Understanding Mental Health One Hug At A Time

, , , , , | 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.)

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One Less Thing On Your Plate

, , , , | Hopeless | March 28, 2016

(I am eating at a restaurant when a toddler at the table next to me drops a plate and breaks it. He begins to cry and apologize.)

Waiter: “Hey, that’s okay, kid! I do that all the time. See?”

(He proceeds to drop all of the plates he is carrying onto the floor and let them shatter. His manager runs out and begins yelling at him. He then begins to leave. On his way out he notices my shocked expression and stops by me.)

Waiter: “I was planning on quitting anyway. My boss is horrible. At least this way I go out with a bang and make a kid feel better!”

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Showing Your True Feathers

, , , | Right | 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.)

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Drive-Thru Apologies

, , , , | Hopeless | March 28, 2016

(A coworker of mine posted this story on a local social media group:)

Coworker: “To the lady in the white van who cut me off at the intersection to get to the drive-thru before me: you paid for my order as an apology, and it made my day!”

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The Ever-Growing Size Of Your Heart

, , , , | Working | March 28, 2016

(It’s fall, and we’re expecting it to be a cold early winter. I had previously made a comment to one of my managers about being worried about lack of money to buy winter apparel for my son, which is a large concern being a single mom in a minimum wage position. I’m at work when a supervisor who has a young daughter strikes up a conversation.)

Supervisor: “Oh, my goodness, my daughter is growing like a weed. It needs to stop.”

Me: “I know, right? They grow up too fast.”

Supervisor: “I know. So, what size is your son in now?”

Me: “Oh, he’s gotten so big. He’s in a ‘small boys’ now. Thankfully he’s only tall so he fits in a better range.”

Supervisor: “Yeah, my daughter is the same way, tall and thin. So, what shoe size does he wear?”

Me: “13 or 1, depending on the brand.”

Supervisor: “Oh, yeah, I know how it is. Some brands are too small.”

(It’s at this time I have to step away to help a customer at the cash registers but it’s only a couple hours later that another manager comes to me while I’m on register and tells me to turn off my light and meet her at the jewelry counter. After finishing up with my customer I head to the jewelry counter to find the manager who told me to meet her and the manager mentioned previously, at the jewelry register making a purchase. Manager #1 smiles at me and hands me a large bag.)

Manager #1: “Here you go; you mentioned not being able to afford winter things for your son.”

(Inside the bag was a winter jacket, snow pants, new boots, winter hat, and gloves. It was at this point I started crying and hugging both the managers. It came out that the supervisor had been in on this, and had been fishing for information with her small talk. Not even twenty minutes later, after calming down, my HR manager came through my line at the register and bought new cold weather pants and socks for my son. I couldn’t even cry at this because I still had customers and she walked away, telling me to pick up the clothes in her office. There may be issues at my work but my managers and supervisors are the best.)

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