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Positive, feel-good stories

Pokémon Go The Extra Mile

, , , , | Friendly Right | June 27, 2022

My husband is very introverted and shy, avoids strangers, and has trouble saying no. If he comes across a sales pitch person, he can’t bring himself to say, “No, thank you,” and walk away before the sales pitch starts and instead politely listens to the end.

My husband gets a notification that there’s a rare mobile game pocket monster on the other side of our shopping mall. He rushes out, and when he gets to a road, he sees a blind man waiting at the crosswalk (eyes closed, white cane, so he assumed blind). He has right of way, but since he can’t see traffic, he clearly hesitates.

Nervous, my husband carefully says there’s no car, worried he might insult the man. However, the blind man thanks him and crosses the road. My husband is ready to turn left when the blind man asks: 

Blind Man: “Do you know where [Store] is?”

Husband: *Gestures* “Eh, yeah, it’s that…” *realises what he’s doing* “Eh, it’s straight ahead.”

Blind Man: “Thank you so much. Have a good day!”

My husband stops to check how much time he still has for the rare pocket monster. Behind him, he hears:

Blind Man: “Excuse me, excuse me? Is this the right way to [Store]?”

My husband sees the clock ticking but puts the phone away. He walks to the man. 

Husband: “Sir, do you want me to walk you to the store?”

Blind Man: “Oh, how kind of you. I hope it’s not out of your way?”

Husband: “Nah, I still have time.”

My husband told me he felt very awkward all the time, not really knowing how to behave or what to say. He walked the man to the store, and when they entered:

Store Owner: “Hey, [Blind Man], I see you managed to rope someone into bringing you again!”

Blind Man: “Yes, and I would like to get him something.”

Husband: “Whoa, that’s not needed!”

Blind Man: “No, no, I insist! Do you like grapes? [Store Owner], how are the grapes?”

The store owner gives him a few to taste.

Blind Man: “Excellent! Now, how many are you at home?”

Husband: “No, no, it’s not needed. You’re most welcome.”

Blind Man: “Nonsense! Here, taste these grapes! They are very sweet. Now, how many are you at home?”

Husband: “Eh… just my wife and me.”

Blind Man: “Three cases for this man! Put it on my tab!”

Not much later, my husband was outside with about one and a half kilos of grapes, quite confused. Collecting himself, he got out his phone — seven minutes left! He decided to sprint for it… and made it! (It turned out it was not worth it after all!)

I’m very proud of my husband. Maybe that’s why the grapes taste extra sweet.

Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 45
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 44
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 43
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 42
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 41

Fathers Aren’t Left Out To Sea

, , , , , , | Right | June 27, 2022

I work for a cruise line helping with a children’s activity area. Parents are allowed to drop children off to be watched by us for a little while. One day, a man dropped off his young son with us. It was close to Mother’s Day, so we had little Mother’s Day cards to color, and my coworker tried getting the boy to make one.

Boy: “Does it say Mommy?”

Coworker: “It says Mom right here.”

Boy: “Do you have a Daddy one?”

Coworker: “You mean for Father’s Day?”

Boy: “Yes, please.”

Coworker: “But Father’s Day is a long way away. Mother’s Day is soon so maybe you should make something for your mom first.”

Boy: “I don’t have a mommy.”

Coworker: “What do you mean?”

Boy: “I have two daddies instead of a mommy. Aunt [Name] was pregnant for my daddies, but she is my aunt not a mommy.”

Coworker: “Oh, umm…”

Me: “Oh. It was nice of your aunt to help your dads, and it is nice of you to want to make something for them. Just give me a minute and I’ll get a special Father’s Day card you can color for them.”

We have similar cards we used for Father’s Day, so I printed out one for the child. Then, using a thick pen so it would hopefully stand out against kid coloring, I put an apostrophe after the S in “father’s” and tried my best to turn the apostrophe in front of the S into a tilted heart, so it would read as “Fathers’ Day” instead. The kid happily decorated it before moving on to other activities.

I’d mostly forgotten about the exchange until the man who dropped the boy off and another man walked into the center. The kid immediately shouted, “Dad!” and got up to run to them. I was busy with some other kids, but I did notice the kid proudly presenting the card to his dads while talking animatedly.

A little while later, one of the men came up to me.

Man: “My son told me you made a special Fathers’ Day card just for him. I just wanted to say that my husband and I really appreciate your doing that for him. We’re going to hang this card up as soon as we get home. Thank you.”

It really was nothing special on my part; it only took a few minutes. But his thanks warmed me anyway.

Operation Independence

, , , | Right | June 25, 2022

I once had an eighty-four-year-old customer come into the men’s department to buy some flannel shirts. He had never shopped for anything in his life; first, his mom had done it for him, and then, his wife.

His demeanor as I waited on him suggested he was probably a World War II or Korean War vet. He tackled it like a military campaign. He had no idea what size he wore. I measured him. I directed him to shirts that were easy to care for and long enough in the arms.

Me: “Have you ever done laundry?”

Customer: “No.”

Of course he hadn’t. I showed him the label with care instructions and explained washing and drying procedures.

He left, armed with knowledge sufficient to do it on his own. He left, having succeeded in his mission, with the help of a local. It was one of my favorite customer encounters of all time.

If They’re Willing, There’s Usually A Way, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2022

I entered a 200-km Audax (non-competitive cycling event), and I have a day return train ticket from London. I am just recovering from a broken clavicle, and it turns out this ride is a bit much for me at my current level of fitness. When I realise I am not going to finish the ride in time to qualify, I slow down and wend my gentle way back to the station to take me home.

I am hungry and tired and the temperature is dropping. I find I have missed the last train back to London, but no worries; it’s only four hours until the first morning train, so I can just curl up in the waiting room until it comes. It’s warm enough, and I am so tired that I will probably have a nice sleep. My biggest concern is whether I need a new ticket.

A train employee comes in and asks me where I am going. I tell her London. She points to the depart board where there is only one train, heading away from London, arriving in a little while. She tells me once that train departs, the station will close until the first train in the morning. She looks very concerned and walks away. 

I am too tired to be worried. I know it’s impossible after midnight to book a hotel room online for the same night, and the idea of cycling around to find a hotel with a manned reception or calling random hotels sounds harder than the alternative of just finding a bus shelter and curling up until the station reopens. I won’t die at 3°C, and I am unlikely to come to harm. It’s been a hard day, and it’s just going to be a little harder.

Meanwhile, my heroine is apparently more worried than I am. Maybe she knows her town better than I do and doesn’t want to leave a woman sleeping rough near the train station. Or maybe I just look as pathetic as I feel. Whatever the reason, she has obviously been thinking hard about how to keep me safe or warm or both.

Train Worker: “I’ve worked out what you should do. Catch the train to Peterborough. When it gets there, just stay where you are. An hour later, it will leave again, coming back through Stevenage and on to London. I will let the guard on board know what you are doing.”

So that was it. A concerned rail worker went out of her way to make sure I was warm and safe the whole way back to London. I even got enough sleep to make the cycle from Kings Cross station to my home pleasant — London before six is a delightful place to cycle. She was so careful of my welfare that it would not have surprised me if she was considering inviting me into her home before alighting on a better solution.

I filled in a very positive customer feedback form, which was actually rather difficult, as the form assumed I was making a complaint! Oh, and the gates were open when I got to London, so I didn’t have to buy a new ticket.

If They’re Willing, There’s Usually A Way

Can We Come Train With You Folks?

, , , , , , | Working | June 17, 2022

During training at work where I had to sit and listen to a presenter for a two-hour session, my kitten decided they wanted to fall asleep on my shoulder and be held. As I get to work from home, this typically isn’t an issue if they are in my lap as I can still work, but being held for any length of time doesn’t happen often as I have to type a ton of reports. My kitten was very happy and fell asleep, and I got to pay full attention to the training. 

At the end, the presenter asked if anyone had any questions, which several did, but then one of the people in another department asked:

Employee: “[My Name], how did you get your cat to stay on your shoulder for the entire training?” 

As everyone had been on camera, including me, I guess people noticed me cuddling and petting my kitten during the training, which derailed the rest of the questions as everyone else brought their cats, dogs, birds, and a giant lizard onto their cameras so we could do a giant show-and-tell. 

Best training ever.