childhood trying to make sure that no matter how messed up a meal was, I never said anything as it would fuel the fire in my mother.

Now, I am married and pregnant with my first child, but I’m still very timid around any customer service person as I’m afraid of being “that customer.”

We have gone to a restaurant that has both a buffet bar and regular meals. I am craving chicken-fried steak, so I order that and the salad bar. I get my meal and it is so laden with salt that it tastes like a salt lake — not just the steak, but the side vegetables, too. I decide to just eat from the salad bar and make a mental note to never order the chicken-fried steak again. It is now the end of the meal and the waitress comes over to give us our check. 

Waitress: “How was everything today?”

Me: “Fine.”

Waitress: “Any interest in dessert tonight?”

Me: “No, we’re fine.”

Waitress: “Can I get you a box?”

Me: “No. thank you. I don’t need one.”

Obviously, the waitress can see there is a problem, because who leaves almost a full meal and doesn’t want a box? She says she’ll go get us our check. But instead, she lets the manager know what is going on

Manager: “How was everything?”

Me: *Wishing I could disappear* “Fine.”

Manager: “How was the chicken-fried steak? It doesn’t seem like you ate very much, and you don’t want a box?”

I burst into hormonal tears, and I realize I am making a scene but can’t stop.

Me: “I’m sorry, please excuse the tears; I can’t make them stop.”

Manager: “Oh, honey, it’s okay. What’s the problem?”

Me: “It was just so salty that I couldn’t eat it, and I didn’t want to cause any problems, and I’m sorry.”

Manager: “It’s not your fault if the food was too salty. How about I just comp both your meals for you?”

Me: “No, no. I’m not trying to get anything for free. I can’t accept that; it is too much.”

The manager finally conceded to just take off my meal, which I felt was still too much, but I just wanted to go home. We ended up tipping the waitress the amount of my meal. 

I’ve since learned how to talk to servers when things are wrong without causing a Mom-sized scene or becoming a sobbing mess.

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Thankfully Not A Uniform Response To The Uniform

, , , , , , , | Right | September 1, 2020

Among the passengers traveling on my flight are several uniformed members of the military. The gate agents have already called for people who need extra time to board the plane, but no one else has been allowed on yet, including the first-class passengers.

Gate Agent: “At this time, we would like to invite our customers traveling in uniform to board through the priority lane.”

A passenger who is clearly not a member of the military shoves his way into the priority lane.

Gate Agent: “I’m sorry, sir, but I haven’t called for your cabin yet. If you’ll just step to the side for one moment—”

Passenger #1: “This is bulls***! I bought this ticket first-class so I could be the first one on, and you’re letting this economy class scum on before me!”

Gate Agent: “Sir, they are members of our country’s armed services; we just want to—”

Passenger #1: “And look at those big, honking bags they’re carrying. How are the rest of us supposed to put anything in the overhead bins?!”

A well-dressed older passenger steps forward.

Passenger #2: “Listen up, because I’m only going to say this once. These are the men and women who are fighting day and night to defend our country. They’re carrying those large bags because they are traveling to attend basic training. After that, they are going to spend several months in Afghanistan, risking their lives to protect other Americans — including jerks like you. When was the last time you voluntarily put your life on the line?”

He turns to the gate agent.

Passenger #2: “I have a first-class ticket. Could you please switch me to the economy cabin and give my seat to one of these soldiers?”

Soldier: “Sir, that’s very kind of you, but really—”

Passenger #2: “No.”

He offers a perfect military salute.

Passenger #2: “I was in the army in Vietnam. I know the sacrifices you all are making. Thank you for your service, and God bless you and your families.”

The nasty passenger walked off in a huff but didn’t say a word for the rest of the flight. The gate agents gave the nice gentleman’s seat to one of the soldiers and offered vacant first-class seats to some of the others. To that amazing guest: you restored my faith in humanity when I thought I just might lose it. And I thank you for your own service to our nation.

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Wait Time Crime

, , , , | Right | August 27, 2020

I ordered a puzzle almost a month ago. However, I now have reason to believe the site where I bought the puzzle from isn’t an actual shop and is just collecting money without sending out the products, so I contact my bank. There is a long wait until someone is able to take my call: almost an hour. Then, a representative gets on. She quickly resolves the issue, arranges for my money to be refunded, and lodges a complaint against the site. Then, we finish up with this.

Representative: “Now that we have this resolved, I’ll happily file a complaint for you for the wait time. This is really out of line.”

Me: “Oh, you really don’t have to do that.”

Representative: “But you were kept on hold waiting. This should have gone through faster!”

Me: “Yeah, possibly. But I imagine that you’re both busy and short-staffed, and I honestly expected a long wait time.”

Representative: “Are you sure you don’t want me to file a complaint?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m sure. It’s really not a big problem.”

I have honestly never had so one so affronted on my behalf for a long wait time during a global health crisis!

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Big Heart For Big Bird

, , , , , , | Right | August 27, 2020

When my son was about two or so, his grandmother gave him a huge stuffed Big Bird toy. The thing was, true to its name, big — easily five feet tall. My son insisted it go everywhere in the car with us.

One day, I dropped the car at our local garage for service. Big Bird was tossed in the back seat.

When I returned a couple of hours later, I got in my car and glanced in the back seat and laughed. There was Big Bird, sitting upright and safely seat- and shoulder-belted in.

Tucked into the belt was a note that read, “Safety first for everyone.”

I think I smiled the rest of the day over some unknown mechanic’s concern for my son’s favorite stuffed friend.

Thank you, mechanic, for your small act of kindness.

This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

Read the next feel-good story here!

Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

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What We Should Be Spreading Is Kindness

, , , , , , , | Working | August 26, 2020

The governor of Ohio has just closed all non-essential businesses during the health crisis. Unfortunately, I own a small and relatively new retail store. Because it’s a home goods and gift-shop-style store, it is considered non-essential.

Because my business is less than three years old, we pay month to month. No savings. And all my personal savings were invested in start-up costs. I literally rely on monthly sales to keep going. I have been waiting and hoping that I will get the stimulus check, but at this point, it isn’t happening, and there is no guarantee that it will happen.

I apply for grants and loans and am never approved for any. I am sure I am going to have to close my business and give up on my dream. There is no way I can keep going.

About four weeks into the quarantine, I stop by the store and check my PO box. There is a letter with just my name on the front, nothing else. Inside the card is a note stating, “I know it’s hard for small businesses like yours. I hope this helps,” and $900 cash. It isn’t signed, and I know the postmaster is in on it, but they say they have no idea who did it.

That gift helped make it through and now we are back open. I can keep going. So, thank you, whoever you are! My faith in humanity was restored! I hope I can pay it forward one day.

This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

Read the next feel-good story here!

Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

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