There Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2020

I’m working the counter on a very, very slow Monday morning. Two customers walk in at about 8:00 am, laden down with suitcases and bags.

Me: “Hi, how can I help today?”

The customer has a very obvious American accent.

Customer: “Oh, hi! We were just wondering if we could sit in the corner over here and just rest up for a bit? We’ve just come in off the train and we have a few hours before our flight out of here.”

I’m pretty impressed, because the train station is about twenty minute’s walk, and they carried all that luggage from there.

Me: “That’s no problem at all! Just take one of the booth seats in the corner there, and let me know if you need anything at all.”

Over the course of the next few hours, they order coffee, brunch, and lunch from me, asking only to deal with me and not with my coworker. They tell me all about how they are a cruising couple who take cruises all over the world, and they are visiting New Zealand for the first time after an extended stay in Africa. They are incredibly polite and very interesting to listen to, and they always apologise for “interrupting” me whenever they want to order something.

At about 1:00 pm:

Customer’s Husband: “We’re just about to head off now; would you be able to call that taxi that you mentioned? Our flight’s in about an hour.”

Me: “Certainly. One moment.”

I go into the back, and when I come back out front I see my coworker finishing a transaction with the customer’s husband.

Customer: “You’ve been such an absolute dear to us, we’ve bought you lunch. [Coworker] here told us what you usually order; it’s on us today. Thank you so much for your amazing service today, and I’ll be filing a good conduct report with your management.”

Best. Customers. Ever.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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This Story Tips Both Good And Bad

, , , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

My husband and I are Australians on holiday in America. My cousin spent about two years working in America as a waitress and has drilled into us the importance of tipping our servers. Even when the service is shockingly bad, including the time they forget to put our order into the system for forty-five minutes, we tip at LEAST 18% because that is what my cousin recommended, and we’re a little stunned that servers work for pennies an hour and rely on tips to survive.

A large amount of staff who notice our accents seem pleasantly surprised when we tip them the proper amount or more. We stop for lunch in a little diner near our hotel and the waitress is AMAZING. She chats with us, asks about Australia and expresses how much she’d love to visit, tells us where to find a specific store I really wanted to visit but haven’t been able find, and is just all-around wonderful.

She is coming over with our refills:

Waitress: “Here we go, guys, here’s your—”

Mid-sentence, a small child who has been running around unchecked for the last half an hour slams into her legs. She drops both our drinks — one all over the kid and one directly into my lap.

The kid’s mother starts SCREECHING at the top of her lungs and demanding to see a manager. The waitress is trying to clean up the kid, apologise, and get us napkins all at once. I clean myself up as best I can and wave her off — I can easily pop back to our hotel to change — so she leaves to get her manager to deal with the screaming mother and her crying child.

She comes back a few minutes later with new drinks for us and is near tears; while her manager had her back, the other woman had said some awful things and her entire party of ten had left her without a tip. She drops off our drinks and we finish them, and she brings back the bill.

Waitress: *Still nearly crying* “I am so sorry about that, guys. I took your refills off the bill; those are on me.”

Feeling bad, my husband is trying to make her laugh.

Husband: “I think you’ll find they were on my wife and that demon kid.”

The waitress, realising we’re just kidding, does crack a smile as she walks off to handle another table. While we were already going to tip her about 25% on our tiny lunch bill — seriously, food is RIDICULOUSLY cheap in the States — for being so wonderful to us, my husband just rifles through his pockets for whatever he has on him in cash and shoves it into the billfold. It adds up to about $60 on our $19 bill, and we try to escape before she sees it as we don’t want her to thank us for it. 

We’re about five steps out the door when she chases us outside.

Waitress: “Wait! You guys, two of these are twenties! I know we joked that you’re used to your rainbow money but you’ve gotta read the numbers. Here!”

She tries to hand us back some of the money and we refuse to take it.

Me: “Honey, no, that’s your tip. You were amazing. Take it.”

The waitress seemed dumbfounded that we had deliberately left her that much, and my husband joked that it was to make up for the gremlin’s parents stiffing her. She legitimately started to cry and asked if she could hug us, which we accepted, and she went back inside.

I’m still stunned that she was honest enough to try and give the tip back to foreigners she thought didn’t understand. We saw her again a few times before we left — the food was incredible at that diner — and she was just as lovely each time. Tip your servers, people!


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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It Was By Design(er)

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2020

I’m a recent college graduate, and I’ve just gotten my first check from my first “big girl” job. I decide to use some of it on a pair of earrings from a very whimsical designer that I’ve always liked but could never afford.

I get to the store and see “store closing” signs everywhere. There are a few people in the store. The sales associate calls out a friendly greeting, as she’s seen me come in a few times and sigh over items that I couldn’t afford as a broke college student.

Me: “Hi! I’m sorry y’all are closing. I can finally get my first [Designer] item and it might be the last.”

Sales Associate: “I’ve seen you in here a couple of times. I’m glad you came back to buy something from us before we closed. What do you have in mind?”

Me: “Oh, some earrings. Nothing super pricey, though.”

I spot a pair of dangly heart-shaped earrings at the register.

Me: “Wow, those are gorgeous!”

Sales Associate: “Right?! They sold fast. I think that’s our last pair. Unfortunately, they are still full-price.”

Me: “Darn. What do you have on sale?”

Sales Associate: “Sale jewelry is back by the dresses. We just reduced a ton of stuff today so you’ve got a lot of options. Holler if you need anything. I’m happy to help!”

I thank her and get to browsing. Almost immediately, a snotty customer in her forties gets in my way, blocking the aisle, and demanding attention from the sales associates. She makes comments about actually being able to afford the items in the store and huffs every time she sees me. Whatever.

I find a pair of earrings and a ring at a huge discount and get in line to buy them. Who should get behind me but [Entitled Lady], on her cell phone, talking loudly. I then hear this gem:

Entitled Lady: “Oh, there’s some heart-shaped earrings at the register. Totally cute. I’m buying them.”

I roll my eyes. Of course, she wants those, and she can probably afford them, too! It’s my turn, so I step up to the register. It’s the same sales associate from earlier.

Sales Associate: “Hey, nice choices! Glad you found some stuff. Anything else you want to add?”

I pick up the heart-shaped earrings and look at them.

Me: “I’m gonna kill my budget if I buy these, but gosh, they’re so pretty.”

Sales Associate: “You know what? Let me see something.”

She rings them up with my other purchases and types something in the computer.

Sales Associate: “Oh, look at that. They went on sale just now. You want them?”

I look at the price. I can now afford them. The sales associate is grinning.

Me: “Yes! Thank you!”

Sales Associate: “You’re welcome. You’ve made excellent choices today. You can swipe your card whenever you’re ready!”

She finishes ringing me out, wishes me a great day, and calls up [Entitled Lady]. I walk very slowly to the exit, because I want to hear what happens next.

Entitled Lady: “Hey, I wanted those heart earrings. Where did they go?”

Sales Associate: “What? Oh! Someone must’ve bought them.”

Entitled Lady: “What?! You must have more in the back!”

Sales Associate: “So sorry, ma’am, but that was our last pair, and we won’t be getting any more.”

I hustled out of the store laughing. That was eight years ago, and I still have those earrings!


This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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We’re Not Kitten; This Lady Is Great

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 25, 2020

Last week, we received word that the local shelter had been running low on food and supplies to feed the animals there, as many had turned to the shelter for help feeling their pets during quarantine. This takes place in our local grocery store.

Old Lady: “Run me over, why don’t you! My, that’s a lot of pet stuff. I’m guessing you guys have a bunch of pets.”

We have a cart full of bags of food and litter, as well as wet food.

Me: “It’s not for us. The humane society is running low on food, so we’re donating.”

Old Lady: “Oh, well, good for you.”

Her phone rings and she wanders off.

Me: “Huh. Weird.”

A few minutes later, the lady hunts us down in the dog food aisle and shoves a $20 bill into my mom’s hand. She refuses to take it back no matter what.

Old Lady: “I have pets, too, you know.”

We used that extra money to buy kitten formula and food, as it is kitten season. Faith in humanity: restored.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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A Sprinkle Of The Lord

, , , , , | Right | May 24, 2020

My church has a “Two Wheel Ministry” in which everyone with a motorcycle gets together on the first Sunday of every month, weather permitting, and goes on a long ride together after service. The Pastor rides ahead of the group and the ones who run it run behind them in order to assist in keeping everyone together, as not everyone is used to riding in large groups.

On this particular ride, we’re about thirty bikes strong. Even though the weather is really nice, most people are dressed in their riding leathers and you wouldn’t automatically know we’re a bunch of church-goers out for fun.

We make our mid-trip stop, which is about an hour into the ride, to get gas and stretch. There happens to be a famous American coffee shop in the same parking lot and we all decide to have a short stop over to grab something to drink.

The look on the faces of the wait staff and the few customers as around fifteen of us file in is priceless. It is a mix of shock, fear, and confusion. Always being one to be able to read the room, the head of the motorcycle group turns around and addresses us.

Group Leader:Okay, listen up! Tall orders only! Anyone else getting whipped cream on their coffee?!”

Almost All Of Us Together: “I am!”

Me: “And yes! Yes, I do want sprinkles!”

I hear the door open and, without missing a beat, I hear my pastor shout:

Pastor: “Oh, heck yeah! SPRINKLES!”

The staff started laughing and you could see everyone relax. We introduced ourselves to the few customers there and the staff as we waited for our drinks. We picked up a few new members to the church that day, too. It was great.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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