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Positive, feel-good stories

A Tale Worthy Of A Book

, , , , , , , | Right | August 3, 2021

My father has taken me to public libraries every weekend since I was almost three. It used to be a long walk, but I enjoyed looking at books. My schooling was in English and the books were in my first language, so I could not read much until about eight. The public libraries did not carry a lot of English books.

When I was about ten, we moved to a neighborhood where the public library was less than five minutes’ walk from my home. It was open for three hours in the morning and evening. Every evening, I would rush to the library soon after school. Usually, I would be there within five minutes of opening. Their usual practice was to set up periodicals first as evening newspaper readers would start coming in. Instead of waiting for them, I would just start dusting the kids’ section seats and turn on the lights and start my reading.

The librarian was the kind of man who just did not look approachable. I used to hear him being hard on people who had late returns or spoiled the books, and he used to be curt with my father when he joined me on Sunday mornings, so ten-year-old me was scared of this man.

Every day, fifteen minutes before the actual closing time, they would start announcements and ask people to vacate. The first few days, I just did not understand why someone would make me leave fifteen minutes early. And since I did not have a library card, I could not take my half-read books with me. I would simply put the book back and go back home. After a few days, the librarian must have silently observed my long face, because he started making announcements about closure only in other sections.

The housekeeper lady would just smile at me and leave the lights on just enough for me to read while they tidied up the rest of the place and did their closing activities. This gave me another ten minutes to read. Five minutes before closing, I would straighten the books in the kids’ section and join them in locking up. Very soon, in my head, I had become a part of their opening and closing team! Every Sunday, I would proudly walk in with my father as if I were taking him to my own place.

We lived in that house for about five years and I had read most of the books in the kids’, young adult, and basic science sections. The librarian, still curt and limited on words, had started to smile at me. He would simply point at new books and smile at my brightened eyes. If I missed going to the library, the housekeeper lady would be worried and ask why I had missed my routine. When we were moving, the librarian gave an additional borrower’s card to my father’s account and asked me to use it. We did not move far off and my aunt lived near the library, so I went back there at least twice a week.

The next year, when I turned sixteen, the librarian asked me to get my documents and registered me for my own borrower’s account and penned my name on my first-ever library card. That day was pure joy for me and him. During my college days, I would go there if I wanted some quiet place to study. He’d simply give me reading room keys and let me be. I knew the library layout very well and sometimes helped other patrons, too. When they closed for maintenance activities, I would join them for housekeeping tasks. They both knew they just couldn’t get rid of me!

Then, life happened. I moved places and lost touch with that library. The last time I was in that neighborhood, I saw a new librarian and heard that the old man had retired and they have smart cards now.

I still love books, all thanks to my dad, that silent librarian, and the sweet housekeeper lady. I still have that card with the librarian’s handwriting!

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A Tale Of Moms Helping Moms

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Potato-the-sloth | August 1, 2021

I checked in a guest who is sweet right off the bat. She tells me about her life and how she is a foster mother and how she has adopted most of her children. I gush over her and her inspiring life choices, and then she thanks me and leaves to get settled in.

While this is transpiring, another guest I checked in earlier comes up to the desk looking upset. I know exactly why. When she was checking in, she lied about how many people were in her room and my manager caught them. They were told about our capacity limit per room and how they would have to purchase another room if they wanted to stay. She has two adults and six children but our cap is five people for regular rooms and six for suites.

I release the hold on her card and cancel her reservation. I apologize and reiterate that I have to follow policy. She leaves, looking defeated.

Ten minutes later, the sweet foster mother walks up to the front desk.

Me: “Hey! Welcome back. What can I do for you?”

Guest: “Do you all have any adjoining rooms available?”

Me: “I’d have to check, but we should.”

Guest: “Great. If you do, I’d like to buy a room for the lady that just left with all of those kids.”

Me: “That is the sweetest thing. You don’t have to do that, but you are welcome to if you’d like.”

She left and went outside to tell the mother of the six kids that she could pay for the room while I stayed standing dumbstruck at the desk.

They came back in and asked for the price of the rooms. I let the kind guest know that she would be responsible for any extra charges and fees accrued if the room was trashed and that I could continue with the reservation process if she was comfortable and understood this. She agreed and we continued.

The mother of six, I could tell, felt so grateful. She said she wanted to celebrate her son’s birthday but it’s hard to find places that accept that many people. It made my night, her night, and her kid’s night. They only wanted to swim and enjoy a five-year-old’s birthday. The room didn’t end up trashed, either.

It may not seem like much, but the kindness of a stranger after a dumpster fire year really made me feel like there is hope for us all yet.

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A Little Patience Has Some Pretty Results

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: PhuckingPhabulous | August 1, 2021

I work in a call center for a big financial institution in the resolution group. I have to call this guy because his check is too low. He’s very frustrated by the unsolicited call. I give him my usual spiel to call back through the main customer service line and ask for me. Per his account, he’s elderly, and per my short interaction, likely a little hard of hearing.

He gets back through and screams at me for a while. No big deal — I’m used to that. I let him get it out.

Me: “Okay, sir, here’s why I’m calling. Your check is too short.”

I explain what could happen if he doesn’t remedy the situation.

Me: “We just need an extra [amount]. It needs to be a new check for the entire amount. We’ll return your first check.”

This results in a bunch of nonsensical yelling. He also can’t hear me well. Finally:

Customer: “I can’t write that small! Look, I tried to write the full amount, but I can’t write that small anymore!”

Okay, now we were at the root of the problem. Poor guy.

We discussed options. Could he get to the bank to have a check printed? Yup! Okay, let’s do that.

He got to the bank later that week and called me in a panic. There was a bank fee to have the check printed and he’s on a fixed income. I told him we’d cover it; he just had to save and send in proof of the fee.

He sent the check to my group’s mailing address which auto-sorted it to our specialty processing group. It was picked up by my favorite ol’ reliable processor and the bank fee was reimbursed.

In our group, we handled cases from beginning to end, so he could call me whenever he wanted. Obviously, he was very concerned about tax implications, so he called me maybe three times in the week it took to receive the check and process it. He was a nice old man — quite pleasant, actually.

That Christmas, my boss walked up with a silly grin. He had an envelope in his hand. In the envelope was a Christmas card with a developed photo of a pretty flower and a note from my favorite client wishing me a merry Christmas. He wanted to show me the flower in his garden. It’s been eight years since that interaction, and I’ll never throw that card and photo out. It meant a lot.

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A Wonderful Lightbulb Moment

, , , , , | Right | July 28, 2021

I walk into an auto parts store.

Me: “Hi! I need a new headlight bulb and two windshield wiper blades, please!”

Associate: “Absolutely!”

The associate quickly gets what I need.

Me: “Could I be a bother and have you assist with installing these?”

Associate: “I can do the windshield wiper blades no problem, but I can’t help with the bulb. I’m sorry.”

Me: “Gotcha! No worries, my dude!”

A line forms behind me and the associate says it’ll be just a minute before he can step out to help me. I try to get a jump on installing the bulb.

I can’t get the bulb out with my crappy grip strength on my dominant hand due to an old injury, and I don’t realize the associate is behind me. He is laughing really hard at my struggle — but in a nice way. I realize I have taken the wrong bulb out and continue cursing while the employee laughs more. Having fixed my wipers, he bids me good luck and heads back inside.

I realize just how inept at car maintenance I actually am and get an idea, so I head back inside.

Me: “Hello! Quick question, and I promise I’m not trying to be that customer.”

Associate: *Playfully ducks under the counter* “Oh, no!”

Me: “I was wondering if you could take the old bulb out and I put the new bulb in. I have an old injury and next to no grip strength in my right hand.”

Associate: “You know what? Sure!”

Back outside, the associate removes the old bulb like he could do it in his sleep. I remove the new bulb and wait for him to scoot so I can get it plugged in.

Associate: “Here, I’ll just go ahead and do it since I’m here.”

Me: “No, I can do it! I don’t want you to get in trouble. Really, thank you for doing this, but I can get it!”

Associate: “My mama raised me to help people and have manners, so it’ll be okay.”

I reluctantly hand him the new bulb which he installs in three seconds max.

Associate: “There you go, ma’am! All good to go! Just try to turn your headlights on real quick to test them.”

I quickly turn them on and grab two $5 bills.

Associate: “Looks like they work perfectly!”

Me: “I know it’s not much, but please take this.”

Associate: “No, ma’am! It’s all good!”

Me: “Please, I have worked customer service long enough to know what it’s like. Please. You don’t realize just how much you helped me.”

I hand him the money.

Me: “I would also like to commend you to your manager if possible. You made this a very pleasant experience and didn’t talk down to me, and I really appreciate that.”

I called the next day and told the manager just how nice this employee was, and this seemed to catch her off-guard. I wish more people would call or talk to the manager about how much good employees really matter!

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To Be Frank, This Is A Delightful Change Of Pace

, , , | Right | CREDIT: thiccwitch2601 | July 27, 2021

Tonight, a lady called in to make reservations for next month.

Customer: “I need two rooms for four adults for the first weekend in April. I think I saw online the rate was $81. Can you help me with that?”

Me: “I sure can! Was there a specific discount you were looking for, like AAA?”

Customer: “It sure was the AAA rate. And thanks for doing this; now I don’t have to fuss with the ding dang computer. Now, I want one room with a king bed and the other with two beds. I think the two beds are more expensive, but that’s okay.”

Me: “I show that two queens are the same rate as the king for those dates. Do you have a rewards number you want to attach to the reservations?”

Customer: “The two beds are the same price? That’s even better! I do have one of your numbers, but I don’t know where it is. I think I have it saved in my ding dang phone. Don’t worry about it, hun.”

Me: “You said your name was [Customer]? What city and state do you live in?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m from [City], [State].”

Me: “Okay, Ms. [Customer], I found your rewards profile right here.”

Customer: “Aren’t you a clever one! Thank you!”

I finish up the reservation and confirm her email address for the confirmation.

Me: “Would you like to write down your rewards number? That way you can log in with the app to see your reservations and check in.”

Customer: *To her husband* “FRANK! The girl said I can use my phone to check in!” *To me* “Yes, dear, I’d like that number. You have been so helpful and kind. We can’t wait to stay there.”

I hung up the phone chuckling as she started shouting at Frank again about the hotel.

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