A Typical Good Versus Evil Story

, , , , | Right | June 17, 2020

I work for a popular drugstore in an upper-class neighbourhood, where customers are usually snotty and entitled. Thirty minutes into my shift, while I am speaking in Spanish to my supervisor, a customer yells at me.

Bad Customer: “I am going to call the head office because you were speaking in Spanish about me!”

After that situation, about an hour before the store closes, a guy comes to buy four chocolate bars. He pays and tells me to pick two.

Good Customer: “I saw everything go down earlier and thought you could use some sweets in your life.”

He came back just to do that. I was so amazed by his kindness.

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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This Story Has A Goodie Ending

, , , , , | Right | June 16, 2020

My store has recently begun giving out gift bags which include a bookmark, sticker, and color-changing “mood” pencil with the store logo on them, as well as crayons and some puzzles. Normally, we give these to younger schoolchildren or adults who mention having kids at home. 

Three young teenage girls come into the store wearing school lanyards, and at least one of them has a school ID on their lanyard, so I assume they must be freshmen. They all browse the store, but only one of them winds up buying anything.

Me: *Ringing up the purchase* “And… are y’all too old for goodie bags?”

Girl #1: “What?”

Me: *Sarcastically over-enthusiastic* “Wanna be the coolest kids in your grade?!”

All Three: “Yes!”

I laugh and hand each of them a goodie bag.

Girl #2: “Oh, my God! We get crayons?!

Girl #1: “Look! There’s a word search!”

Girl #3: *Gasping* “The pencils change color! This is so cool!”

They left the store happily, and I continued laughing.

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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Fixed It Like Clockwork

, , , , , , | Working | June 12, 2020

I work at a store that does personalized engravings for people. It’s very common for us to add special messages or monograms to people to mark milestones in their lives, either to something they bring in, or to objects we sell for the purpose.

One day, a young woman comes into our store with a clock that had been engraved at one of our sister stores in another state. Her fiancé had secretly purchased it as a wedding gift to her while visiting his family. He had picked it up at the store but had liked the wrapping and did not unwrap it at the time. 

When he gave it to her, they discovered that there were several mistakes in the engraving. The date for their upcoming wedding was incorrect and her name was misspelled. Her fiancé had tried calling the original location where they got the engraving done but just got the runaround. He was basically told, “We already have your money, so… too bad.” 

Although she is perfectly polite and kind to me, it is clear that the customer is very upset, and I don’t blame her. She has had to drive over sixty miles to come to our location — the nearest to them — to see if meeting in person might work better than calling. 

It’s a little tricky to look up their order, since it was made through another location, but fortunately, she has brought their paperwork, which helps. It also shows that her fiancé had put down the correct date and spelling, so the mistake was entirely on our side.

I manage to not only get the order entirely redone — correctly! — and have it shipped to them to save the customer from having to make the long drive again, but I’m able to get my manager to approve a 50% refund for the trouble and inconvenience. 

I also tell my manager about the other location, and she says that she’ll escalate it to her superiors, but I have no idea if anyone working at that other location gets in any trouble over it.

Nicest of all, two weeks later, my manager calls me into her office to have me listen to a message someone left on her voicemail. It is the customer, calling to say that they received the engraved clock and that it is perfect, and also to compliment my customer service. “We were planning never to use your company ever again after the initial trouble, but after exemplary service from [My Name], we will certainly be back. At least, to your location!”

I tried to go a little bit above and beyond, because I felt like my company had messed up, but it really meant a lot to me that she took the time to call and say something nice. People often call to complain or criticize, but I can’t think of another time someone called simply to be kind.

It’s been a few years and I’ve long since left that job, but to this day, that lady remains my favorite customer.

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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You Never Know What You Might Find On These Hiking Trails

, , , , , , , | Right | June 10, 2020

My dad was born in Norway but lived in Tennessee from the age of three. In the 1970s, at seventeen, he spends a summer in Norway and gets a summer job at a hiking and camping equipment store. Despite Dad being more fluent in English than Norwegian, his boss always wants to take care of the foreign customers, as he speaks German, Spanish, English, and Russian, in addition to Norwegian. One day, he comes up to Dad, slightly panicked.

Boss: “Can you help that family? I could swear they’re speaking English, but I can’t understand a single word they’re saying!”

As Dad approaches, he hears the couple speaking to their kids in one of the most backwoods Appalachian accents he’s ever heard. He decides to have fun with it.

Dad: “Well, hey, y’all! How’s everything goin’? What can I help y’all find this evenin’?”

The family looks overjoyed.

Man: “Lawdamercy, son, it sure is a blessin’ to find someone who can understand us! We been here a week and can’t nobody understand a blessed thing we say! Where you from?”

They talk, and Dad learns that the couple has won the lottery and always wanted to visit the Land of the Vikings. They’re from a city not too far from where Dad grew up.

Man: “We ain’t got any stores like this round [Town], do we?”

Dad: “Naw, the closest one is in [City four hours away]. Their prices are about twice what ours is here, and their stuff don’t hold a candle to ours, quality-wise. What all are y’all lookin’ to get?”

They end up spending the equivalent of over $1,000 in clothes, shoes, backpacking gear, climbing gear, and rafting gear, and Dad tells them where around Oslo would be best to hike with their ten- and fourteen-year-old kids. He also tells them about some fun trails back home to try.

After they’ve left, the boss comes up to Dad.

Boss: “How— What— When— How did you do that? That was more than we usually sell in a week! What language was that?”

Dad: “It was good old East Tennessean American English. The accent is one that more rural folks have in the area where I live. They’re avid hikers and just won the lottery, and it was like a breath of fresh air to have someone speak to them who could understand them and knew exactly what equipment they needed.”

Boss: “Well! I know you’ve been saving up to get that new exterior frame backpacking backpack. You’ve got, what, half saved up?”

Dad: “About that, yeah.”

Boss: “How about you give me half of what you’ve saved and we will call it even? I can’t believe you just did that!”

About thirty years later, Dad, Mom, my sister, and I are hiking at a state park in Tennessee. Dad is using that same backpack, as he still does today. We see another backpacking family taking a break, and Dad stops in shock.

Dad: “Excuse me, sir, but does that pack happen to be from [Store in Norway]?”

Hiker: “Well, yeah! My dad got it there about thirty years ago when we went there on vacation! My daughter’s using the one he got for me then! Why do you ask?”

Dad: *Long pause* “Did… Did you happen to go there ’cause your dad won the lottery?”

Hiker: *Surprised* “Uh, yeah! How’d you know?”

Dad: “I believe I am the one that sold y’all those packs! Y’all got so much stuff, my boss let me have this pack 75% off as a thank you!”

Hiker: “Oh, wow! I do remember that! That’s crazy! Hah! And you sure weren’t kidding about the quality, were you? It’s been, what, thirty years or so?”

Dad: “About that, yeah.”

The hiker told Dad about how the rest of the Norway trip went and shared some fun tales of the adventures they went on in Tennessee using the equipment Dad had sold them. They exchanged numbers, and Dad has since taught the hiker and his kids how to mountain bike. The hiker is a boat repairman and always gives Dad a good deal on servicing his boat. It’s crazy what a little serendipity and customer service will bring your way!

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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Bringing About Positive Change

, , , , , | Right | June 8, 2020

I work at a fairly busy fast food restaurant, and I have been trying to quickly process orders all day. A customer comes up and starts to order.

Customer: “I would like a [Combo #1], please, large size.”

Me: “Okay, sir, that was a large [Combo #1], so your total will be $7.67.”

The customer pulls out a handful of change, plunks it on the counter, and looks at me expectantly. Just looking at it, I know it’s not enough for his meal.

Me: *Unsure* “Would you like me to count that, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, please!”

I count out the amount of change, and the total amount is $0.83.

Me: “Sir, you are $6.84 short.”

The customer nods emphatically.

Me: “I can’t give you the meal for $0.83.”

The customer frowns and pushes the money towards me.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Unfortunately, nothing on the menu can be bought for $0.83. Do you maybe have more change or anything that you didn’t place on the counter?”

The customer’s eyes widen and he starts searching through his pockets.

Me: “Sir, would it be possible for me to help the other customers in line while you look?” 

He nods, so I move onto the next customer, hoping to whittle down the long line. After finishing with the next customer, I check back in with him.

Customer: “Okay, I want a [Combo #3], large size, please.”

I look at the pile of change, which has only grown by a couple of pennies, and sigh internally. This combo is even more than the first. I want to help this man, who seems slightly confused but very hungry, but such a large discrepancy would get me in trouble with my manager.

Me: “Sir, unfortunately, that is not enough to cover the amount.”

The next customer in line has been watching the entire exchange, and comes up to the counter.

Next Customer: “Here, I want to help this gentleman out, but I don’t have a lot to spare.”

He hands me a $5 bill. The customer sees the $5 now on his stack of change and gets excited, looking up at me hopefully.

Me: “Well, sir, I can’t give you a large combo, but how about a regular-sized [Combo #1]?”

The customer nods vigorously and I punch in the order, including a small family/friends discount, so that he will still get some of his change back. He happily takes his cup and goes to sit in the dining room. I turn to the next customer who helped him.

Me: “Thank you so much. I was really torn about what to do! I didn’t want to have to make him leave without food, but I can’t give away free food!”

Next Customer: “It wasn’t a problem; I enjoy helping people out when I can!”

I processed her order — also adding the family/friends discount — and she smiled at me and headed off with a wink. Faith in the general public restored!

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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