Kindness Doesn’t Take Half-Days

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2018

When I was seven, my family moved to a new house, which was the first house of a new development. By the time school started, a few other families had moved into other houses, but we hadn’t gotten the chance to meet them yet.

One day our school had a half-day, and we were all sent home early. The school bus dropped me off and I happily skipped home, ready to enjoy my extra time off. When I reached my house, I suddenly realized no one was home to greet me. I was always losing things, so my parents never gave me a key. I was scared and cold, and had no way of getting inside, so I did the only thing I could think of: I hid behind a bush in the garden and cried.

I don’t know how long I was there, but it was long enough that I couldn’t cry anymore and my hands were numb. That’s when a strange man approached me. He started asking me questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are your parents?” “Do you need help?” I didn’t answer any of his questions; I just kept shaking my head no, since I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. He walked away, and I started to cry again. I was even more scared because I thought someone was going to take me.

A while later the man came back, and I was scared stiff. I thought for sure he was going to take me away. Instead, he silently and slowly handed me a cell phone; cells weren’t too common back then. When I answered the phone, I heard my dad’s voice on the other side. We exchanged our “secret passcode,” and he told me the man was our neighbor. He was a good person, and was going to take me to a demo house where I could wait until my dad could get me.

Once I hung up and handed the phone back, my neighbor smiled at me and took me over to his house. We spent a few minutes there as he warmed me up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a few cookies. Once I was warm and happy, he took me to the demo house where a woman greeted me. She sat with me for an hour and taught me how to use a Rubik’s cube until my dad finally came and picked me up.

Years later, I found out everything that happened. The school had never informed the parents that there was a half-day, and they were sued for neglect. My neighbor, who was on his way to work, happened to notice my little pink coat poking out from behind the bush. When he talked to me and I denied his help, he was planning on letting it go and leaving for work, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave me. He called up the Homeowner’s Association and let them know what was going on, and they’re the ones who called my dad. My dad told them I’d never leave to answer the phone, so the neighbor drove over, picked up the cell phone, and brought it to me to answer. He ended up being an hour late to work that day. The nice lady who stayed with me kept the house open two hours later than she was supposed to so she could be sure I was safe and warm while I waited for my parents.

Those people are still a part of my life to this day, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful and kind people as my neighbors. I honestly don’t know what would have happened that day without them.

Has No Reservations At Arriving With No Reservations

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2018

(I am a store manager, and my store hosts “girls’ night out” type events. Basically people contact us and schedule them ahead of time, as an easy get-together. It’s a party-like atmosphere, there’s refreshments and a private lounge, we work one-on-one with each woman attending, and we offer a discount on anything purchased. I get an email from a woman looking to host an event for her women’s group. She asks what dates are open, and I respond back that we schedule at least three weeks in advance — so as to have staffing — and spots are open on Tuesday afternoons, Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday evenings after close. I send her an attachment with the contract, as well, and tell her the contract and payment is needed to hold the room. I say that the earlier she lets me know the dates, the better. She responds back saying she will discuss which dates are best at her next women’s group meeting. She doesn’t get back to me. The next Sunday, I close, and I am home making a late dinner when my phone rings. It’s the manager of the restaurant next door, who has my personal number, saying there is an angry woman in the restaurant demanding to speak to me. She puts her on the phone.)

Woman: “We are supposed to have a party tonight, and there’s no one at the store!”

Me: “I didn’t have a party scheduled for tonight.”

Woman: “Well, you did. Come out and open the doors!”

Me: “I’m not at the store anymore.”

Woman: “I have people here who drove three hours to go to this! What do you mean, you aren’t here?!”

Me: “There must be a misunderstanding, because there was not supposed to be a party tonight.”

Woman: “Well, come back and open up, or I’ll sue!”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I don’t have the supplies or the staff to host anything.”

Woman: “Where do you live?! I’m going to pull you out of your g**d*** house and make you open the g**d*** door! This is so embarrassing! I’m going to have my husband kick your a**—”

(At this point, my friend from the restaurant evidently got the phone away from her. The woman demanded my personal address and phone number and was so loud that security removed her from the restaurant. Monday morning, my voice mailbox at work was full of calls from this woman, and I found out she had posted on the national page for her women’s group, demanding a nationwide boycott of our store, and calling for my termination. Her version of events had me scheduling the party, being in the store and refusing to let them in, laughing at them from in the store, and refusing to refund them. All of this was false, and in fact they had never paid nor scheduled the party. I quickly contacted our legal department and public relations, sending them the emails showing that the woman never got back with a contract or verified the date she wanted — and that she would have had to schedule at least a month out, anyway, so the date she showed up was impossible. Meanwhile, I started getting daily angry emails and calls from the woman and her friends. Finally, I sent an email laying out the facts to the women’s group’s headquarters directly, apologizing for the drama. I was honestly worried how the bad press was going to affect my career. To my surprise, the women’s group agreed that I had done nothing wrong, sent out the correct facts, and threatened to kick out any members sending me angry calls. They also apologized to the corporate office for the treatment I received. It didn’t affect my career. I still get people who come in and mention the incident, and I usually smile and set them straight.)

You’ll Have Real PTSD From His Fake One

, , , , , , | Related | October 30, 2018

Many years ago, for my cousin’s wedding, my family got together at a beach house. My cousin’s father had passed away the previous year, so a family friend was called in to walk her down the aisle. Immediately things got awkward when the family friend’s 30-year-old son walked in with his 16-year-old girlfriend. We all had many suspicions about the son, starting with drugs and ending with murder, but it was all speculation. He just came across as that kind of person.

The night before the wedding, the bride decided she wanted one more night out. Her controlling and mentally abusive mother caused a huge scene about this. She said that her father would be disgusted with her, and that if the bride left she would disown her. Then my aunt turned to me, being 17 and impressionable, and said I was to tell her if they left the house.

We were all consoling my obviously upset cousin at this point, when suddenly the family friend’s son appeared. He said he talked to my aunt, and convinced her to let the bride go out with a few people who were of age. This included my brother, his girlfriend, the bride, and the son. I felt very strange about this, as my aunt is not the kind of person to change her mind. I said I wanted to talk to her, but the son got very confrontational, saying it was taken care of and that I didn’t need to cause anymore drama. So, against my better judgment, I let them go.

I stayed awake, restless, while all the adults slept. Finally, an hour later, the bride and my brother’s girlfriend returned in a panic. Apparently they met up with the groom and groomsmen while out for some extra fun. The son got drunk and started having “PTSD flashbacks of the war,” which caused him to become belligerent. One of the groomsmen stepped in to calm him down, and the son punched him and pulled a knife. My brother restrained the son and told everyone to get out, telling his girlfriend to take the bride home.

Now I was panicking, and my brother wasn’t answering his phone. He was out at night with an armed and psychotic drunk. So, I did something I really didn’t want to. I woke up my parents and told them what happened. Immediately, they leapt into action, jumping in the car with my brother’s girlfriend to look for him. My cousin and I were told to get in a room and lock the door. We were scared, holding each other, when we heard stomping and screaming upstairs. My aunt had woken up.

For the next half hour, we had no idea what was going on. We were trapped in a room, listening to the world blowing up around us. People were running around, no one was answering their phones, and my aunt was screaming at us through the door. I’ve blocked out most of the words my aunt spat at us that night, but I know she was yelling about leaving the family.

Eventually, my parents came back and told us to open the door. My brother was fine. He had managed to disarm and talk down the son, and they were walking around outside when my parents got there. The son’s father got him in the car, and they went home and put him to bed on the air mattress my parents brought. The next morning he was so embarrassed that he wouldn’t show his face to the family. The air mattress was ruined by multiple tears and fluids.

The 16-year-old girlfriend did make an appearance at the wedding, but it was brief. The son was nowhere to be found. His parents apologized profusely for his actions, and told us he had never been in the military, let alone a war. Still, the wedding went off without a problem. My aunt stayed for it all and apologized years down the line for how she acted. My cousin is still happily married, and has a small child now. I’m just hoping I don’t have to attend another wedding for a long, long time.

Whistle While They Telework

, , , , | Related | October 24, 2018

(I am visiting my grandparents when they get a call from a random number.)

Grandpa: “Hey, [Grandma], it’s a telemarketer! Watch this, Squirt.”

Grandma: “Hello?” *pause* “No, thank you. I’m not interested. Could you please take me off your calling list?” *pause* “I said I’m not interested. Don’t make me repeat myself again. Take me off your list.”

(The person on the other side of the phone says something else. My grandmother calmly pulls a whistle out of her purse, puts it to her lips, and blows it as hard and loud as she can into the phone. She’s across the room from me and I have to cover my ears. She holds it for a solid fifteen seconds before she runs out of breath. I can hear the person on the other end start to yell something, but before they can form a sentence she gets her breath back and goes in for a second round. This time the caller hangs up within a few seconds and my grandmother gives a satisfied nod.)

Me: “I can’t believe you just did that! Your daughter used to be a telemarketer. Wouldn’t you feel awful if someone did that to her?”

Grandmother: “Where do you think we got the idea from? She said someone did that to her once and she had them marked down as ‘do not call’ right away so she would never have to call them again!”

(I don’t know whether their method works or not, but it’s become one of their favorite pastimes.)

Unhealthy Health Advice

, , , , | Healthy | September 28, 2018

(TriCare, the medical insurance that all US military dependents are on, has sent me to a new gynecologist for treatment of severe endometriosis. Her profile says that she is Catholic, but I don’t think much about it until I have my first few visits with her. Please note that my husband is unable to father a child due to chemical exposure while serving a combat tour in Iraq. We have decided that we are perfectly fine with not having children. I tell her that I don’t want to be a mother.)

New Gyno: “What?! You don’t want baby?! Why?”

(She is from the Philippines and her English isn’t entirely perfect.)

Me: “My husband is 100% unable to father a child. We have been having unprotected sex since we met over six years ago and we have never even had a pregnancy scare. I’m also not comfortable with being a mother.”

New Gyno: “But your husband almost forty and never had baby. He need baby! You have to give him baby!”

Me: “My husband is perfectly okay with not being a father. He is also in the process of being medically retired from the military, and we don’t think that it is a good time to have one now even if we could.”

New Gyno: “But baby make all the stress in your life go away. Baby make your husband’s PTSD from Iraq go away!”

Me: “What part of the fact that my husband can’t father a child do you not understand? I’m a Christian, and I believe that if God saw fit to give us a child in the last six years, he would have.”

New Gyno: “But you take birth control! All women without baby take birth control! You need to take my husband’s fertility awareness program! It $200 per session, per week!”

Me: *wondering where this came from because it’s not in my records* “Do you understand that I suffered a stroke at age twenty-six and I have a history of hypertension? If I had taken birth control for that long–” *I’m thirty-two* “–I would be dead by now! In thirteen years of being sexually active, I have never taken birth control, and I have never been pregnant! I don’t think that paying your husband $200 to learn how to count my cycles is going to get me pregnant. It’s also highly unethical for you to pressure someone into paying money that they might not have for a product that isn’t going to help!”

New Gyno: “But you lie to me about stroke! You never have stroke! You able to walk!”

Me: “I had eight Transient Ischemic Attacks!” *mini-strokes* “If you look at my face when I smile, it droops on one side. I also have partial paralysis in my right hand. I don’t know where you went to medical school, but both of those are the results of a stroke! If you want to really know why I won’t have a child, it’s because I take a cocktail of psychiatric medication to treat Bipolar Disorder and severe PTSD that my ex-husband left me with. If you’d looked at my records you would have known! All three medications are bad for an unborn baby! I also have Asperger’s Syndrome, and I don’t want any children of mine having the same problems that I have!”

New Gyno: “But you can stop medications. God give you the strength to stop taking medications! God want you to have baby! It not normal for woman to not want baby!”

Me: “You recommend stopping lithium cold turkey just to get pregnant?”

New Gyno: “Yes! I don’t believe that those medications help mental illness! Only God help mental illness!”

Me: “Are you aware that I could die if I stopped lithium cold turkey?”

New Gyno: “Why you die? It just like stopping Prozac.”

Me: “No, it’s not! I had a dose lowered once, and I got really sick. You mean to tell me that you equate an antidepressant to one of the most potent mood stabilizers on the market?”

New Gyno: “Yes! All psychiatric drugs the same!”

Me: “You have to be the craziest doctor that I have ever met! Is it your personal mission to make sure that every woman on this planet becomes a mother? I believe that if God wanted me to become a mother, he would have made me one!”

New Gyno: “Yes. All woman need to become mother! I have five children and it make my life wonderful!”

Me: “You need psychiatric help! I’m going to a doctor who understands my medical issues!”

(My husband was medically retired a few months later, and we moved to a small community in eastern Kentucky. TriCare assigned me to a young female gynecologist who was a recent medical school graduate. She agreed that it was a REALLY bad idea for me to get pregnant, and is currently trying to get TriCare to approve a hysterectomy due to my nightmarish periods and history of pelvic pain. The new gynecologist thinks that the one I saw in Delaware is a complete loon!)

Page 1/912345...Last