Gong Hey Fat Chance!

, , , , , | Related | March 8, 2018

(It’s the day after the Lunar New Year celebrations. I’m in the car with my mum and stepdad. We are all Caucasian.)

Me: “Happy Lunar New Year!”

Step-Dad: “What? You’re not Chinese, are you?”

Me: “Nah, I’m Chinese.”

Mum: “One in every three people is Chinese, you know, so it has to be [My Name].”

An Unwelcome Realization

, , , , , , , | Related | March 6, 2018

(My sister and her freeloading husband have moved in with my parents after being evicted. Even though Dad doesn’t want the husband there and says so, he finally caves and regrets it instantly. Mum finds that her cooking isn’t up to the husband’s standards, she wakes up from naps to find him leaning over her, he takes food from their fridge and puts it in his — they have a small kitchen of their own — and they can’t even have private conversations. My sister can’t even stand being at home with him; she spends most of her time travelling for work, and if she is back she will often sleep at her business. Nothing Mum or Dad do or say will convince him to move out, until he needs to go and “look after” his mother after she has surgery. After a few weeks of her having to do everything for him, his mother throws him out. Much to my parents’ surprise, he starts sleeping at my sister’s business, which has upset her as now she can’t get peace from him.)

Sister: *to my parents* “[Husband] says he isn’t coming back here.”

Dad: “Ooh… Why not?”

Sister: “He says you don’t make him feel welcome here.”

Dad: “Really?”

Sister: “Yeah. You should call him and tell he’s welcome to come back.”

Dad: “Yeah, no. That’s not going to happen.”

(My sister storms out.)

Mum: *to me* “If I knew three years ago that making him feel unwelcome was all there was to getting him out, I would have put more effort into it.”

A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 4

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | February 16, 2018

(I recently divorced my abusive, controlling husband. I have been awarded custody of our two kids, and he was ordered to pay child support. My ex-husband left us with nothing, has never paid any of the alimony or child support that the court ordered him to, and has constantly done whatever he can to make life difficult for us. Ordering food deliveries has been his latest weapon of choice. One evening I’m standing in the kitchen, looking over the little food I’ve been able to buy, wondering how I’m going to feed both of my children and myself, when there’s a knock at the door. I groan, as I know it’s yet another food delivery that my ex-husband has ordered, and that I’m going to have to explain a painful and embarrassing situation to yet another person. I open the door, and sure enough, there’s a man from a local pizza company here with a large amount of pizzas, enough to feed an entire sports team. I barely manage to return his greeting before I start crying.)

Delivery Man: “Hi, I’ve got an order for… Ma’am? Is something wrong?”

Me: *between sobs* “I… I’m so sorry. You were pranked. My ex-husband ordered all this, trying to hurt me by making me spend money I don’t have. I’m so sorry, but I didn’t order this, I can’t pay for it, and you’ve had your time wasted.”

(At this point, my children start quietly asking me:)

Children: “Mummy, are we having pizza tonight? Can we keep it? Please?”

(Their pleas cut me to the quick, and I start sobbing, unable to control myself any longer.)

Delivery Man: “Your ex did this? To what end? To hurt you? To upset those adorable munchkins that are trying to hide behind the wall over there?”

Me: *sobbing harder* “Yes.”

(The delivery man looks incredibly angry.)

Delivery Man: “Ma’am, all of this is on me. There is no circumstance where I’ll stand by and allow someone to cause so much hurt to a mother and her children. Keep all of this. Whatever you can’t eat, freeze. If you reheat it in the oven, it’ll be as good as fresh. Whenever you run out, call the store and ask for me by name. I’ll bring you enough food to keep you and your kids fed as long as you need.”

(At this point, I am crying so hard that I can barely respond to him. His kindness has completely overwhelmed me, and my children are smiling for the first time in weeks. I try to offer him money, and he brushes my attempt away.)

Delivery Man: “Ma’am, I cannot take anything from you. Your ex tried to use me to hurt you; I’m not going to be used in such a manner. I’ve had my own share of experiences similar to yours, and turning an act of hate into an act of empathy is enough for me. You keep taking care of your kids, and call my store whenever you need.”

(With that, he carried everything into my kitchen, ruffled my childrens’ hair, flashed me a cheerful grin, and wished us all a good night. While I never took him up on his offer to deliver us food whenever we needed it, I will never forget the impact he had on my children and me in the darkest time of our lives. His generosity and kindness not only gave my children a full belly but renewed my faith in the kindness of people. I doubt he’ll ever read this, but if he does, I want to say thank you. He brightened all our lives.)

 

Related:
A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 3
A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 2
A Hot Slice Of Kindness

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Arguing Over The Weekend Never Ends

, , , , , | Working | February 6, 2018

(Usually I work alternate weekends to the store manager, but if either of us need time off we will swap shifts if we can.)

Manager: “[My Name], I need the Sunday off on my next weekend. Are you able to do it? I’ve been invited to a baby shower.”

(I check my calendar and see that I’ve got plans for that Saturday, but the plans I had for that Sunday can be done the following Sunday.)

Me: “Sure, I can do it.”

Manager: “Okay, that means you have Saturday off and work Sunday, but the next week I work your Sunday, so it evens out. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes, that is fine.”

(A few days later, I notice that she’s got me working for the whole weekend.)

Me: “Why am I on for the Saturday?”

Manager: “Well, I figured seeing that you agreed to work the Sunday that you could work the Saturday, too.”

Me: “That wasn’t what we agreed to; we were swapping Sunday shifts only.”

Manager: “I need you to work on Saturday; I need to shop for a baby gift “

Me: “I have a family function on the Saturday.”

Manager: “Can’t you change it?”

Me: “It’s a wedding, and no, I can’t.”

(I get the day off, but on the weekend afterwards when I am supposed to work Saturday and have the Sunday off, she decides she will come in on the Saturday with me.)

Manager: “Seeing as I am in today, you can work tomorrow.”

Me: “What? I’ve made plans for tomorrow.”

Manager: “But tomorrow is your Sunday on; you can’t just make plans on your day on.”

Me: “I swapped shifts because you wanted the time off last week, remember?” *I go to look at the roster* “Hold on, you’ve got me working next Saturday, too.”

Manager: “I just wanted to make sure you had a day off and weren’t working every weekend.”

Me: “So, you gave me the Sunday off, on my weekend off, to make sure I had time off on the weekend? Which means I actually work four weekends in a row instead of the three I agreed to?”

(I made sure I get the Sunday and the Saturday off, but she made sure I knew that she was doing me a favour. I made my mind up that I would no longer swap weekend shifts with her.)

Not Painting A Pretty Picture

, , , , | Related | January 17, 2018

(I’m digging through the little-used corner cupboard in the kitchen. My mother comes in and watches for a moment, baffled.)

Mum: “What are you looking for?”

Me: “A plastic cup.”

Mum: “Why not just use one of the glass ones? The cupboard’s full of them.”

Me: “I want something that’s obviously enough not a drinking glass that no one will come along when I’m not paying attention and take a swig of my paint water.”

Mum: “Ah.”

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