Getting An “A” Grade In Kindness Beats Getting An “A” Grade In Practically Anything Else

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 10, 2018

(My brother goes to university while working part time in a small restaurant. His boss is a middle-aged man who constantly gets angry over the smallest things, but all in all is a good guy. His restaurant is in a mostly French-speaking area, but his French is bad and he usually communicates with his staff in English. He recently had a lot of trouble finding and keeping waiters. His wife is also sick with cancer and hasn’t got long to live.)

Boss: “Hey, [Brother], do you think you could work the night shift on Wednesday? [Other Waiter] just quit and didn’t give notice, and we have nobody to cover that shift.”

Brother: “Hm… not really. I’ve got a final exam the morning after, and I need the time to study. Can’t [Other Waitress] work it?”

Boss: “No, she’s already scheduled at her other job. You’re sure you can’t do it? It’s just…” *at this point he starts tearing up* “I would work the shift myself, even if my French is bad, but it’s my wife last chemo treatment on Wednesday and I can’t make it back in time. It won’t cure her but it will give her a little more time with us. I’d close the restaurant for the night but business hasn’t been very good lately, and I can’t afford to turn away customers. Please…”

(His boss actually starts sobbing. He’s someone with very conservative values, the kind of person who thinks men should not be seen crying.)

Brother: “Okay, I’ll work the shift under two conditions. First, I serve the customers and nothing else. I’ll bring my books and study during the down times, if there are any. And after we close, I do the bare minimum cleaning and will leave the rest to the morning guys. How is that?”

Boss: “Okay! No problem. You bring your book, and you study while you work! Thank you so much! You have no idea how much this means to me.”

(Since then, his boss has always been very thankful towards my brother. My brother ended up not being able to study much during his shift because there were too many customers. He studied after his shift and barely passed his exam. He never did regret that decision, though. As he told me, sacrificing one good grade was worth it to bring a little peace to someone in a very difficult situation. The only thing he regrets was not being there for the wife’s funeral, as he moved to another city before she passed away.)

He’s Bringing Home A Nine

, , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2017

(This takes place years ago, in college. I am renting a three-bedroom apartment with two other guys. My best friend and I are sharing the master bedroom, so we can rent the last bedroom to a fourth guy to save money. One of the numerous people who rents that room is a very good-looking guy that studies law, has everything paid by his parents, and obviously doesn’t have to work. All his free time is spent going to bars and pubs and bringing back women. When he does this, he always makes a show of presenting us by name and making us shake hands with his flavor of the week [if not day], and then he simply slips off to his bedroom that is, fortunately, very well sound-isolated. While we’re washing the dishes:)

Friend: “You know, I used to love Fridays, but now I know I’ll have to meet yet another ephemeral woman that will steal my coffee tomorrow morning.”

Me: “I’m wondering if he’s trying to rub it in our face, even though I don’t care.”

Friend: “What? You don’t care?”

Me: “Honestly, if I was good-looking, rich like he is, and I didn’t have a girlfriend, I would probably do the same. No, what gets to me is the fact he’s NEVER brought back the same woman twice, AND he always has to present that person to us as if he’s looking for an everlasting bond going forward.”

Friend: “That’s what I’m saying! Look, he’s been here, what… a month, maybe five weeks? And he’s already at the eighth woman.”

Me: “Oh, I hadn’t counted. Mmhh, so tonight would be the ninth?

Friend: “Yes.”

Me: “…I think I’ll just stay in front of the computer tonight and play games.”

Friend: “Good frigging idea. I’ll just sit in bed to read a book instead of being in the living room. I don’t want to see him tonight.”

(The subject dies and I start playing my video game on our PC in our bedroom. The game is online, competitive, and intense, and requires pretty much all of my concentration. The guy in question enters the apartment. Unfortunately, the bedroom door is ajar and the front door is in line with our door on my left. My roommate is reading on the bed behind me, away from view. The guy heads toward me with a girl in tow, but I haven’t even noticed they are here because I have headphones on.)

Guy: “Hey, [My Name], I want you to meet [Girl]. She’s—”

Me: *playing and totally in the zone* “Yeah, yeah… Hi, Number Nine.” *halfheartedly waves left hand to them, barely even looking*

(A moment ticks, then my head jerks up upon realizing what I just said and did. I turn my head slowly to the left to meet their gaze, mouth agape trying but failing to find something to say. She has a perplexed look on her face, but he lunges angrily to close our bedroom door while staring me dead in the eyes.)

Friend: *trying not to laugh* “…‘Hi, Number Nine?’”

Me: “I was… He… It came out on its own. I didn’t… I would never…”

Friend: *laughs loudly enough for the whole building to hear*

(I put some clothes on and fled the apartment to my girlfriend’s to avoid him at all costs. The guy told us he would be looking for another place during the weekend, and left the place at the end of that month. I don’t think I would have been able to come up with an objection even if I wanted to.)