You Can Always Be Kind, Even With Your Foot In Your Mouth

, , , , , , | Right | April 30, 2021

I am working as a cart attendant at a retail chain. Part of our responsibility is to help guests load items into cars when needed.

One late summer afternoon, I get called over the walkie-talkie to help a woman to her car with her purchase. For some reason, she has parked her van at the very last parking spot, so we have to walk together for a couple of minutes through the near-empty parking lot as I push two heaping carts and she pushes another.

We make small talk about how beautiful the weather is, how the days are getting longer, this and that. We are both smiling and laughing a bit the whole time about unimportant things as I’m loading various chips, sodas, doughnuts, paper plates, napkins, juices, and other things into the car.

Me: “Wow! You must be getting ready to have a big party!”

Customer: “It’s a funeral, actually.”

Me: *Embarrassed* “Oh, I’m sorry.”

She doesn’t respond, and I clam up and finish putting things in the van. Though I know now that I did nothing wrong, at the time, I felt like an insensitive jerk.

I close the van door, collect the carts, and turn to see that the customer is holding out money for me.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not allowed to—”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “Take it.”

Me: “No, ma’am, I can’t, and besides, I—”

She interrupts once more, her voice cracking.

Customer: “Please take it. You really helped me today. You have no idea how much I needed someone to be nice to me today.  Besides, it was nice to talk about something normal during this time. So, please… take it.”

I took the money, and she smiled, got into her van, and drove away.

Having just moved to Chicago, I was pretty strapped for cash and hadn’t yet eaten on this particular day. The $10 she gave me was able to be used for two meals. It was such a small thing, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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Professionalism Is The Key

, , , , | Right | April 20, 2021

I work in a key cutting shop. Since keys are just about the only product we sell, we have to charge more for a key than other places that do key cutting as a side service.

This also means we do it better; unlike the other places that just carry the eighty most popular blank keys, we carry about two thousand. We also have both the experience and training to get it right the first time, unlike the other places that just don’t care. To us, this justifies the higher price.

Customer: “Can you make this key? I’ve been everywhere and no one can do it.”

Me: *Looking at the key* “Oh, sure, they are $1.99 each.”

Customer: “What?! What a rip-off. All the other places only charge about $1.50.”

Me: “Then why didn’t you get it made there?”

Customer: “Because as I told you, no one else can make it.”

Me: “Fair enough, for $1.50 we can’t make it, either.”

Customer: “Just make the d*** key.”

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Just A Bit Scrambled

, , , | Right | April 18, 2021

When I am about seven, I go to a diner with my family. I only recently realized I like fried eggs, so I decide to order some.

Waitress: “How would you like those done?”

Me: *Clueless* “Medium rare?”

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Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 12

, , , , | Right | April 15, 2021

I am a female working in the call center of an industrial supply company; we sell screws, pipe fittings, etc. All call center employees are trained to answer basic questions about our products — dimensions, color, material, and even basic usage instructions, depending on the product, and of course, pricing and availability.

I don’t have exact statistics, but in my experience, the vast majority of questions can be answered by simply READING our very detailed website. A version of this call happens literally every day for me and other female employees.

Caller: “I’m going to need you to connect me to a tech guy to answer a question about this for me.”

Me: “Yes, what information do you need to know?”

Caller: “You don’t understand; this is a tech support call. I need the tech guy.”

Me: “I understand perfectly, and I am in tech support. What can I help you with?”

Caller: “I don’t want to have to repeat this information again.”

Me: “If I can’t answer your question right away, I have the means to find out for you. What. Do. You. Need. To. Know?”

At this point, the caller, with varying levels of incredulity in his voice, will finally tell me what they need to know. Eight out of ten times, it’ll be a dimension or other characteristic that is listed on our site. Of the two times where the information isn’t listed, about half of those will be listed in the information that employees have access to that we don’t publish. And yes, one out of ten will have to go to “techier” tech support employees to get answered, some of whom are, in fact, female.

Related:
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 11
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 10
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 9
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 8
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 7

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When They Go Low…

, , , , | Right | April 7, 2021

I work in a fast food sandwich shop. A couple with their autistic son are some of our favorite regular guests. Their son is very sweet but loves to wander the dining area telling people what the names of things are.

I’m doing a quick dining room clean-up when a customer flags me over.

Customer: “Why do you let people like that in here? That is a menace!”

It fills my heart and soul with pride to say…

Me: “Ma’am, that is Mr. and Mrs. [Regulars’ Last Name] and their son, [Son]. They are regular guests of our establishment and a welcome part of our family.”

She curses at me.

Me: “Thank you.”

The beauty and ugliness of humanity never cease to amaze me. I choose to be blessed.

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