Understanding Mental Health One Hug At A Time

, , , , | Canada | Hopeless | March 29, 2016

(I have just started a short practicum at a mental health centre, with mental health care included. I decide to swing by the cafe in the centre to grab something before work. It’s very early, so the two baristas are still finishing opening procedures and the only other customer is a nurse who walks in ahead of me.)

Barista #1: *to the nurse* “Good morning! What can I get for you today?”

Nurse: *gives her order*

(As the first barista gets started on the nurse’s coffee, a woman comes out of one of the offices down the hall. It’s clear she’s not staff and she looks very worried. She walks right up to the counter beside where the nurse is paying.)

Woman: “I need a hug.”

Barista #1: “You need a hug? [Barista #2]!”

Barista #2: “Oh, hi, [Woman]. Hug?”

Woman: “Yep. Really bad.”

(Barista #2 hurries around the end of the bar and gives the woman a big hug.)

Woman: “I have to go to the hospital for a meeting today.”

Barista #1: “Oh, that is big. I’ll be right out!” *hands the nurse her coffee* “There you go; have a good day!” *to me* “Just one second!” *to Barista #2* “Can you come help this lady so I can give [Woman] a hug?”

(I’ve had my own issues with mental health, but if this is the way society’s going, my faith in humanity is fully restored.)

Showing Your True Feathers

, , | VA, USA | Hopeless | March 28, 2016

(I work at a chain craft store as a cashier. Two boys, around 16 years old, come through my line with two spools of ribbon – one green and one blue.)

Me: “Did you guys find everything all right today?”

Teen #1: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me: “You don’t sound too sure! Was there anything I can help you find?”

Teen #1: “Well, actually, I was looking for peacock ribbon, but these’ll do.”

Me: “You know, I think I actually saw some ribbon with peacock feathers on it in our Christmas department.”

Teen #1: “Really? Can I go check?”

Me: “Absolutely.”

(I direct the teens to the Christmas aisles and continue ringing up other customers like normal. About five minutes later they come back through my line with two spools of the peacock ribbon.)

Me: “Oh, great! You guys found it.”

Teen #1: *very enthusiastically* “Yup! Can I hug you?”

Me: “Umm… what?”

Teen #1: “This ribbon is perfect! I wanted to thank you for directing me to it!”

Teen #2: “His girlfriend is getting her leg amputated today.”

Teen #1: “Her favorite animal is the peacock, so I was looking for the perfect ribbon to decorate her crutches! I’m so happy I found it! I hope she likes it!”

Me: “Oh, my gosh, that is the sweetest thing I ever heard! Of course you can hug me!”

(He forgot to hug me after the transaction was completed, but I still remember this as one of my favorite customer service stories.)

Putting A Smile On Your Broken Lips

, , , | Paignton, England, UK | Hopeless | March 27, 2016

(I am about six or seven, and we go to the zoo as part of our family holiday. I miss a step and fall face-first onto a bench, splitting my lip open. Blood everywhere, my mother takes me to the bathroom to deal with the blood, and by pure luck some nurses are in there at the time. They take us to the first aid centre, where again by luck there is an off-duty doctor rather than a first aider, which is normally the case. The decision is made that I don’t require stitches and we eventually continue around the zoo.)

Me: *crying to my mother* “I’m not pretty anymore! I’m not your pretty little girl!”

(At that moment a random couple in gothic clothing walk past, with brightly-coloured mohawks.)

Gothic Guy: “I think you’re the most beautiful person in the whole place.”

(Thank you mister for your kindness on a rather terrible day. I will always have the scars on my face, but that day reminded taught me of the kindness of others.)

Winning The Human Race

, , , , | Cincinnati, OH, USA | Hopeless | March 24, 2016

(I am at a half marathon to watch my dad try and beat his PR of 2:25:27. It is around 2:35:00, and we still haven’t seen my dad. My older sister walks down the course to try and find him. She comes jogging back two or so minutes later.)

Sister: “I found him!”

Mom: “Where?”

Sister: “Just wait.”

(Sure enough, a few moments later I see my dad walking to the finish line supporting a woman in her mid-40s on his shoulder with the help of another man. The woman is wobbling and can barely support herself without their help. They cross the finish line at 2:43:02, where she receives immediate medical attention. We walk over to my dad.)

Me: “What happened?”

Dad: “Nothing really, she pretty much collapsed half a mile back. She said she’s a special needs teacher, and she was part of a group that was running for one of her students who was recently hospitalized, and she just wanted to finish for him.”

Mom: “Would you have beaten your record?”

Dad: “Oh, yeah. I was on track for two twenty-two, but that time wasn’t worth not letting her finish the race!”

The Wheels Of Good Deeds Come Back Around

, , , | Wales, UK | Hopeless | March 23, 2016

(I’m on my way to pick up my toddler from nursery. It’s a lovely spring day and the small park is full of people. I’m passing a group of teenage boys, when one of them asks:)

Teenage Boy: “Can I have a go on your wheelchair?”

(Since I’m running early, can walk short distances, and know how much fun wheelchairs can be, I surprise them.)

Me: “Sure, you can use it for a few minutes.”

(They have their fun on the chair, and then reclaim it and continue on my way. Several weeks later, I am on my way home, the back of my chair loaded with shopping and my toddler on my knee, when the heavens open. We’re getting more and more drenched, when I hear a shout from behind me.)

Teenage Boy: “Hey, missus, do you want a hand?”

(In a seafront shelter on the other side of the road is the same group of lads, with the one who tried out my chair heading towards me. He could have stayed in the dry, but he got soaked making sure that my daughter and I got home quickly. Teenagers can be great.)

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