A New Year’s Resolution

, , , , | Related | December 31, 2013

(I have driven my SUV onto a median on New Year’s Eve. It has hit in such a way that the tires are on either side of the median and thus useless. No one stops to help, until a woman and her niece pull over.)

Woman: “Hi, I’m [Name] and this is my niece. We noticed you guys were in a little trouble there. Would you like a hand?”

Me: “It’s all right; the car is totally stuck. We’ll just have to wait for a tow truck.”

Woman: “We can at least try. We’re pretty strong; it runs in the family.”

Me: “You two are very kind, but it’s a big car and very heavy. Even I couldn’t budge it. Go on home and have a great New Year!”

Niece: “C’mon, sir, at least let us try. Get in and put it in reverse; my aunt and I will push.”

Me: *reluctantly* “Okay…”

(I get in the car and put it in reverse.)

Woman: “Okay, [Niece.] 1… 2… 3!”

(The two start pushing on the car, and somehow, it moves. After a minute, they’ve pushed it clear off the median and back into the road. It’s somehow undamaged.)

Me: “Thank you, thank you, thank you! What can I give you guys for this? How did you even do that?”

Woman: “No need to give us anything. This is what we do. And I told you: it runs in the family. Have a great New Year!”

(They drive away. The way they showed up at the right moment and pushed the SUV off the median undamaged, even without the use of tires, was nothing short of miraculous. To this day I wonder if they were just two very strong women, or were they something more.)

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Starting A New Year Revolution

, , , , , | Right | December 17, 2013

(It is New Year’s Day. The restaurant that I work in closes its dining room at 10 pm because of this. The manager has informed me that she’ll close it sooner if no one arrives. At 8:30 pm, a customer comes into the store, orders, then takes a seat. I go to clean a nearby table, since it is quiet.)

Customer: “Ma’am, what time do you close?”

Me: “We’re closing at 10 tonight. Maybe a bit sooner if it’s quiet enough.”

(The customer gets a shocked look on her face. She starts packing up.)

Me: “Ma’am, what’s wrong?”

Customer: “I don’t want to hold you up! You have to go celebrate the New Year with your family!”

(I convinced her to relax and stay, since it was over an hour until we would close. However, since then, the customer comes at nights through the drive-thru, not wanting to hold up the dining room!)

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Gift Carded And Dearly Departed

, , , , , | Right | September 20, 2013

(I am working as an assistant manager at a retail store. A customer comes in while it is slow, so I am able to pay a lot of attention to her, and find her exactly what she wants.)

Customer: “Is it okay to pay by gift card?”

Me: “Of course.”

(I start ringing her in.)

Customer: “I hate to use it, though.”

Me: “Oh, really? Why is that?”

Customer: “My mom gave it to me for my last birthday, and she passed away two months ago.”

(I pause for a moment to make eye contact with her.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost my own mom a little over a year ago, so I know what you’re going through.”

Customer: “Oh! I guess you do understand, then. Does it get easier?”

Me: “No. I still miss her horribly, and still want to pick up the phone and call her every single day. But I suppose I’m not as raw as I was. You’ll get to that point, too, though you’ll always miss her.”

Customer: “Yeah…”

(I finish ringing her up, and swipe her gift card, which pays for everything. Afterwards, I bring her bag around the counter for her, and hand it to her.)

Customer: “Can I… Can I make a really strange request?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Can I keep the gift card?”

Me: “Oh, of course you can!”

(I hand it to her. She puts it back in the envelope that bears her name, and caresses it. I can see she’s on the verge of tears.)

Me: “Right before my mom died, she gave me the package she never sent me for my birthday, which had some Avon perfume in it. I like the perfume, but I hardly ever use it, because I don’t want to have to throw away one of the last things she ever gave me.”

Customer: “Oh, so you completely understand why I want to keep this!”

Me: *eyes filling with tears* “Oh, yes, ma’am, completely!”

(We wind up chatting for close to 45 minutes, sharing stories about our moms. By the end of it, we’re both crying openly, but they’re good tears.)

Customer: “I’ve taken up so much of your time; I’m sorry.”

Me: “No, don’t apologize. I’m so glad you came in, and that you were willing to share with me!”

Customer: “Can I… Can I hug you?”

Me: “Of course you can!”

(We hugged for a long time, with both of us still crying. She thanked me profusely, and vowed to come back and ask for me especially. I never did see her again, as I quit not long after that, but it was a wonderful experience. I hope wherever she is, her grief has become less raw than it was when I saw her. I’ll always, always remember her as being one of the best customers I ever had.)

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What Your Country Can Do For You

, , , , | Right | September 3, 2013

(I’m with my dad, who is an army vet, and three of my friends. My family has no money right now, so my friends are paying.)

Waiter: “Here’s your bill. The couple over there paid for $50.”

Paying Friend: “What?”

Me: “What?”

Waiter: “They didn’t tell you?”

My Dad: “No, they didn’t.”

Waiter: “They saw your vet hat, and said that they’ll pay for $50.”

Me: “Faith in humanity is über restored!”

(To that couple who paid for most of our meal, thank you. Your actions did more than you know for not just my family, but my friends as well. You are saints among men.)

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Radiating A Feeling Of Thanksgiving

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2013

(I am a married father of three and money is tight. A few days before Thanksgiving, my truck develops a radiator leak. I really need my truck fixed on this particular Saturday. I find a local shop that is willing to take a look even though they are usually closed Saturdays.)

Mechanic: “Okay, I found a pinhole leak in one of the side tanks on the radiator and should be able to fix it no problem. It will be about $45.”

(I grimace at the cost, but have no choice.)

Me: “Okay, do what you need to. I just need it fixed.”

(After another twenty minutes…)

Mechanic: “Well, I have good news and bad news. The hole is fixed but it turns out that the seal on the other side is leaking badly as well.”

Me: “How much more will that cost to fix?”

(He leans into the manager’s office and asks how much.)

Manager: “That would bring it up to $65.00… maybe more, depending on how we have to repair it.”

Me: “Well, go ahead and fix it. I really need the truck running today.”

(The mechanic goes back to fix it. My phone rings and it’s a friend. )

Friend: *on the phone* “How bad is the truck? How much will it cost?”

(I proceed to tell him the truck’s condition and cost, and add…)

Me: “…this really hurts because it’s coming out of our grocery money for the week.”

(After my truck is fixed, the mechanic comes in to speak with the boss.)

Mechanic: “Alright, it’s all fixed and ready to go. Boss? How much do I charge him?”

Manager: *to me* “Where is your car parked? Front or back?”

Me: “Out front.”

Manager: *to the mechanic* “Take it out front and put it in his trunk for him. No charge.”

Me: “What? Are you serious?”

Manager: “As a heart attack. You go enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family, and Happy Holidays!”

(In shock and disbelief, I leave the shop with the mechanic, load up with my son, and leave. It dawns on me five minutes into the drive I forgot to even say thank you! I went back the following Monday and thanked him profusely and took a stack of business cards with me. I now recommend them to anyone who has car troubles. And they say kindness is dead in our modern age.)

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