Making A Hug(e) Difference

, , , | Friendly | April 7, 2016

(I’m having a very rough day and likely look it while I’m standing out in front of my house waiting for someone. All of a sudden the ten-year-old I sometimes babysit comes walking up, pulling his five-year-old step-sister behind him in a wagon, followed by their three-year-old half-brother on a Big Wheel, and their poodle mix bringing up the rear.)

Ten-Year-Old: “Hug train! Toot toot!”

(He proceeds to hug me, steps forward just enough for his step-sister to hug my legs, and then his half-brother hugs me next.)

Ten-Year-Old: “[Dog], hugs!”

(The poodle mix, who has been trained to hug on command, then jumps up and hugs me, too.)

Five-Year-Old: *pointing to their driveway where their grandmother is getting out of the car* “Nana’s here!”

Ten-Year-Old: “Come on, let’s go hug her next!”

(I had a huge smile on my face while the “hug train” went off to hug their grandmother. I actually forgot about what was bothering me for a little while.)

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Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soul

, , , , | Right | April 7, 2016

(I work at a popular sub sandwich restaurant that also serves soup, salads, and cookies. I’m going through the process of closing the restaurant, and just finished cleaning up the hot area of the line. A visibly pregnant woman spots me behind the counter and runs over.)

Woman: “Oh, my God, please tell me you’re not closed yet!”

Me: “Oh, well, I haven’t closed the register yet, so I suppose not. What can I get for you?”

Woman: “Are you sure? I don’t want to put you out, or get you in trouble! I just need a specific soup you guys have. Have you put your soups away, yet?”

Me: “It’s no problem at all, I promise! I have actually sold out of the pre-prepared, hot soup, but I have some I can heat up for you in the microwave, if you don’t mind waiting about ten minutes for it. What soup were you looking for?”

Woman: “Your chicken noodle. Your chicken noodle soup is my favorite, and my pregnancy cravings have me driving all over town to find some!”

(She tells me the different locations she’s tried, the driving distance adding up to about 60 miles just to find this soup. She looks absolutely desperate, and as though she’ll burst into tears if I tell her we don’t have it.)

Me: “I cannot express how happy it makes me to be the one to tell you we actually do have chicken noodle in stock. How much would you like?”

(She whoops and hops up and down in joy like a little kid. She requests five cups of the soup, almost the whole container, and immediately calls her husband while I prepare it for her. She gets off the phone and calls me back over.)

Woman: “Could I grab a sandwich while I’m here, too? My husband is at work in [City an hour away] and I’m going to surprise him with his favorite when he comes home. Gosh, I’m just so happy you have the soup!”

(We talk idly while I make it for her. She’s hilarious and contagiously excited about this soup. I make sure to include double the normal amount of meat, and she adds bacon and avocado, which is normally extra. She is so excited she barely notices how expensive the sandwich is getting. The microwave beeps, and she squeals in delight when I pack up all her soups in a small box so they won’t spill, and place the sandwich on top.)

Me: “Okay, the sandwich itself comes to [nearly $15]—”

Woman: *visibly winces and nods* “Okay, do you guys take credit?”

Me: “—and with the rest of your order, that makes it [total], but just give me a moment to process your discount before you pay.”

Woman: “Discount? What discount?”

Me: “Oh, I’m going to use my daily employee discount for you so your sandwich comes at half price. I wasn’t planning on using it today anyway, and you’ve just been my best customer ever. The sandwich comes to [cheaper than the base price of the sandwich without any extras], and your final total is [total].”

Woman: “Oh, my gosh, thank you so much! You’re a saint. Can I add some cookies, though? And some juice? What are your favorites?”

Me: “I really like our [very chocolate-y cookie] and [Apple Juice Brand], but we have some other options here in this case.”

Woman: “Oh, no, that’s okay. I’ll get three of those cookies and the juice, please!”

Me: “Your new total is [total].”

(We talk idly about the soup while she pays. She gathers the small box of her food and pushes the cookies and juice towards me.)

Woman: “Here, I got these for you, actually. It’s so nice to find good service, and you’ve been so, so sweet. Have a nice night!”

(I gushed thanks as she left. The cookies really were my absolute favorite in the world, and tasted amazing when I got home. She remains my favorite customer I’ve ever had.)

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Making Your Final Fantasy Come True

, , , , | Hopeless | April 6, 2016

(I have flown out to Boston from the Midwest to an anime convention to meet a specific guest of honor who has been brought in from Japan. Unfortunately, due to the convention using a new ticket system for autographs, with only two items to sign allowed per ticket, I am not able to get in on Saturday, and by the time I get to the area on Sunday, the last day of the event, the tickets have all been given out. I excuse myself to vent my emotions by myself, crying in a side hallway, when all of a sudden, a young woman I hadn’t seen all weekend approaches me.)

Woman: “Excuse me… I wanted to make sure you were all right. Is everything okay?”

Me: *quickly drying my eyes* “I’m sorry, I’ll be all right. I came all the way here to meet Nobuo Uematsu, and I’m not going to be able to.”

Woman: *looking at me like she’s considering deeply* “How many things do you have for him to autograph?”

Me: “Just one… Why?”

Woman: “If you take my notebook with you and grab that second autograph for me, I’ll give you my ticket to get in.”

(I stared at the woman in disbelief, trying to decline, but she insisted, and together, we went to explain the situation to the ticket organizers. By the time we finished telling the staff member what’s going on, there’s not a dry eye in the vicinity, and much to both our surprises, the staff lets both me and my hero go in! We were both able to get both our items signed, and while I haven’t seen my friend in years, I will never forget the kindness she showed to a poor, lost, Midwestern girl on her first trip to Boston.)

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Feline In The Mood For A Christmas Miracle

, , , , , , | Hopeless | April 5, 2016

(I do volunteer work for an animal rescue group. As is very common for small rescue groups, we are always short of money and volunteers often spend their own money for food and supplies. One year, a pet food store has an awesome deal sale on a specific brand and flavor of canned cat food, so I go to stock up. As I am loading cases of it up, someone jokingly comments:)

Stranger: “Your cats must really love that stuff… How many are you feeding?”

Me: “I don’t know how many there are now. I’m buying this for the shelter cats so they have a good Christmas dinner. Did you want some?”

(He doesn’t; he is buying a different brand, so I think nothing of it and go to check out. The cashier gives me the total, and suddenly, the same man reaches over me to hand his bank card to the cashier.)

Stranger: “The cat’s Christmas dinner is on me this year.”

(To the random stranger who bought seven cases of cat food for rescue cats: I still remember you after almost 15 years. Thank you so much.)

This story is part of our Animal Shelter Roundup!

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Please Do Not Not Be Quiet In The Library

, , , , , | Working | April 5, 2016

(We’ve recently moved to a new town and are visiting the library for the first time. My kids are acting excited and a bit noisy with their chatter.)

Me: “Kids, quiet down. Let’s go sit here and look at these books. Shhh!”

Librarian: “Please don’t shush your children. It’s quite all right for your kids to make noise in here. In fact, we encourage them to interact and enjoy the space and the books.” *to kids* “What sort of books do you like?” *wanders off to show the kids where the fun stuff is*

Me: “…”

(We love our library and our librarians are the best!)

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