Kindness Is The Most Powerful Drug

, , , , | Hopeless | September 6, 2016

(I’m dealing with severe depression and anxiety and am on medication to try to manage them. To afford my prescriptions, one just half the dose of the other, we need to dig into rent money, but without my meds I crash so hard I’ve been institutionalized, so we don’t have a choice.)

Pharmacy Tech: “I’m sorry, but the price on [Medicine] has gone up again, it used to be [very cheap price] but now it’s going to be [seven times as much].”

Me: *sighing* “All right, we’ll have to pay that.”

Pharmacy Tech: *leaning in to whisper to my husband and me* “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but go home and print out coupons from [Website] and come back. Or, if you have a smartphone, look them up on there. It should save you quite a bit of money. It infuriates us too that the prices keep going up.”

(My husband and I walk outside to put away what we’ve already purchased, and in the meantime, look up coupons on his smartphone. When we get out to our car, we see a truck parked in front of us with the hood up and a young woman messing with the battery. It is over 90 degrees outside and it’s pretty clear she doesn’t know what she’s doing.)

Husband: “Everything all right?”

Woman: “Yeah. I’ve got someone coming to help. I think the battery’s dead.”

Husband: “Do you need a jump?”

Woman: “It wouldn’t hurt.”

(While I sit in the passenger seat of our car and look up coupons, my husband tries to get the truck going. After several minutes of attempting, it’s proven that the battery is truly dead, and the woman goes inside to wait for her ride. Meanwhile, I’ve successfully found a coupon that will get me my larger dosage for 50% off, making it much more affordable. We go back inside and show it to the pharmacy tech, who enters it into the system.)

Pharmacy Tech: “All right, that’s going to be [much more affordable price].”

Pharmacist: *interjecting from behind the tech* “If you can get your doctor to write you a prescription for one and a half of the larger dose, it’ll be cheaper, too, and you can just split the pills in half.”

(My husband and I agreed that it was probably karma working for us that day. We still go to that pharmacy every time we need a medication and try to pay it forward every chance we can.)

1 Thumbs
499

A Small Nugget Of Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | September 3, 2016

(My family and I are battling homelessness. While my husband works, I basically tote our two children (three-year-old boy and two-year-old girl) around the city. Keep in mind, this is August and we’re in the middle of a heatwave. I bring the kids into a well-known fast-food chain restaurant to keep them out of the heat. We’ve been sitting here for a while, my son playing a game and my daughter asked in her stroller.)

Manager: *walking over* “Do y’all need anything?”

Me: “Oh, no. We’re fine.”

Manager: “Are you sure? Y’all have been sitting here for a while. When is the last time you ate?”

Me: *shifting uncomfortably* “Not since breakfast.”

Manager: “Okay. Do your kids like chicken nuggets? You want a 20 piece and some fries?”

Me: “I have no money.”

Manager: “Don’t worry about it. You want a soda, too?”

(I’m stunned. All I do is nod. She walks off and returns about five minutes later with a tray. On it is the 20 piece nuggets, two medium fries, a drink for me, and two milks for my kids. I thank her and she walks off. As we’re eating, she walks back.)

Manager: “See, I’ve got this problem. I got extra kids’ toys and no one to give them to.” *addressing my son now* “Do you want them?”

Son: *ecstatic* “Please! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

(She told us we could get anything else if we needed it but I didn’t ask for anything else. Her kindness kept us fed that day and I even wrote a letter to corporate praising her and recommending that she get some kind of raise. I’m not sure if she did but the next time we were in there, she did the same thing. That simple act restored my faith in humanity. Thank you, miss, wherever you are now!)


This story is part of our Heatwave roundup!

Read the next Heatwave Roundup story!

Read the Heatwave Roundup!

1 Thumbs
721

A Party Pooper

, , , , , , | Working | September 2, 2016

(We got heavily into debt as a young couple with two children and have just managed to pay off our car loans and all of our credit cards without filing for bankruptcy. We cancel all the cards but one with a low limit for emergencies and commit to living debt-free (i.e. no credit cards, loans, etc.). We call to book my son’s birthday party at the same indoor amusement park where we did it last year, and since we don’t want to give our credit card for the deposit, we opt instead to pay for the entire party in cash the day we book it. I drive downtown, make the payment, and get my receipt. I confirm at that point that on the day of the party we will have nothing to pay and will only have to show up, celebrate, and leave. On the day of the party, everything is going smoothly. Just after we do the presents, when the party is winding down, a young employee approaches us.)

Employee #1: “Hi! Looks like you guys are having a good time.”

Me: “Oh, yes. Everything has been wonderful, thanks.”

Employee: “Wonderful. This is for you.” *hands me a folded piece of paper* “You can take care of this with me at the front whenever you are ready.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Thanks.”

(I look at the paper and it is a bill for $35. I show it to my wife and we are puzzled. It just says “additional party costs” on it, but there’s no breakdown of what exactly the fee is for. I go to the counter to find out.)

Me: “Hi. I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused. What exactly is this fee for? The $35?”

Employee #1: “Um, for your party? That we’re hosting for you?”

(The employee beside her rolls her eyes and laughs at my apparent stupidity.)

Me: “Um, I get that I have to pay for the party; that’s why I paid for it last month.” *pulls my receipt out of my purse and shows her* “See? I paid in full, in cash, a month ago.”

Employee #2: “The rate for the party has gone up since you booked. We have to charge the amount it is now, not the amount it was when you booked it. That’s how we do things here. Now would you like to pay cash, credit, or debit?”

Me: “Um, debit, I guess. I’m still confused.”

Employee #1: “Well, you would be. You stay-at-home moms have no idea how things work in the workplace.”

Me: “I work full-time, thank you very much. I’ve probably been working since you were in diapers, so what I do know is that this is not proper customer service.”

Employee #1: “Are you gonna pay or do you want me to get my manager and security?”

Me: “Debit, please.”

(I pay and go back to my family and relate the story to my wife. She is livid and tells me that we are going to get our money back. We leave the kids with my in-laws in the party area and go back to the counter. The two employees see me coming and immediately roll their eyes and throw their heads back in frustration.)

Employee #1: *sighs in a very frustrated and rude tone* “Yes, ma’am… How can I help you this time?”

Me: “I would like to speak to your manager, please.”

Employee #1: *sighs again* “Fine, but she’s going to tell you exactly what I said.”

Employee #2: “God, some people…”

(The second employee calls the manager on their house phone and tells her something I can’t really hear. The manager arrives, looking very annoyed at us. She takes the employees aside for a moment and then comes back to us. The employees are standing behind her looking smug and smiling at us.)

Manager: “Good afternoon, ladies! I understand you two are having trouble understanding our pricing policy?”

Me: “Not exactly. I understand that you have raised your prices since last month and that people paying today would have to pay the current price, not the price of when they booked the party. That I’m not arguing with, although I don’t necessarily agree with it. My problem is this $35 bill you presented me with. I paid in cash, in full, for this party a month ago because we don’t like to use our credit cards.” *hands her my original receipt* “And I was assured we would have nothing to pay today. That $35 came out of my gas budget for the week; we budgeted very tightly for this party and I really wasn’t expecting to get a bill today.”

Manager: “I understand, but our prices have gone up since…” *looks at my receipt for a moment and looks up quickly* “Wait, you already paid? Last month?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I paid in full at the price you advertised. I shouldn’t have to pay more today because the price went up. Would you expect to get a bill from [Major Department Store] for your shoes if the price went up after you bought them?”

Manager: “You are absolutely right, madam. This was our mistake and I am so sorry! Have you already paid this $35?”

Wife: “Yes, she paid with our debit card and we’d like a refund, please.”

Manager: “Absolutely, ladies. My sincere apologies for the misunderstanding. [Employee #1], would you refund this lady’s debit card and cancel this bill, please?”

Employee #1: “What? No!”

Manager: “Excuse me?”

Employee #1: “[Employee #2] told me to charge her! She said to. I didn’t do anything wrong! I just did my job!”

Manager: “Okay, I’m just going to take care of this myself.”

([Employee #2] now looks embarrassed. She gives us a quick apology and retreats, red-faced, into their little office. [Employee #1] is red-faced and angry.)

Employee #1: “I was told by [Employee #2] to do it. I did nothing wrong!”

Manager: *to us* “I’m so sorry about this. Can I take your debit card, please?”

Me: “Absolutely, and thank you for fixing this for us. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but $35 is a lot of money for us right now.”

Manager: “I understand.”

Employee #1: *now yelling with her arms crossed* “I was told to charge them! This isn’t fair! I didn’t do anything wrong, [Manager]. [Employee #2] told me to do it! This is f***ed up!”

Manager: “[Employee #1]! Do not argue with me! We will talk about this later. Now go into the office and wait for me. Ask [Employee #2] to come out here and cover the desk.”

Employee #1: “This is bulls***. I’m calling my father.”

Manager: “Your refund is complete; again, I am so sorry about this. It isn’t easy working with teens sometimes.”

Wife: “Tell me about it. I used to manage a fast food restaurant and believe me, I heard some variation of ‘I’m telling my father’ at least once a month from someone. I feel your pain.”

Manager: “I’m so glad you understand, and please don’t let this influence how you feel about us. Most of my staff are wonderful and we love to make our customers happy.”

Me: “We come here all the time. Believe me, I’ve seen your wonderful staff in action. We will be back!”

Manager: “Great! Look, here are a few coupons for some free activities and tokens for your next few visits. I think I’ve got some coupons for free pizza from the canteen back here somewhere…”

Me: “Don’t even worry; it’s all good. Thank you so much and have a lovely day.”

Manager: “You as well! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a young lady back here who’s just dying to talk with me.”


This story is part of our Birthday Party Roundup!

Read the next Birthday Party Roundup story!

Read the Birthday Party Roundup!

1 Thumbs
956

It’s Going To Be A Long Week

, , , , | Working | September 1, 2016

(I go into the credit union to make a withdrawal. The teller has obviously had a long day and mistypes my account number three times.)

Teller: “I’m really sorry about this.”

Me: “It’s okay; I have days like that, too.”

Teller: “Well, at least it’s Friday, right? Or actually, Thursday.”

Me: “It’s Wednesday…”


This story is part of our Bad Bankers roundup!

Read the next Bad Bankers roundup story!

Read the Bad Bankers roundup!

1 Thumbs
552

The Gift Of Trust

, , , , | Working | August 25, 2016

(I have to leave very early the next morning for a long trip so I decide to go get gas the night before because my car is almost empty. I don’t have any cash on me and plan on using a gift card. When I pull up to the pump the machine is not accepting my rewards card so I go in and wait in the long line of customers to pay inside.)

Me: “Hi, I wanted to put $10 on pump 3 but the machine didn’t accept my rewards card so I figured I’d do it inside.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but some of our machines are down so we can only accept cash or credit. Rewards cards and debit are not currently working.”

Me: “Oh, well, that explains that. I wanted to pay with a gift card so I’ll just do that here.”

Employee: “No problem and thanks for understanding. For the inconvenience we can give you a dollar’s worth of free gas.”

(As he says this he tries to run my gift card only for it to not go through.)

Employee: “This is the first gift card I’ve seen since our system went down and it appears that they are not working either. Just give me a moment.”

(He then steps off to apparently ask a manager what to do.)

Employee: “Do you have any other form of payment or is there anyway you could come back tomorrow?”

Me: “No. I only have debit and you said that wasn’t working. Also, I really need this gas tonight as the warning light has come on in my car.”

Employee: “Here is what my boss told me. I will pump your gas for you and we will hold onto the gift card and ring it through in the morning. That way you can still get your gas.”

(He then proceeded to follow me out to my car and fill it up with the right amount of gas. When he was done he told me I was good to go and not to worry about it because they would ring it up the next day. I was so appreciative of the employee’s help. He could have just told me to leave, but instead went above and beyond to help me out. Also, I called back the next day to thank him and the store and make sure everything went over well when the systems came on line. They did and I was grateful for the station’s help.)

1 Thumbs
429