Extending A Lilac Branch To A Stranger

, , , | Friendly | September 22, 2020

I’ve worked customer service my whole life. As a result, smiling at people is so ingrained into my nature that I smile at everyone out of reflex nowadays.

One day, I’m walking home after getting some necessities in town. It is a tough time for me. I only got a low-wage job too far from my real home so I have to share living in another town with a friend and I only see my husband on weekends. Money is always tight and while my job is great, my bosses suck, and life is overall just miserable and I can’t see it getting any better anytime soon.

While I’m walking down the street lined with nice one-family homes on my way to my shared flat, I see an elderly woman standing on the walkway cutting some branches from her lilac tree which is in full bloom. She looks up at me, and out of routine, I smile at her, nodding, as a greeting.

She smiles back.

I’m passing her and think nothing of it, but before I can go on, she steps in my way.

Woman: “Excuse me, miss.”

I turn back to face her.

Woman: “A smile like yours can open doors. You’ll see, a very lucky life is waiting for you!”

With those words, she handed me the branches she’d just cut from her tree, gathered those she’d cut before from the walkway, took her stuff, and headed back inside.

I smiled a little longer. Life was just so miserable at that moment that I didn’t believe her, but she had just gifted me my favorite flowers and made my day brighter.

But it turned out she was right. Not soon after, my constant job hunt earned me a great job above minimum-wage where I could work remotely, so I was able to move back home. Money isn’t so tight anymore and life is much better than I’ve ever dreamt, even if it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

If you’re in a tight spot, don’t give up on yourself. Keep smiling at people. Even if it doesn’t look like it’s ever going to get better, there’s always a chance someone will gift you at least a little happiness now and then, if you just gift them your smile.

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Snipping Away At Your Patience

, , , | Working | September 22, 2020

I’ve been wanting to get a new haircut for months but have been unable to find one I like. As such, my hair is a bit shorter than shoulder-length and looks very ragged. I usually go to another hairdresser, but I am so excited to finally get a haircut I like that I just go to one that accepts walk-ins. The haircut that I want is basically a sidecut with about ear-length hair on the other side and a shorter layer on top. I am so excited that I am grinning the whole time.

Hairdresser: *After washing my hair* “So, do you already have a haircut in mind, sweetie?” 

Me: “Yeah, I’ve got pictures!”

I show her pictures of the haircut from several angles

Hairdresser: “Okay, then.”

She sections my hair on one side off.

Hairdresser: “This part will be trimmed; is that okay?”

Me: “Yes.”

She holds scissors to my hair.

Hairdresser: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.” 

The hairdresser cuts and trims my hair, and then sections of another layer of hair.

Hairdresser: “If we leave it like that, the hair will keep falling down and that won’t be fun; would you like to trim this, too?”

Me: “Oh, if it’s like that, then, yeah!”

The hairdresser trims off the other hair section but leaves it longer towards the top.

Me: “Sorry, could you please make it the same length in the whole area?”

Hairdresser: “Are you sure?”

Me: *Confused* “Yes?”

The hairdresser trims the whole side and starts cutting the other side to a bit longer than chin-length.

Me: “Umm, could you please cut it a few centimetres shorter?”

Hairdresser: *Pauses* “Are you sure? If it’s gone, then it’s gone!” 

Me: “Yeah! Hair grows, after all!”

Hairdresser: “Huh?”

Me: “Hair grows back?”

Hairdresser: “Ah, yes.” 

She cuts my hair to chin-length.

Me: “Ah, umm, to about here, please?” *Shows length*

Hairdresser: *Dismissive* “Oh, I’ll just trim the bottom out a bit, and then it’ll jump up when it’s dry.”

I’m thinking, “She’s the professional.”

Me: “Okay!”

Hairdresser: *Finishes cutting* “Do you like it?” 

She hands me a mirror.

Me: “Yeah, thanks so much!”

Hairdresser: “Do you want me to blow-dry your hair?”

I declined, paid, and left. When my hair was dry, it hadn’t gotten as short as I wanted it, but I didn’t want to complain as I probably should’ve let her blow-dry it to make sure it would be that short.

I still don’t quite understand her reluctance to actually cut my hair as short as I wanted it. I can understand that you would ask people who go in without a plan and then decide on a whim to cut their hair short to make sure they really want it, but I brought pictures, was smiling the whole time, had obviously short hair before, and even reassured her that hair grows!

On top of that, it seemed like she was a senior employee, by her age and by the way she ordered the other hairdressers around, rather than an insecure newbie. I ended up getting my father to cut it shorter and I will definitely go to my usual salon next time.

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Unfiltered Story #208786

, | Unfiltered | September 19, 2020

Besides a lot of regular priced goods I wanted to buy two items on sale. Unfortunately the cashier scanned them in at full price. After me telling him about the mistake, he called his manager over to cancel those two items and went on with checking out the remaining items.
After paying and leaving the store I checked the receipt and noticed that I didn’t pay for the two reduced items at all.

I went back in to the customer service counter where Manager greeted me.

Manager: “Hi. Anything I can help you with?”

Me: “Yes! Remember the two items you had to void because they were scanned at full price instead of the sale price? Eventually the cashier forgot to check them out at all.”

Manager: *in disbelief* “So you’re telling me you came back to pay for the items we forgot to check out?”

Me: “Yes!”

Manager: *still in disbelief* “Oh, thank You!

Would This Have Been Acceptable Before The Crisis?!

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

Due to the current health crisis, masks are mandatory to wear on public transport, including trains. I’m on the train, reading an article on how the national train company has so far not enforced that rule and will now work harder to make sure that passengers refusing to wear a mask will be removed from the ride. 

At the next stop, a man enters and sits in the seat on the opposite aisle. He has a mask but it’s completely pulled down. He then gets a beer, gnaws it open with his teeth, puts the spit-covered lid on the little table, and begins to drink. I’m a little shocked, but he has headphones in and I also have social anxiety so I don’t dare to confront him and neither does anyone else. 

Soon, he’s starting his second beer — the smell on the train is horrible thanks to that — and the train inspectors come through to check everyone’s tickets. I internally cheer, because there’s four of them so it must mean they actually work harder to make sure everyone’s safe, right? 


They don’t say anything, just check the man’s ticket. No, “Sir, please wear your mask,” or, “Please get off at the next station.” Nothing. The girl sitting across from me looks just as stunned as me. 

The inspectors then stay right in front of our seats, where the doors are, and chat. 

Then, the man without the mask sneezes. Three times. And I don’t mean small sneezes. I have noise-cancelling headphones in on full volume; I can’t even hear the train engines but I can hear that man sneeze loudly. It sounds gross. He also, of course, doesn’t even try to cover his face with his arm or hand. 

The inspectors do nothing. 

One passenger tells the man that he is gross and should wear a mask, pointing to his own mask and all. He doesn’t react. 

The girl in front of me and I make eye contact. Her eyes are huge and she shakes her head at me in disbelief. I do, too, and the man opens his third beer by the time I get off the train. 

I’m considering writing a complaint, since I’m mostly upset at the inspectors, but I feel like it won’t do any good since this wasn’t the first time I witnessed something like this in the last few weeks.

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Seat Block Versus A Mental Block

, , , | Right | September 16, 2020

As I work in a very small cinema, we only accept cash as payment. We have two very big signs that say so. You literally can’t miss them. A woman and her husband are buying tickets. After advising them, I print their tickets.

Customer: “Do you accept Visa?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. We only accept cash payments.”

Customer: “But last time I paid with a card.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but we don’t have and never have had a card reader. Do you have any cash with you, or do you want to go get some while I have your seats blocked?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have cash with me. Are you sure that I can’t pay with a card?”

I am getting a little pissed, as I have explained three times.

Me: “Again, I am really sorry, but we do not own a card reader and it is not possible for me to install a card reader now.”

Customer: “But someone will buy our seats if we don’t pay now.”

Me: “As I already said, I will keep them blocked if you want to go to the ATM to get some money.”

Customer: “So, nobody can buy our seats?”

Me: “No.”

I blocked the seats and the couple went to get some cash. They never came back.

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