From The Mouth Of Babes

, , , , , , , | Right | December 18, 2019

Our family went out for dinner one evening. As the waitress came to take our order, we could see that she looked like she was having a terrible day. She looked like she was completely exhausted and worn out. She took our orders and left, returning to the table shortly with our drinks orders. My nine-year-old son looked up, gave her a big smile, and said, “Awesome service!”

Her whole face lit up. From then on, we received VIP treatment, everything was perfect, she couldn’t do enough for us. We asked for her name and told her manager the service was great. Every time we went after that, we asked for her, and every time, we got amazing service and big smiles.

Sometimes just a kind word or two can make such a difference.

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Paying It Forward: Birthday Special

, , , , | Right | December 15, 2019

(One of our regulars usually stops in with a friend on Monday nights for our special. He’s a college kid on a budget tight enough to only get one meal a day, but he’s always upbeat and fun to talk to, even if he can only tip around 10% most of the time.)

Me: “Same burger as usual?”

Customer: “Nope. It’s my birthday, and I just got a gift card, so we get to splurge a little bit tonight. Just no singing, please.”

Me: *chuckle* “You got it.”

(For splurging, the two of them stay pretty frugal, and the bill comes to just under twenty dollars.)

Customer: “Thanks, and hey, can you do me a favor? Next time someone gets caught without their wallet, or you see someone who’s had a bad day or something, can you have them use this for me?”

Me: “Sure.”

(To my astonishment, he not only left me a 25% tip, but there were still 25 dollars left on the card. We managed to cheer up a couple of break-up victims a couple of weeks later, and though he doesn’t know it, he hasn’t been charged for a drink since.)

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Taking Command Of The Situation

, , , , , | Related | December 14, 2019

My son was pulled out of public school at seven due to his teacher racially abusing him in the classroom. In the days after the incident, my son couldn’t sleep, and if he did, it was only for a few hours at a time before he’d wake from nightmares. He wouldn’t sleep in his own bed; he was either with my husband and me, or with his older brother, who didn’t mind sharing his bed.

This continued for several months, until one weekend. Our oldest had gone away for two weeks with his school on a camping trip and my husband had come down with the flu. This meant my youngest couldn’t share the bed with us — I was sleeping on the couch — and thus, he started to panic.

Our big, “mean” guard dog, a Rottweiler named Commander, walked over to my son and gently started to lick at his hands. My son became distracted, petting the dog. Commander was an absolute softy, even if he didn’t look like it. He would rather lick you to death than bite you, and he was always surprising us in different ways.

After he had calmed down, my son asked if Commander could come to his room with him. I told him that I would make the exception that if he felt safe with the dog, I would allow it. My son hurriedly ran to his room, calling for the dog to follow. Commander knew that he wasn’t allowed in my son’s rooms and was hesitant to follow, but did anyway.

When I went to check on them a few hours later, my son was asleep in his bed, Commander laying next to him under the blankets and keeping a close watch on him. When I jokingly asked if everything was all right, Commander even gave that small “hruf” he would when he was content.

Commander was with my son day and night until Thunder, my son’s PTSD service dog, arrived. And even then, Commander was never too far from my son’s side until the day he passed over the rainbow bridge.

Of course, we had him cremated and turned into a small pendant that my son wears every day, so Commander could still be with him wherever he goes.

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The Power Of Politeness  

, , , , , | Right | December 12, 2019

(I work a summer internship at a local electric cooperative. One afternoon, I’m working the front desk when several of our power lines go down. This leads to about an hour of people calling to report outages and ask how long they’ll be out of power. It’s busy enough that every time we finish a call, the phone immediately rings again. Sometime in the middle, I get a call from an older gentleman. I give the standard greeting.)

Customer: “Hello, how are you?”

(I’m surprised enough that it takes me a couple of seconds to respond.)

Me: “I’m doing all right, how are you?”

Customer: “Good, thank you.”

(He reported his outage, staying pleasant even when I told him I didn’t know how long power would be out. It’s been over a year, and I still smile thinking about it. A little politeness can go a long way!)

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The Cheese Has Melted And So Have Our Hearts

, , , , , , | Right | December 11, 2019

(My husband and I are at a restaurant we go to every month or so. We almost always get the same thing, so we order without looking at the menu, including an appetizer that’s a sort of breadstick bite, which is supposed to come with two types of sauce to dip.)

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry, they just discontinued those.”

Me: “Oh, no! Well, bad luck for us. We can just get regular breadsticks then.”

Server: “Well, if you like, I can see if they’ll still make them for you? They might still have everything we need.”

Husband: “We really don’t want to be a pain.”

Server: “I promise you aren’t! Just let me check with the kitchen first.”

(She returns shortly after and says the kitchen can make the appetizer easily, but it will only have the marinara sauce to dip, not the cheese sauce, which we are fine with since we only ever eat the marinara anyway. We thank her profusely, and a little while later we get our appetizer. All is well, and then a woman comes running out of the kitchen with a small plate.)

Employee: “Here you go! We tried to make you the cheese sauce anyway with what we had.”

Husband: “Oh, you didn’t have to do that!”

Employee: “No, no, we wanted to! It, um, might not be very good though, but we thought we’d try.”

(She dropped the plate and hurried off. When we looked we had to laugh. The sauce is supposed to be a kind of garlicky beer cheese sauce for dipping. What they brought us was what looked like quite literally just a block of melted cheddar cheese with a handful of garlic on top, quickly congealing back into a grease-covered lump. To be polite, we did TRY to eat it since they went through the trouble for us, but it really was terrible. The whole thing was hysterical, though, and we were touched that they went through the effort to first accommodate us with the appetizer, and then TRIED to make the sauce even if the result was mostly inedible. We tipped generously and sent an email in to the company website telling them how great their staff at this location was. They may not be able to improvise a cheese sauce on the spot, but at least they cared enough to try!)

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