Don’t Put Your Foot In Your Mouth

, , , , | Hopeless | April 29, 2016

(I am travelling in Prishtina, Kosovo, when I happen to step on a broken glass bottle and my foot immediately starts to bleed profusely. Not wanting to call for an ambulance I simply head to the nearest public place, which in this case happens to be a bar, hoping they will have a first aid kit.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you have a first aid kit?”

Barkeeper: “Sorry, I speak only little English.”

Me: “Disinfect?” *pointing to my shoe, now almost entirely coloured red from the blood*

Barkeeper: “Ahh.” *he proceeds to hand me a huge bottle of very nice vodka* “This.”

(I thank him, pour some of the vodka in a glass, and go to the bathroom to disinfect the wound with the alcohol. The wound is luckily not too deep despite the massive bleeding. I use the paper towels to stop the bleeding and head back to the bar.)

Me: “Thank you so much! How much for the vodka?”

Barkeeper: “No. Vodka is free.” *he hands me the rest of the bottle* “This goes in your mouth. Keep. Present from Kosovo.”

(I am shocked, thank him again, and leave him a nice tip, which he tried very hard to refuse. Then I limp off with my almost full one-litre bottle of the best vodka in the house. The wound didn’t get infected, and healed quite nicely in a couple of days. The Kosovan hospitality is definitely not a myth!)

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Stress About The Dress

, , , , | Working | April 26, 2016

(I’m an overweight woman, who has always struggled with weight due to a non-functioning thyroid. I struggle to find a store that caters to larger brides until I find this one, so I go to see what they have. There’s a large woman (probably about 5’5″ and 350-380 pounds) on the stage in the center of the room having a fitting done. I’m browsing the catalogs when I hear an exchange between a daughter and her mother and the manager. The daughter is a thin girl who appears spoiled with how she talks. The daughter is staring at the larger woman on the stage, and leans in to her mother.)

Daughter: “I can’t believe someone like her is actually getting married!”

Mother: “I didn’t think whales mated for life!”

(The bride-to-be has clearly heard the comments, and is looking devastated. She takes a step away from the manager who is doing the fitting, but the manager stops her and walks up to the mother and daughter.)

Manager: “I can’t believe you think you’re going to get a dress from my store.”

Daughter: “Well, joke’s on you, then, because I’m actually here to pick it up! Besides, I’ve already paid.”

Manager: “Oh, you’re picking up your order? What’s the name?”

Mother: “It’s [Name].”

Manager: “All right…”

(The manager goes behind the counter, taps some things on the register, and then hands a receipt.)

Manager: “I need you to sign this.”

Mother: “What’s this?”

(The mother signs anyway.)

Manager: “That’s you signing that you have accepted a full refund for your purchase. You can find another store to get your dresses. I just cancelled your order and am refusing you service. Now leave before I call the police.”

Daughter: “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! MY WEDDING IS IN NEXT WEEK! HOW DARE YOU!”

(The daughter starts throwing things around.)

Mother: “We had those dresses custom made! How could you cancel her order?! Look at her!”

Manager: “I cancelled the order because I am not going to let any bride feel like she’s not worthy of marriage just because of her size. Clearly you both feel that you are better than others, and I have no place for clients that are, frankly, a**-holes. I’m calling the police, and since I still have your card information, I’m going to charge you for whatever damages your daughter causes.”

(The manager picked up the phone. The mother grabbed her daughter and they rushed out of the door. I ended up buying my dress from them, and it was BEAUTIFUL! Turned out the manager had a daughter who had a severe thyroid disease and had struggled with weight as well!)

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If You Tire On It Gets Better

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 26, 2016

(My fiancé and I bought our car last summer. It’s a 20 year old SUV and the tires are almost completely shot. However, we can’t afford to replace them because not long after we bought it and moved into our new place, my fiancé lost his job. On our way home, the front left tire zippers, thankfully right as I am pulling into the parking lot behind our building, so we have to put the very old spare on it. After that, things just keep popping up that prevent us from being able to afford the tires, like hours getting cut at work, or a sudden bill that has to be paid immediately. We decide that we we’re going to replace them when we get our tax returns this year. This happens when we are coming home from meeting with a caterer we are considering for our wedding (which my parents are helping pay for). He is the one driving and he feels something strange in the car’s pull, so he pulls over and looks at the tires before getting back in the car.)

Fiancé: “We need to stop at the tire shop before going home.”

(We decide to try and see if we can get the tires on credit. We’d stopped at this shop once before, as it was recommended to us by the guy at the Auto Zone, but we didn’t have the money.)

Tire Guy: *is running my fiance’s credit, since we already know that mine isn’t good enough* “Yeah, you were declined… Are you guys sure you don’t have any way to pay? You need them today, and I don’t feel comfortable letting you guys leave with those tires.”

Me: *about to cry* “We don’t have anything; I have about $2 in the bank.”

Fiancé: “And all I have is the money for our rent.” *looks at me* “I don’t know what to do.”

Other Tire Guy: *tapping away at the other computer and looks at the guy helping us* “Wait, what about [Name]’s tires?”

Tire Guy: “That’s true… We could ask him.”

Fiancé: “Wait, what?”

Tire Guy: “One of our coworkers, [Name], just got a new car. When we get new cars, we all usually swap out the tires for better ones. Our boss lets us sell them here if we want to.”

Me: *just stares*

Tire Guy: *goes into the maintenance bay to talk to the other guy, who turns out to be the man who had talked to us the last time we stopped in, and who remembers us. Comes back a couple minutes later* “Okay, so he said he wants to give you guys the tires. No charge.”

Me: *just starts crying*

Fiancé: “Are you serious?”

Tire Guy: “Yep! So we’ll install them and make sure everything’s okay.”

Me: “Can I give him a hug?”

(They installed the tires and picked the best of our four old ones to replace the spare. They also disposed of the old tires for us, including the one that had blown out which was in the back of our car. All at no charge. We still can’t believe this happened. Amazingly, it was the first thing in a number of good things that started happening for us, including his hours at work stabilizing and me getting a promotion and a raise.)

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Been To Hell(‘s Angels) And Back

, , | Hopeless | April 25, 2016

(Our theatre has a lecture series where authors give presentations. One presenter is a Holocaust survivor. I am very surprised to see a large and stereotypical ‘biker’ come in. He has a leather vest, sleeveless shirt, tattoos, and a beard. As the holocaust survivor is presenting, two teenage boys are being very rowdy and whispering to each other.)

Boy #1: “God! When the f*** is this going to be over?”

Boy #2: “I don’t know. Can we just go now?”

(They stand up, and attempt to leave. The biker stands up, removes his sunglasses, and addresses the teens.)

Biker: “Listen here you little s***. This sweet little old lady has gone through more s*** then you ever will in your life. I advise you to sit your little punk-a** down, and pay her the respect she deserves.”

(The boys sit down, intimidated. The biker receives a round of applause and a hug from the lecturer. I refund his ticket, and offer him free entrance to all our lectures. He’s been to each and every one since.)

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Home Is Where The Heartfelt Is

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2016

(My immediate family has, at this point in the story, been basically homeless for about a year due to financial reasons. With both parents working full time and two school-age children, they are only barely getting by in a one-room hotel. My cat and I are staying with friends and splitting my paycheck between my parents and my rent. So, saving money is completely out of the question, and no place will rent to them because they were evicted from their last home. After a year of living this way and many, many rejections when they try to find a place, we are all pretty much losing hope. Randomly, on the Internet, we come across a neat little house. We give the guy a call, and agree to take a look at the house. When we get there, this happens.)

Landlord: “So, here’s the house! It’s a four-bedroom place, a bit older, but wonderful location. Large yard, great for the little ones, and we just upgraded the master bedroom!”

Dad: *in awe* “This… this is perfect! I love the location, and the house is so big! It’s amazing!”

Landlord: “Great! I’ll just have you fill out this application and I’ll need the first month’s rent and the down payment if your references check out!”

Dad: *sighs regretfully* “Sir, the thing is, I have no references. I need to be honest right now instead of later. We were evicted from our last home, been living in a hotel for the last year because no one will give us a chance, even though we are paying [ridiculously high amount] monthly as it is just to live there! But if you give us a chance, I swear to you I’ll pay the rent over my own food if I have to.”

Landlord: *pauses thoughtfully, for just a bit too long* “Y’know what? Forget the application. Forget the down payment. Pay me the first month’s rent and turn on the electricity by the end of the month, and the house is yours. When I was a young man, I lived behind dumpsters and begged for food until someone decided that I was worth taking a chance on. No one deserves to be homeless just because nobody will give them a chance. Come by my office tomorrow to sign the papers. Heck, start moving in today if you’d like! You need to get out of that hotel. You can take as long as you need to continue looking at the house.”

(My dad stood there in shock as the landlord handed him a KEY and walked out. The next day he went to go sign the papers and the rent agreement mentioned no pets allowed, which my littlest sibling caught sight of.)

Little Sibling: “No pets?! What about kitty!”

Landlord: “You have a cat? What’s his name?”

Dad: “[Cat], but if it’s going to be a problem, he’s already staying with friends…”

Landlord: *grabs a pen and starts writing on the lease* “Five people… and [Cat]. There — now he’s a part of the family!”

(We moved in by month’s end and have been living there for a really long time now. Seriously, the most amazing landlord, and person, I’ve ever met, and a wonderful, wonderful lesson in paying it forward, one which I very much try to live up to. Thank you so much, sir, for giving us a chance when no one else would!)

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