The (pedi)Cure To All Problems

, , | Hopeless | April 28, 2016

(I go get a pedicure. There is another woman in the shop already when I get there, and she is being attended to by the owner’s wife. The owner’s son takes me but sits me next to his mother’s client. Halfway through my pedicure, the client next to me gets up as and knocks her drink over onto my shoes. They are old slip-ons that I only wear for pedicures or nasty outside works, so I don’t much care.)

Client: “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to. It was an accident!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s okay. I’m not upset. They’re just shoes.”

(The owner’s wife picks up my shoes and washes them in a clean pedicure bath while the lady keeps apologizing. She gets up to leave once my shoes are rinsed off and goes to pay. I go back to my magazine. The wife and son speak in their native language for a moment.)

Son: “My mother says that the lady paid for your session because you were so nice about the accident.”

Client: “You weren’t supposed to tell her until I left!”

(She playfully stomped out, but it made my eyes water at how kind she was.)

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My Soul For A Steam-Iron

, , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2016

(I’m selling $250 steam irons and working on straight commission. A customer chats with me for 10 minutes, growing progressively more interested in the machine. I need this sale to make quota for the day, so start to hope when he says “I’m going to go find my wife and bring her to see this!” A few minutes after, while I’m scanning the aisles hoping to see him come back – 75% of the time these “Be backs” never return – a three-year-old boy comes up to my booth.)

Little Boy: “I’m lost. Can you help me find my mommy?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

(I’m a traveling demonstrator and don’t work for the store, so have no idea policy about lost children, but figure I’ll walk him to the managers. I take him up front, but forget to put out my “Be back in five minutes” sign. After I get him into the hands of the floor manager, I head back to my booth, gone less than five minutes. Shortly, the customer returns.)

Customer: “You just lost a sale! I came back with my wife and you were gone! We weren’t going to wait around for hours for you; she’s gone to check out. Guess you weren’t really interested in a sale!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but a little boy was lost and asked me for help finding his mommy. He was scared and I took him to the manager.”

Customer: “Too bad for you! That’s not your job. You’re here to sell!”

(Customer storms off just as the manager walks by with the little boy, bringing him to the mom who happens to be near my booth and is starting to panic.)

Manager: “This brave little boy knew what to do when he realized he was lost. He went right to a staff member in a badge—” *pointing to me* “—and asked for help. Always go to a person in authority and we’ll take care of you!”

Mother: *looking at me* “Oh, my god! Thank you so much! I’ve worked these kinds of booths; I hope being away didn’t cost you a sale?”

Me: “Not helping would have cost me my soul.”

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One Day It Will Be ‘Nothing Out Of The Ordinary’

, , , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2016

(I am a soldier in the Army. I work in an administration section for the post. One day, two men come into the office: one a soldier, the other a civilian. Both are the same age. The soldier takes a seat while the civilian comes up with paperwork. My lieutenant is at the desk.)

Civilian: “Hello. I need an ID card.”

Lieutenant: “I can help with that. Please fill out this form.”

(It’s a very quick write-up, so he just stands at the desk and fills it out. He tries to hand it to the lieutenant, but she can’t take it.)

Lieutenant: “Sir, I need you to put the code for your relationship with the sponsor.”

Civilian: “Uh…” *glances at the soldier*

(At this point, I realize they didn’t simply come in at the same time, but are together. The civilian turns back to the lieutenant, with the soldier also looking, both nervous. The other soldiers working in the office also catch on, and look towards her as well.)

Civilian: “I’m his husband.”

Lieutenant: *not batting an eye* “For spouses, use [designation] as the code. You’ll be asked that in the future, so don’t forget it.”

Civilian: “Oh, okay.”

(He finished filling it out, and they both left with the paperwork for the new ID card. The lieutenant simply continued with her work as if nothing out of the ordinary happened, and we followed her example.)

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Paying It Forward One Sip At A Time

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 27, 2016

(I am eight years old. I go to a fast food restaurant to get a children’s meal after school. I collect my meal and walk to the table, but unfortunately, I trip on my feet and the drink falls on the floor, spilling everywhere.)

Me: “Excuse me, miss, but my drink fell on the floor. Is it possible to get a new one?”

Clerk: “Sorry, you can only get a new one if you pay for it. We can’t give you another drink for a mistake you made.”

(I walk back to the table sadly, because I don’t have any money — I had saved for a while to even get the children’s meal. A couple of minutes later, an older man walks to me and gives me a new drink he has bought. I thank him for his gesture, and he says to me:)

Man: “Remember this gesture so that, one day, when you have the chance and you see someone who needs help, you, too, can help them, and make a small gesture to make someone as happy as I made you today.”

(After 15 years, I still remember and help others when needed. If it’s opening a door, helping to carry groceries for someone, or just paying a little bit when someone has too little cash on them for bus fare, a little gesture from one person can make a big difference for the one needing it.)


This story is part of our Pay It Forward roundup!

Read the next Pay It Forward story!

Read the Pay It Forward roundup!

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Stress About The Dress

, , , , | Working | April 26, 2016

(I’m an overweight woman, who has always struggled with weight due to a non-functioning thyroid. I struggle to find a store that caters to larger brides until I find this one, so I go to see what they have. There’s a large woman (probably about 5’5″ and 350-380 pounds) on the stage in the center of the room having a fitting done. I’m browsing the catalogs when I hear an exchange between a daughter and her mother and the manager. The daughter is a thin girl who appears spoiled with how she talks. The daughter is staring at the larger woman on the stage, and leans in to her mother.)

Daughter: “I can’t believe someone like her is actually getting married!”

Mother: “I didn’t think whales mated for life!”

(The bride-to-be has clearly heard the comments, and is looking devastated. She takes a step away from the manager who is doing the fitting, but the manager stops her and walks up to the mother and daughter.)

Manager: “I can’t believe you think you’re going to get a dress from my store.”

Daughter: “Well, joke’s on you, then, because I’m actually here to pick it up! Besides, I’ve already paid.”

Manager: “Oh, you’re picking up your order? What’s the name?”

Mother: “It’s [Name].”

Manager: “All right…”

(The manager goes behind the counter, taps some things on the register, and then hands a receipt.)

Manager: “I need you to sign this.”

Mother: “What’s this?”

(The mother signs anyway.)

Manager: “That’s you signing that you have accepted a full refund for your purchase. You can find another store to get your dresses. I just cancelled your order and am refusing you service. Now leave before I call the police.”

Daughter: “YOU CAN’T DO THIS! MY WEDDING IS IN NEXT WEEK! HOW DARE YOU!”

(The daughter starts throwing things around.)

Mother: “We had those dresses custom made! How could you cancel her order?! Look at her!”

Manager: “I cancelled the order because I am not going to let any bride feel like she’s not worthy of marriage just because of her size. Clearly you both feel that you are better than others, and I have no place for clients that are, frankly, a**-holes. I’m calling the police, and since I still have your card information, I’m going to charge you for whatever damages your daughter causes.”

(The manager picked up the phone. The mother grabbed her daughter and they rushed out of the door. I ended up buying my dress from them, and it was BEAUTIFUL! Turned out the manager had a daughter who had a severe thyroid disease and had struggled with weight as well!)

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