These People Are Extra Good At Kindness

, , , , , , , | Healthy | June 25, 2021

About a year ago, I decided to become a non-directed kidney donor. I live alone — except a five-month-old husky puppy — with all of my family in other states a good 2,000 miles away from where I’d just moved a year prior. As the surgery date started to approach, I needed to get things in order. I tend to be both very independent and overly optimistic about what I can get done on my own. Due to their own life difficulties, none of my family would be coming out to stay with me pre- or post-surgery. The following is a brief summary of the many wonderful ways I was reminded of just how wonderful people are.

My puppy: my puppy was a rescue I had found by the side of the road at the start of the health crisis. I’d just started going to the dog park with him when the surgery got scheduled. The surgery came up in conversation, and three different strangers volunteered to come to pick him up and bring him for walks and to the dog park. Another new friend with a small baby and a puppy of their own offered, without being asked, to take him for the entire hospital stay. 

Homecare: while I was recovering from surgery, at least a dozen different people stopped by to clean my home, take my dog out, bring me meals, and help me get up to exercise. Several people also heard that I was not eating because of how bad I felt and made it a point to either bring me the only things I could stomach (variations on dry breads) or sit on the phone with me and go through menus until they said something that sounded edible. 

School: I am a graduate student and did not fully appreciate the impact it would have on my semester, nor how much my classmates and professors would care. Every single professor continuously checked up on me and went out of their way to accommodate me as much as possible. One even dropped off special homemade soup at my home. Several classmates were kind and patient enough to review and reteach me whole units because I was too doped up on drugs to properly understand them the first time. They gave me rides to the store, took me out walking, and just sat patiently with me while I was miserable. 

Possibly the sweetest was in the hospital. The night after the surgery was the worst. The anesthesia was finally wearing off and they had to double my pain meds, but the oxygen monitor kept going off every time I started to fall asleep. Apparently, I breathe shallowly when asleep. It was so awful and it was really late at night or early in the morning and I just felt so miserable and alone. I definitely was not rational and was extremely emotional. I proceeded to start going down my friend list on my phone calling people just to see if anyone was up and could keep me company. Every person I called answered. Half of them just read Jane Austen to me until I calmed down or would just talk so I could hear a familiar voice. The last person I called stayed on with me until the doctor came back around and was able to change the meds and get me off the oxygen so I could sleep. 

With the exception of the people on the phone, none of these people had known me for more than a few months, and I’d only met most of them a handful of times. I’m doing great now, as is the donee. I’m doing so well, in fact, that it is easy to forget that the experience even happened — except when I look down at my scars, and then I get the chance to remember how a group of near-strangers took care of me like I was their sister, daughter, granddaughter, and friend. 

People really are remarkable.

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You Wanna Be Dramatic, Go To The Theater (But Really Don’t)

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Aggravating_Lettuce | June 25, 2021

I go out to breakfast at a mom-and-pop diner and have a delicious meal. I worked in the serving industry for three years and still work in customer service. I can’t stand my meal being interrupted by some jerk being dramatic in public.

It is a really slow morning, and I feel bad for the waitstaff. I am one of two parties seated. Another couple comes in, and they’re seated for four or five minutes. The servers are chatting; as I said, there is almost no one there at the moment.

The new table decides it’s time to order, and the guy speaks up a little bit.

Customer: “Uh, can y’all stop talking and take our order?”

Server: *Immediately* “Oh, I’m sorry!”

She runs over to the table. Instead of giving her his order and moving on, the guy starts berating her for being unprofessional, decides she rolled her eyes at him, and gets up while slamming his chair and stuff.

Customer: “This is the worst service I’ve ever received! I’m leaving! How dare you roll your eyes at a customer?!”

He’s making his way to the door repeating insults and, of course, a party of five comes in, and this irked party of two is being loud as they bump into the party of five.

Customer: “Don’t even walk into this h***hole. You don’t want their food or to talk to these tr—”

I can’t deal with it anymore.

Me: “Sir, that’s enough. You said you were going to leave. Now shut the f*** up, stop being dramatic, and leave. The food is fantastic, the service has been—“


Me: “I said leave.

I turn to face the party of five standing by the entryway. They all look like deer stuck in headlights.

Me: “The food has been fantastic. Sorry for the theatrics. That dude needs to go. Please have a seat wherever you’re most comfortable.”

The rude guy and his wife were looking at each other and at me, bewildered, but eventually, the wife nudged the husband to leave the store. The place started to settle. Three servers came up to me to say thank you. Eventually, my check came my way, and the table of five loudly asked the manager to give me a discount for getting them to stay.

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Tipped To Be A Good Day, Part 2

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2021

The restaurant where I work was closed for the first few months of the current health crisis, but we reopen on the fourth of July weekend with a holiday dinner pick-up offer: fried chicken with multiple sides and dessert, enough for four people. It proves very popular, and we are super busy all weekend. On Tuesday, the phone rings.

Me: “Hello, [Restaurant].”

Woman: “Hi, I’m so glad I reached you. My husband and I ordered the special dinner over the holiday weekend—”

I brace for a complaint.

Woman: “—and it was absolutely delicious! And I realized when I looked at our receipt that I had forgotten to add on a tip when I made the order. I would never forgive myself if I didn’t tip you all for doing all that work, and on a holiday, no less. Would you be able to run my card for a tip belatedly?”

Me: “I… Sure! How much did you want to tip?”

Woman: “Twenty-five percent, please. Thank you again. I am so glad to see you all open, and I hope we get the chance to support you again soon!”

That made my afternoon! And thanks to her and other generous customers like her, we’re still open!

Tipped To Be A Good Day

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A New Kind Of Drinking Problem

, , , , , , | Right | June 24, 2021

Coffee shops have opened up again after a health-related lockdown. I’m a new mum and surviving on very little sleep. I’m hormonal, emotional, and tired.

I excitedly order my usual drink, try to hold a decent conversation with the cashier whilst half asleep, and move to wait.

My name is called. I say thanks, grab my drink, and take a big gulp… forgetting I’m wearing a mask. Coffee goes all down my dress and into my bra, and I drop my drink in surprise.

I’m bright red and unsure whether to laugh or cry, and the cashier is looking at me in horror. She grabs lots of tissues and comes round the counter, helping me manoeuvre my pram out of the way and clearing up my mess.

I’m apologising over and over, but she shrugs it off and says it’s fine. I manage to blot away the excess and she makes a joke about my dress looking better in brown. It makes me giggle.

They remake my drink, give me a muffin, and even give me a voucher for a free drink next time.

I am so touched I tear up, to which the cashier says, “Don’t cry! You’ll ruin your mascara, too!”

Best coffee shop ever!

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A Sign Of The Times

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: MidnightBallad | June 24, 2021

I’m at the store picking up a few things for baking and can’t remember where to find molasses. Rather than waste time combing up and down the aisles with too many people, I seek out an employee.

I hear someone say, “Excuse me?” a few times with lessening patience. I turn around and see the person and the employee he is trying to call out to. The employee is stocking some canned goods and doesn’t seem to notice the man at all. The customer grabs the employee’s shoulder and scares the crap out of him.

The customer gets in the employee’s face.

Customer: “I know you heard me, dips***! You ignore all your customers?”

When the employee’s back is to me, I see “I am hearing-impaired” in bold white letters on the back of his blue vest. I was heated by the customer already, and knowing he is harassing an employee — an impaired person at that — really burns me up.

I go up to the man as the employee backs away from him, clearly alarmed by the customer’s abrasive action.

Me: “Excuse me, but you don’t need to be so harsh. He wasn’t ignoring you. He’s hearing-impaired.”

Customer: “That don’t mean he can’t hear me talkin’.”

I resist face-palming, especially after touching things in the store. The employee is too unnerved to do anything, so I ask the man what he needs. He says he can’t find something and I tell him exactly what aisle it is in. He leaves, and the shaken employee leans against his locked cart, seemingly on the verge of crying.

My ASL (American Sign Language) isn’t great, but I know enough to be polite.

Me: *Signing* “Are you okay?”

His eyes light up for a moment.

Employee: *Signing* “I’m fine. Thank you.”

He goes on to sign more, but I only catch “jerk” and “rude customers” and “scared,” which is enough for me to get the gist. Over the years in my retail job, I picked up some ASL for retail workers in online videos to be more helpful to the occasional deaf or hearing-impaired customers who came into the store. So, I know enough key signs to hold at least a short conversation.

Me: *Signing* “Sorry, I only know a little ASL.”

He gives me a friendly smile.

Employee: *Signing* “No problem. Did you need help with anything?”

I don’t know the sign for “molasses,” so I spell it and shrug, feeling a little sheepish since I almost never have to sign. He signs to me where to go but I don’t catch much of it, and he can tell. He lets out a little laugh and signals for me to follow him, so I do, and he leads me to the aisle the molasses is in.

I can’t reach it, so I sign for the brand I want. He reaches up and hands it to me.

Me: *Signing* “Thank you. I appreciate it.”

He signs something and points to the jar. He does this twice, and I realize he is teaching me the sign for “molasses.” I sign it back to him and he signs, “Yes!” with a smile. We both laugh and he asks where I learned sign language. I tell him I learned online and just practice every now and then, mostly for fun and because I am fascinated by the language. He reaches into his pocket for a notepad and pen to scribble something. I patiently wait until he hands the paper to me.

Employee’s Note: “You showed me kindness I almost never see. Thank you for helping me and respecting my community when many don’t. Never stop learning. I wish more people were like you.”

Me: *Signing* “Thank YOU. I’m [My Nickname]. Nice to meet you.”

Employee: *Signing* “I’m [Employee]. Nice to meet you.”

Rather than shake hands, we bumped elbows and parted ways. That guy really made my day, and I bet I probably made his week.

When I made my purchase, I saw the rude customer from before in the other line getting an attitude because his card was declining. He noticed me as I grabbed my bags. I gave him a smile, signed, “A**hole,” and left.

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