How Very Tot-ful

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 18, 2017

Every fall, we run a donation drive to benefit Toys for Tots, an organization run by the United States Marine Corps which collects new, unwrapped toys, and donates them to children whose families can’t afford them for the holidays.

Today, I had a family come through my line to buy a parakeet: a father, his daughter, around 12 or 13 years old, and his son, around 9 or 10 years old. After ringing up the bird, I asked the father if he’d be interested in donating to Toys for Tots. He turned to his daughter and said, “It’s your money; it’s up to you.” She said, “Yes. It’s a nice thing to do.”

This year, we have stuffed dogs, cats, and bunnies available for donation. The bunny is very popular, and when people ask to donate a specific toy, that’s almost always the one they choose. I asked the girl if she cared which toy she donated, and sure enough, she chose the snuggly pink rabbit.

Each toy has a name. The dog is Chance, the cat is Lucky, and the bunny is Hope. So, I told this sweet young girl who chose to spend $5 of her own money, “Thank you; you’re giving a child Hope,” and her face lit up. I won’t soon forget this young girl or her generosity.

Don’t Call Tin Man For Charity

, , , , , | Right | October 3, 2017

(I work in a call centre, selling raffle tickets to raise money for different type of charities. This call happens to be for a heart research institute.)

Me: “Good morning, sir. My name is [Name], and I’m calling on behalf of [Heart Charity].”

Potential Customer: “Sorry, don’t have one of them.” *click*

No Longer Part Of The Charity Machine

, , , , , , | Right | September 2, 2017

(My husband and I both work at a community centre, which provides emergency relief [food vouchers and parcels, help to get medications and pay bills such as rent, electricity, etc.] generally only four times a year, but some people take advantage of this. I have just been promoted from a volunteer to a paid worker, while my husband has been a paid worker for two years. We go to a local pub for dinner to celebrate. After dinner, we decide to put a couple of dollars in the pokies. My husband goes to the bathroom and to get drinks while I choose a machine. There are only handful of people in the gaming room. I find a machine I like and put a couple of dollars in it, and on my second spin I win some free games. I notice an older lady standing behind me, watching as I win over $60. As I go to play it down to an even $60, I can hear her mumbling behind me but don’t pay any attention. I happen to get the free games again, taking my total up to just over $100. I get a coin bucket and push “collect” when I’m pushed off my chair. I look up to see the old lady grabbing dollar coins from the machine.)

Me: “What the h***?”

Lady: “This is my machine. You’re playing my machine, so this is my money.”

(I’m confused, as there was no credit on the machine or reserve sign up. My husband and the gaming manager race over to help me.)

Husband: “What the heck are you doing to my wife?”

Lady: “She’s trying to steal my money. That’s my machine.”

Manager: *after radioing for security* “Ma’am, you weren’t playing a machine. I have to ask you to give this lady her money back and leave, unless she would like to press assault charges. You will also be banned from here.”

Lady: “No, this is my machine, I always play this machine. I spend more here in a week than they’d make in a whole month. You ban them.”

(By this time, two security guards have arrived and my husband has helped me up, I decline to press charges and she is escorted out, screaming about how it’s her machine. We are given vouchers for drinks and the restaurant. The next week at the community centre, I’m being trained in the welfare side of things, as I had only worked in the second hand shop before, when the lady from the pub comes in. She doesn’t recognise me, but I pull aside the senior worker who is training me and explain what has happened. She explains that this lady comes in every week demanding food vouchers, payment for her prescriptions, and help with rent and bills. They had already decided to just give her a food parcel and advise her on financial counselling if she came back within three months, but after I explain what happened at the pub, this is what the senior worker does.)

Senior Worker: “I’m sorry Mrs. [Lady], but we are unable to assist you anymore. I can give you the numbers of some other places that may be able to help you.”

Lady: “What? No, you are a charity; you have to help me. I need food vouchers and these bills paid now.”

Senior Worker: “I’m afraid that, no, we don’t have to help you, as we generally only assist every three months, and if it’s more than that we only give food parcels. You have been here every week for the last three months, demanding assistance. I’m sorry; we can’t help you anymore for the next 12 months.”

Lady: “What? This is an outrage. How am I meant to pay my rent? How am I meant to eat? I have diabetes, you know. If I die because of not eating, it’s all your fault.”

Senior Worker: “Ma’am, as I said, I’ve got a list of numbers here that may help you, but can I suggest not spending more in a week than I make a whole month at [Pub]?”

(I tried not to laugh as the lady looked between me and the senior worker. She finally recognised my husband and me as another worker arrived to escort her out, all while she was screaming how it was her machine and her money, and how she was going to die because we wouldn’t give her food. The manager contacted other services in the area to warn them about her.)

There’s Madness In The Methodist

, | Durham, NC, USA | Right | November 16, 2016

(I’m working a pumpkin sale at our church. All proceeds go to “mission work,” which is hunger relief in town and in Haiti, providing poor students at local schools with needed supplies, and Habitat for Humanity. We sell about two tractor trailer loads a season at slightly higher than regular retail, and do a lot of good work with the proceeds.)

Customer: “You’ve got such great pumpkins here!”

Me: “Thank you, we’re proud of our patch. What can I help you with?”

Customer: “Well, I like to make brandy out of pumpkins, so I’d like you to give me a discount on a big batch.”

Me: “Let me get this straight: you’re at a charity pumpkin sale at a church, and you’d like a moonshiner’s discount?”

Customer: *leaves in embarrassed silence*

Leaving Only With Emotional Scar(f)s

, | UK | Right | January 28, 2016

(I am a volunteer in a charity shop. There is nowhere to store personal belongings, so I put my handbag under the counter and my coat and scarf on the back of the cashier’s chair – this is also behind the counter. I am sitting on the chair. A customer is about to pay for a book, and spots my scarf. There are several scarves for sale in the shop, including in the window display.)

Customer: “Can I see that scarf, please?”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “There.” *points to my scarf*

Me: “Oh, sorry, that’s mine. We have lots of others around the shop.”

Customer: “Yours? What do you mean?”

Me: “It’s mine; it belongs to me. It’s not for sale.”

Customer: “Of course it’s for sale. You can’t just keep anything you like the look of. I want to buy it. How much is it?”

Me: “No, sorry, it’s mine. It’s not from the shop. It’s really not for sale.”

Customer: “Yes, it is. How much?”

Me: “It’s MY scarf, I wore it to come to work this morning, it BELONGS to me, and it is NOT for sale. I can’t be much clearer.”

(At this point the customer glares at me and starts to walk AROUND the counter, looking at my scarf and is obviously just going to grab it. The other customers are staring at her in disbelief. I take my scarf from the chair and stuff it under the counter with my handbag, and physically stand in front of the customer so she can’t get round to the cashier’s area.)

Customer: “Hey, I want that! You can’t just hide it and keep it for yourself.”

Me: “Yes, I can, because it’s mine. You are not buying it. I am not going to sell it to you. Now, do you want the book?”

(She stands and glares at me, then throws the book onto the counter and stomps out of the shop, shaking her head and making comments about how rude I am and how she can’t believe how I treated her.)

Next Customer: *after a few moments of stunned silence* “So… how much for your coat, then?”

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