Looking After Those Who Look Over  

, , , | Hopeless | December 6, 2019

(I’ve had possibly the worst six months of my life, but recently everything is finally looking up. This week, I paid off a hefty loan and flew my sister from another state for brain surgery, completely out of my own pocket as my mother is extremely poor. A regular of mine comes in while I’m working and starts chatting away. My phone buzzes in the drawer next to me.)

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s the hospital calling again. My partner is there, though; I’m sure everything is fine.”

Customer: “Oh, doesn’t he work nights? He should be asleep! And why are you here? You should be there.”

Me: “Well, I wasn’t going to let a three-year-old go blind because she couldn’t get treatment, and medical bills are expensive. You know what [Customer’s Husband]’s bills are like. [My Partner] and I have been switching staying with her, so we can both work and she’ll have someone to wake up to.”

Customer: “Oh… you did all that for her? You’re not getting anything back, either, are you?”

Me: “Family isn’t expendable; money is. We both work. We’ll be fine. I just want her to open her eyes.”

Customer: “That’s so kind of you.”

Me: “It’s not; it’s human decency. How’s your husband doing? And the kids?”

(We continue talking through the hefty transaction, and as I hand her receipt to her, she takes my hand and pushes paper into my palm.)

Customer: “You look after me, and everyone else it seems. Make sure you’re okay, too. Put that in your pocket and don’t lose it.”

(I thanked her and continued my shift. When I got to finally see what it was, I realised she’d handed me cash. I unashamedly cried. The next day, my sister opened her eyes to see — for the first time — a teddy bear the size of her, which is now the customer’s namesake.)

 

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Avid Readers Don’t Always Read Everything

, , , , , , | Right | December 6, 2019

(This happens when I am about fifteen and pretty naive. I am on a school trip to Manchester and my family has given me a LOT of money to spend on books, as I am an avid and passionate reader. When I go to the book shop, I see a display with a “buy one, get one half-price” deal, with every book marked with a sticker. I do not read the fine print. I just take one book with a sticker that interests me and then I wander around the shop searching for other treasures. When I am finally done, in a state of bliss, I have about five or six books with me. The cashier is working on the other side of the room and hurries over.)

Me: “Don’t worry; I’ve got time!” *puts my books on the counter* “And lots of books! My parents gave me a massive allowance just for this trip!”

Cashier: *laughing* “That’s like letting a child loose in a candy shop!”

Me: “Yeah! And I saw you guys have that half-price deal! Of course, I took advantage of that!”

(The cashier looks through the books, and after a brief pause, murmurs:)

Cashier: “Let’s pretend this one has a sticker, too.”

(I didn’t get what she meant; I just smiled happily. It took me THREE YEARS and another trip to England to realise what she meant: only the books from the display were part of the deal, while I had taken it to mean one book from the display and any random book from the shop. Thank you, kind cashier, for putting up with my youthful naïveté!)

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Will Not Espresso The Way You Expect It To

, , , , | Right | December 6, 2019

(Sundays are notorious for being bad days; this one is no different. Not only am I working with two new hires, but it is very busy and customers have been extremely rude. I’ve just had several customers yell at me when I’m at my breaking point.)

Customer: “Miss, did you make my cappuccino?”

Me: *expecting to get yelled at* “I believe I did. Is there something wrong?”

Customer: “No, not at all! I just wanted to tell you that it was made perfectly! Thank you very much!”

(Customers like that make my day! Remember to thank your baristas; that small compliment made me forget about the rude customers.)

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Making A U-Turn On That Assumption  

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 4, 2019

I’m working the evening shift alone. It’s the policy that when we’re alone and need to use the restroom, we wait until every customer has left and then we lock all of the doors. It’s a little after 10:00 pm and I’ve been waiting for two hours for the store to clear so I can take a quick pee break.

I lock the doors, put a sign up explaining what is going on, and take care of business.

A few minutes later, I open back up and help the customers that have been waiting outside.

A man comes to the counter. He’s a regular but doesn’t talk very much. He’s physically very intimidating, so I’m a bit nervous.

It turns out that he just wanted to make sure I was safe. He saw the people outside, but didn’t see me, so he pulled a U-turn on the highway and rushed over to make sure I was okay.

Thank you, sir.

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Will Keep It Forever, Cross-Stitch My Heart And Hope To Die

, , , , , , | Related | December 3, 2019

I went to visit my dying aunt. We talked for a long time, and I mentioned that I still had the embroidered plaque she’d made for my birth. I was ashamed; I hadn’t taken the best care of it and it was quite dirty. I thought she might be able to tell me how to clean it.

My aunt started crying, and I apologized for my actions.

“It’s not that,” she sobbed. “My children threw theirs away. You’re the only one who kept it.”

I honestly didn’t know what to say to that, but I made sure I visited her as much as possible before she passed. I have an entire drawer dedicated to her letters, and a wall dedicated to her embroidery. It’s not going in a box or in the trash.

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