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We’d Gladly Watch A Movie About These Two!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2020

I’ve worked with several rescue dogs over the years and have had a lot of negative experiences with other dog owners, especially working with reactive dogs. When I started a business working with dogs, I braced for these experiences to become commonplace.

They have not. I have a few complaints about some of the owners I have worked with, but this little story isn’t about those.

I am out with my favourite dog, an incredibly friendly, energetic, and happy cocker spaniel who I’ll call Miss Fluff. I’ve taken Miss Fluff to a park and she’s desperate for me to get the ball out and play with her. She’s glued to my feet as I do so — it’s a ball on a rope — and neither of us see the newcomer come around the corner until he’s joined her: a lovely, big chocolate lab, curious about the ball. Miss Fluff doesn’t care about him, only the ball.

The owners turn the corner, see us, and IMMEDIATELY call him off. He listens, but I call over that she’s friendly and they give him permission to come back over.

Me: “Will he chase the ball if I throw it for her?”

Miss Fluff is positively vibrating with excitement.

Owner: “Oh, yes. We’ll get out of your hair; don’t worry.”

Me: “Well, I was wondering if we should let them have a little race?”

Owner: “Oh, he’ll win. He’s much bigger than her and he loves to play fetch!”

So, to find out, I threw the ball. It went soaring across the field and Miss Fluff was after it like a shot, the lab hard on her tail. It was close, but she snatched the ball up ahead of him! The lab was having none of it, and he grabbed the end of the rope, and they happily ran back carrying it together.

The other owner and I laughed and agreed to call it a draw, before he went on and the lab obediently followed when called. Sadly, I’ve never seen them again in that area, but the memory still makes me smile, and moments like that have made up for the more inconsiderate and inattentive owners!

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

Sounds Like A Supervillain Origin Story

, , , , | Related | September 15, 2020

This story takes place when I’m maybe ten years old. My family is financially quite comfortable, especially my grandmother, who has come down from halfway up the country to visit. My brother and I have been taken by my mother, stepfather, and grandmother to a country pub, and when crossing the car park, I find a £5 note.

I am incredibly excited because we don’t get pocket money or the chance to get money for chores. Five pounds wasn’t much even about twenty-five years ago, but it is a big deal to me. In my excitement, I trustingly announce aloud what I have found.

Stepfather: *Demanding* “Hand over that fiver! I’ll hand it over at the bar.”

I’m initially reluctant.

Stepfather: “Whoever dropped it might really need it and it should be given back if possible.”

I understand this; after all, if it made me so happy to find it, so how sad must the person who lost it be? And how happy would they be to get it back? I’m sad not to keep it but hope it makes the owner happy.

My mother and grandmother claim a table outside while my stepfather goes inside to buy drinks and my brother and I go to check out the play area. When my stepfather comes back out with drinks, he announces, not intending for me to hear:

Stepfather: “This round is thanks to [My Name]!”

Looking back now, with the benefit of much greater awareness of what my parents were like and a lot less naivety, I would be shocked if it ever crossed his mind to hand it in at the bar. No, he saw that a child who had never had money of their own had found a little and decided it should be his, instead.

Trust But Verify

, , , , , , , , | Working | August 27, 2020

This happens when I am an extremely awkward and anxious youth in my late teens, already living alone. I don’t have a lot of money but I take cash out and go to get a few things at the supermarket; it comes to about £3. I hand over the only cash I have: a £20 note. The cashier hands me back £2 and my receipt and goes to start on the next customer, while I stand there, staring at my change, starting to panic.

Cashier: “Is there a problem?”

Me: “Um… I— I gave you a twenty.”

Cashier: “No, you didn’t.”

Yeah, she thinks I’m trying to scam her. And my demeanor does NOT help my case.

Me: “Yes, um, I did. You put it in the till.”

Twenties go into a box under the till, since they can’t be used for change; next to nowhere in the UK accepts £50 notes.

Cashier: “No, I’m sure you only gave me a fiver.”

Me: “I didn’t. It was a twenty. It’s in the till.”

The cashier is now looking at me very suspiciously.

Cashier: “Why would anyone pay for £3 with a twenty?”

I’m starting to really freak out, sweating, and looking even more suspicious.

Me: “It’s all I had! I need the change! It’s all I have until I get paid!”

Cashier: “Uh-huh. Well, I can’t open my till, but I can call over my manager and he can do so.”

I suspect she is either trying to give me an opportunity to leave or to just put me off.

Me: “Yes. Okay. Call your manager.”

She did so. We stood there waiting in the most awful, awkward silence. He finally came over and she explained that I was “claiming” to have paid with a twenty. He shrugged, opened the till, and lo and behold: there was a crisp £20 note sat on top of all the fives. Her shock and surprise that I wasn’t scamming her were palpable. She finally gave me my change and I outright fled from the store.

That was about fifteen years ago. I’m doing a lot better, but I still remember it. And I really can’t blame her, but that time the customer actually WAS right!

You Catch More Members With Honey

, , , , , , | Working | August 27, 2020

This happens when I’m an awkward teenager in the early 2000s. At the time, personal voicemail messages on phones are common and it is not unpopular for people to have jokey ones. Mine is something about how, “I’m not ignoring you; I’m ignoring the world,” or something.

I go to a gym to see if the prices are something I can afford on my pittance of a wage. The staff member I’m talking to kind of browbeats me into starting to sign up for a membership and, anxious and awkward, I don’t really think about the fact that I can’t afford it and just let her railroad me into it. But it turns out I’m lacking ID, so I leave.

Away from the place and without anyone pressuring me, I can think clearly and realise there’s no way I can afford it, and given how this woman has pressured me, I don’t want to call and explain this, so I just don’t go back. I haven’t signed anything, so no big deal, right?

A few days later, I get a voicemail and I listen to it. It’s the same woman from the gym, sounding outright angry, saying, “Well, you’d better stop ignoring me. Get your a*** down to the [gym] and finish this paperwork!”

Yes, that’s what she said. No, I’m not exaggerating.

Once things picked up for me financially, I did join a gym — a different one. And then, when I moved and was close to the first gym, I instead used a college gym. I did finally join, over ten years later, and I love the place, but wow, that woman left a sour taste that lingers to this day.

This Landlord, Much Like His Furniture, Remains Unmoved

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 11, 2020

I’ve spent almost my entire adult life living in rented rooms in shared houses or flats, as was the case when I started dating a great guy. Tensions arose at home due to me dating another man, resulting in me being given minimal warning to try and find another place. Then-boyfriend and I agreed to try to find a place together, and we ended up moving into a ground floor flat with the owner and his wife.

It turned out that the owner was a bit of a control freak. He set off my C-PTSD — coupled with other, unrelated life events — and I became very isolated and afraid of him. It turned out, while he wasn’t aware of everything going on, he absolutely approved of my being intimidated by him. 

However, one day he pushed me too far and my fear evaporated and I started standing up for myself. He reacted so badly to this that we argued over a blown light bulb and he ended up giving us our notice to move out after we’d been there about two years.

This story just about sums up what a pain in the behind he was.

On the day of our leaving, we had a friend — who also rents rooms — come over, ostensibly to help, but really to be there in case things went south, between his experience and his physical presence, since he was broader and beefier than the other three people combined. Our landlord protested him being present; I was ready to stick to my guns but my friend excused himself and stood by the open window to listen.

Our landlord started pulling the furniture out from where it had stood for the entire time we’d lived there and complaining about the dust behind them. He demanded to know why we hadn’t cleaned there. I pointed out that he had expressly forbidden us from moving the furniture.

“That isn’t true,” he claimed.

It absolutely was. I reminded him of the time my boyfriend went to him to ask if we could move the room around and he flatly refused.

“That never happened.”

I pointed out that there were even labels stuck to the furniture saying not to move them.

“That’s not true.”

Of course, it was true! I went over to a piece of furniture and pointed to the label, exclaiming that it was right there!

He rolled his eyes, muttered, “Typical,” and instead started pulling out the drawers to make sure they were all empty.

When he left the room, my friend poked his head through the window. He had been just about crying trying not to laugh loud enough to be heard, and he said that he thought I’d been exaggerating how much of a pain the landlord was. 

NOPE! Not at all. This story is one single perfect example of just how he was.

My boyfriend and I had decided how much of our deposit we’d be willing to say goodbye to, just to be rid of him; we said he should take the last couple of week’s rent out of it. We got a little more than our minimum back and off we went.

In the years since, we’ve gotten married, we’ve stayed close friends with the friend who was there, and my mental health has enormously improved.

I just pity his wife, who was as lovely as our landlord was petty and controlling.