Little Man, Big Heart

, , , , | Working | May 31, 2016

(I am a single parent with a pretty limited income. On a rare occasion, my son and I will go out to eat. This time we go to a tiny Asian place I’d seen on my way to work each day. My son is four and already a pretty decent reader. This is the sort of place where orders are placed at the counter and then brought to your table. I look at the menu on the wall and ask my son, who also seemed to be reading the board, what he’d like.)

Me: “So, what are you going to have?”

Son: “Hmmm… how… about…. some…. food…”

(I burst out laughing as did the lovely women working the counter.)

Cashier: “No worries, little man, we will bring you food.”

(For the next hour, these ladies brought him small dishes of almost everything they made.)

Them: “Try this. You’ll like this.”

Them: “What did you think? Did you like it? Try this now. You’ll like it.”

(We were sent home with a huge “doggie bag” and only charged for one meal. We’ve gone to that place at about once a month ever since. When he is home from college, it is our tradition to eat there his first night back. Some of the same women still work there. They still call him “little man,” even though he is now 6’3″ and most of them barely push the 5′ mark. If he ever gets married, I’ll have them cater the wedding.)

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Racism = Stupidity

, , , , , , , | Right | May 30, 2016

(My husband and I are in line to order behind this older redneck-type man with a sour attitude. For the most part, I’m paying no attention, because I’m sharing work-related conversation with hubby, though it’s easy to see that the conversation is tense. Suddenly, the older guy explodes on the young, Hispanic cashier.)

Customer: “D*** it! I just want to order a d*** burger. Is that so f***ing hard to do?”

Cashier: “Sir, I just want to know if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “I don’t speak wetback, boy! You need to learn American.”

Cashier: *visibly upset now* “I asked if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “Can’t understand a f***ing thing. Need to fire all of your a**es and hire some d*** Americans.”

Me: “Wait, what seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “I can’t understand the d*** wetback behind the counter. He’s got a f***ing thick accent.”

(This is a complete lie; the kid has no accent at all. We’ve understood every word that he has said clearly.)

Me: “Well, maybe I can help. I know a little Spanish.” *I turn to the cashier, and in perfect English, ask:* “What was the order number and what comes with it?”

Cashier: “He ordered a number eight. It comes with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. I wanted to know if he wanted curly fries or regular with it.”

Me: *turns to the older customer and as loud and slow as I can* “HE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT CURLY FRIES OR REGULAR FRIES!”

Customer: “What the f***?! Why are you f***ing yelling at me?!”

Me: “Oh, I thought you were deaf. So, is it a stupidity problem, then? Or just racism?”

(He got red in the face and stormed out, still muttering about how Mexicans were taking over Texas. The cashier and his fellow workers were laughing the whole way. I got a free small shake out of it, but I’d have done it with or without the shake.)

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Big Monster, Small Act Of Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | May 24, 2016

(It’s common procedure for us to pull books off the shelf that are damaged, outdated, or haven’t been checked out in a long time, delete them from the system, and get rid of them via book sale or donating to charity. My boss has just pulled a few dozen books for deletion, but they haven’t been removed from the system yet. A boy comes to the front desk.)

Boy: “I’m looking for a Godzilla book, but it’s not on the shelf.”

Me: “It could be that it’s checked out. Would you like me to put it on hold for you?”

Boy: “But the computer says it’s in.”

(I check the computer, and the boy’s right — the book is listed as available, but is not on the shelf. After some searching we discover the book is in the back waiting to be deleted, as it’s older and hasn’t been checked out in years.)

Me: *to the boss* “Should we put it back on the shelf for him?”

Boss: “Here, let me handle it.”

(And my boss takes the Godzilla book, deletes it from our system, removes the barcode, and goes out front and gives it to the boy.)

Boss: “This book is yours to keep. You don’t ever have to bring it back!”

(The expression on the boy’s face was priceless — he not only found the book he wanted, but he got to keep it as his own! I have a very sweet boss, and this is just one of the many small but memorable good deeds she does on a regular basis.)

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Making Sure The Survivors Are Surviving

, , , , | Healthy Right | May 19, 2016

(My family is 100% German, and came to the US around 1900. Shortly after WW II ended, my grandma, who was working on getting her nursing certification, decided to volunteer at an aid center for recently arrived Holocaust survivors. My grandma was born in Chicago, and English was and is her first language, but she spoke German because her parents and grandparents spoke it, and had a slight accent. She’d been bullied about it all through the war, and was worried it’d be the same at the center, but decided to volunteer anyway. Sure enough, some of the other nurses started making snide comments, until one of the patients, a woman in a wheelchair, beckoned her over.)

Patient: *in halting English* “You… German?”

Grandma: “No.”

Patient: *disappointed* “You no speak German?”

Grandma: *in German* “Ja. I speak German. My parents are from Germany.”

Patient: *in German* “Oh, thank the Lord! English is such a hard language, and everyone here is so brusque, and there are no trees anywhere! I miss the mountains! What part of Germany are your parents from? Do they miss it? Have you ever been?”

(As soon as they found out my grandma spoke German, all of the other survivors came right over and started chatting away, completely dumbfounding the rest of the nurses! To my grandma’s relief, none of them held it against her that her family was German; most of them just wanted to talk about their homes and families, and were relieved to find someone who spoke their language. It wasn’t long before some of the other nurses and the aid center director asked her for help learning German themselves!)

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Bringing Tolerance Up To Date

, , , | Romantic | May 18, 2016

(I have been dating a girl online for a while now, and we meet each other for the first time. We decide to meet up at a popular burger joint. My area is known for LGBTQ discrimination, so I am a bit nervous. This happens a while into our dinner. An older gentleman walks over to our table.)

Older Gentleman: “Excuse me, but are you two ladies on a date?”

Me: *nervous about what might happen* “Yes.”

Older Gentleman: *smiles* “The two of you look so cute together. It’s so nice to see romance is still alive. I’d like to pay for your meal, the same way someone once paid for mine on a date.”

Girlfriend: “Sir, that is so nice of you. Thank you.”

Older Gentleman: “No problem.” *hands us $20* “I know how nervous it can be to date in this area; my husband and I went through the same thing. Have a good day!”

Me: “Thank you so much, I hope you have a good day, too!”

(Whoever you are, thank you. You made our night so much better!)


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