The Stores Are Closed But Their Hearts Are Open

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 4, 2021

The UK shuts down on Christmas. Almost nothing is open, especially nothing corporate. I am in a London “village” on Christmas morning, when it is 0°C. Everything is shut except [Coffee Chain]. I haven’t had anything to eat or drink, so I go in and order a terrible coffee.

In front of me is a homeless guy, and they are lavishing attention on him. It is clearly a free coffee, and they are checking that he has everything he wants. 

But it gets better. I’m drinking my coffee outside; we’re at tier four lockdown, so cafes are takeaway only. I’m a few metres from the homeless guy. A van stops. A guy jumps from the van, carrying a large, full shopping bag.

Van Guy: *To the homeless guy* “This is for you. It’s got hats and gloves and socks and leggings and donuts and crisps. I’ve given away six so far.”

It turns out that this guy is driving around southwest London and giving homeless people things they might really need to get them through the next few days or weeks. My heart swells with Dickensian Christmas spirit. 

The homeless guy demurs, but the van guy then pulls out a roll of cash and gives him a couple of £5, wishes him a merry Christmas, and gets back in the van.

Homeless Guy: *With a huge smile* “That was nice.”

Me: “Amazing.”

We exchanged pleasantries and season’s greetings. I feel better about humans.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for January 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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It’s Gonna Be A Looooong Year

, , , , , , | Right | January 1, 2021

It’s New Year’s and we’re kicking out customers after a manic event — it’s 6:30 am by this point — where the club reached capacity, approximately 4000 people. We’re all exhausted and quite frankly looking forward to our staff party after work for working New Year and New Year’s Day, so we’re trying to get everyone out quickly so I’ve been asked to help in the cloakroom.

Customer: “I’ve lost my ticket. Can you look for my coat for me?”

The majority of the customers still need to leave; she’s one of the first I serve.

Me: “Sorry, but I’m afraid it’s club policy that if you’ve lost your ticket you have to wait till the end for us to find your coat.”

Customer: “It’s not f****** difficult. I’ll tell you what it looks like and you can get it.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but as I said before, I can’t get your coat until the end unless you have a ticket.”

Customer: “Listen here, you f****** b****. Just look for my f****** coat. It’s black.”

Me: “There are about 2000 black coats back there. I’m not looking for yours until the end or until you have the ticket.”

Customer: “Why the f*** not?”

Me: “Firstly, I’m not allowed to. Secondly, that’s the biggest waste of time.”

Customer: “F*** you, you little c***. You’re going to find me my f****** coat.”

She continues to shout and call me names for about five minutes before I can say anything.

Me: “I’m not finding your coat. Now go to the back of the line and wait.”

Customer: “I have f****** work at nine o’clock; I don’t have time to be waiting around.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you should have thought of that before you decided to go clubbing until six in the morning.”

Customer: “Stupid b****, get me your f****** manager.”

Me: “I can tell you now that she will tell you exactly the same.”

The manager had observed this whole incident and went to speak to her. The customer continued to swear and called me and the manager a bunch of obscene names. This went on for about ten minutes until the manager told her, quite forcefully, that if she was not going to wait, she could go home and call back when she was sober. The customer sulked off to the back of the queue, calling me a b****, etc., under her breath. It took so much for me not to lose my temper with her.

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We’re Pretty Sure We’ve Never Partied This Hard

, , , , | Right | January 1, 2021

It is New Year’s Day and I am working the early morning shift at my Gas Station. We are situated next to a strip mall that has a small police office attached to it.

A woman walks in, who has obviously been partying pretty hard. She’s still in her party outfit, hair is a mess, make-up smudged, and she’s walking a bit haphazardly.

Customer: “Yeah… could I get a burger?”

Me: “We don’t serve burgers; we’re just a gas station.”

Customer: “This is a gas station?”

She had to walk past all the pumps to get inside here.

Me: “…yes. There’s a burger place in the strip mall but as it’s New Year’s Day I am not sure they’re open.”

Customer: “It’s New Year’s Day?”

Me: “…Maybe you need more help than I can offer? There’s a New York State Trooper office just opposite us.”

Customer: “I’m in New York?”

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You’ll Have To Use More Than Tape To Fix This One

, , , , , , | Related | December 31, 2020

Confession time: I made my daughter cry at Christmas a few years ago.

She was in the habit of very carefully, slowly opening gift wrap without ripping for later reuse and I’d always tell her to hurry and just rip it. One Christmas, as a joke, I wrapped a gift to her by ripping gift wrap into pieces about the size of quarters, then taping the pieces together around the gift box. I thought it looked cool: pieces of different themed gift wrap with the ripped, rough edges sticking out all around the box, kind of “fuzzy” and no need to avoid tearing wrapping that’s already torn up.

But she thought I was making fun of her; when she saw it, her head dropped and she cried slightly.

I apologized, but I’ve felt guilty for four years now. It’s hard being a parent; sometimes you go for a laugh but things don’t work right and then someone is hurt.

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Starting A New Year’s Resolution Early

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 31, 2020

I happen to be in London during New Year’s Eve. I decide if I’m ever going to do the big fireworks thing, this will be the time, so I get tickets for the show. You have to get there about three hours early for your designated spot on the river.

I’m standing there, waiting for the show, when I notice a man and woman next to me. It kind of looks like he’s leaning into her as she speaks into his ear, which makes sense since there is some loud music. But then, I realize he’s using her HAIR as a scarf to protect his face from the cold, as it’s cold and we are getting a breeze from the river. I feel terrible for him since there are about two hours until the show.

Me: “Hey, man, do you want to borrow my scarf?”

Man: “No, that’s okay.”

Me: “Okay, if you’re sure. Can I ask why you don’t have a coat?”

His girlfriend gives me a look that says, “Oh, we have so been over this,” that makes me laugh inside.

Man: “Well, I thought we were going to a club after, and I didn’t want to carry around a coat.”

I let a little more time go, but he starts to shiver. I start unwrapping my scarf.

Me: “Are you sure that you don’t—”

Before I can even finish the sentence, he grabs the scarf out of my hands.

Man: “Yes, please!”

He used the scarf until the end of the show and then we wished each other a happy new year. Sir, if you are reading this, please know that I smile a little whenever I think of this story and it reminds me to be a little kinder to everyone around me.

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