Pay It Forward Never Needs To Go On Sale

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | August 1, 2018

(This happens over 25 years ago, when I am just a little girl, probably about seven or eight. I am a big bookworm, and always get a certificate to our local bookstore for birthdays and other occasions. These are always special occasions for me, because as a single mom, my mother doesn’t have much money to spare, even working double shifts more often than not. I am at the till by myself while my mom browses, with three books I’m going to buy with my gift certificate. In line behind me is a guy probably about ten years older than me. I am leery of him for no particular reason other than that he is a “big kid” and I am shy and reserved.)

Cashier: “That will be [amount a lot more than my certificate has].”

Me: “Oh… I don’t have that much. I thought these were on sale.”

(I point to a big sign, no more than a few feet away in front of a shelf.)

Cashier: *dismissively* “It’s an old sign. I haven’t gotten around to taking it down.”

(I’m too awkward and anxious to do anything other than try to pick which books I’m putting back, feeling flustered and embarrassed.)

Cashier: *impatiently* “Just go find your mom and get her to pay the difference!”

Me: “She can’t! This is all I can have!”

(I’m feeling very embarrassed now, because how little money my mother and I have has always been a sore spot and something I feel ashamed of. Suddenly the teen leans past me, holding out some money.)

Teen: “Hey, I’ll pay for it. Don’t worry about it. Kids should be reading more, anyway. Oh, and let me get that for you.”

(He makes a show out of plucking the little plastic sale sign off the shelf and handing it to the cashier with a smile.)

Teen: “No more misunderstandings. Right?”

(Looking annoyed and embarrassed, the cashier rang me up. I thanked the teen profusely; he just waved me off with a smile and told me to pay it forward one day. Looking back, it might have been a small gesture, but it meant a lot to me to have a complete stranger have my back like that and show me a token of kindness. Ever since then, decades later, I have tried to do the same when I’m able and the opportunity arises — be it for groceries or whatever — because I remember how that felt, and I hope it makes other people feel and do the same. It may seem minor, but minor kindnesses add up, and hopefully lead to others like them.)

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Can’t Get An Eye On The Eye-Liner

, , , , , | Right | August 1, 2018

(I work in a cosmetics department of a large store that has 29 different cosmetics counters. I’m really good at identifying products when customers don’t remember all the details.)

Customer: “Can you help me? I’m looking for an eyeliner that’s kind of sparkly.”

Me: “Sure, is there a particular kind?”

Customer: “No, I saw it somewhere.”

Me: “Was it [Brand she was looking at]?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I saw it in a magazine.”

Me: “Okay, let me see if I can figure it out for you. Was it liquid, pencil, or gel?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, what did the package look like?”

Customer: “It was in a tube.”

Me: “In a tube like a pencil, or like the kind with a wand?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you remember any words that were on it?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “What color was it?”

Customer: “It came in all different colors.”

Me: “Oh, okay, but I meant what color was the packaging?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Was there a particular color you wanted? Maybe I can narrow it down for you.”

Customer: “I don’t… I didn’t expect all these questions.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to quiz you! I’m just trying to help you find what you’re looking for.”

Customer: “I don’t know anything you’re asking me. Just forget it.”

(I’ll admit I was getting slightly annoyed by the end, but I didn’t let it show. Lots of people come in looking for something and don’t remember exactly what it was, and we can typically help them. But this lady expected us to show her the exact thing she was looking for even though she had NO identifying information. Literally every brand we have has an eyeliner that could be considered “kind of sparkly,” so there were dozens of options. She wouldn’t let me show her a few different kinds because she wanted the EXACT one she had seen… that she didn’t remember anything about… or if it even came from our store.)

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I’m A Vegetarian But I Still Have Teeth

, , , , | Friendly | August 1, 2018

(I’ve been going through a rough patch, so to cheer me up, my mom takes me out to lunch at a pizzeria we used to frequent when I was a kid. Unfortunately, her clingy friend is also there and decides to sit with us. Mom is too nice for her own good, and my brain isn’t fully on when I’m hungry.)

Waitress: “Hello, are you ready to order?”

Mom: “We’ll have the meat-lover special.”

Me: “And I’ll have a small vegetarian and soda.”

(As soon as the waitress leaves.)

Mom’s Friend: “Vegetarian? Bah, silly kids and your diets. You’re already skinny.”

Me: “It’s not a diet. I don’t like eating meat, that’s all.”

Mom’s Friend: “Nonsense, humans have—”

Me: “Humans have eaten meat for thousands of years. I heard that speech before. I have my lifestyle and you have yours. I’m hungry, I’ve had a bad few weeks, and you invited yourself to what was supposed to be mother-son time. Tread carefully.”

(She was quiet for the rest of our time at the pizzeria. Thank God she didn’t come after us. I simply can’t understand why Mom keeps considering her a friend. This was mild compared to other times.)

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What A Diabeetus, Part 7

, , , , , , | Right | August 1, 2018

(I work as a supervisor in a kiosk at a sporting complex. This happens during our rush when I am at the other end of the kiosk. I have had type 1 diabetes since I was two, for eighteen years now.)

Customer: “I would like to talk to the supervisor.”

(I turn and see [Coworker #1] waving me down.)

Me: “Sir, I am the supervisor here; what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Do you have any drinks that are sugar-free? I’m diabetic and I can’t have sugary drinks.”

Me: “We have Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and water, sir.”

Customer: “Nothing else?”

Me: “I’m afraid not, sir.”

Customer: “You should have other sugar-free drinks! This is discrimination against me; you’re discriminating against diabetics.”

Me: “Sir, I can assu—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “Do you know what it’s like to have diabetes?”

(He launches into a rant of rhetorical questions about having diabetes. It lasts a couple of minutes, drawing the attention of everyone in line. I haven’t been able to get a word in since he started, but I can’t serve the queue until he is finished. So, I wait for him to take a breath.)

Customer: “And you don’t know what it’s like to have diabetes. I’ve had it for five years; I deserve some respect for that, but no, there are no sugar-free drinks because you don’t know.”

Me: *with a slightly raised voice* “I’ve had it for eighteen years.”

(He freezes, and it’s like the entire queue holds its breath as I smile and continue.)

Me: “Now, is there anything I can help you with today, sir?”

(He shakes his head, looking meek.)

Me: “Very well. The register is right behind you, and I hope you enjoy the game.”

What A Diabeetus, Part 6
What A Diabeetus, Part 5
What A Diabeetus, Part 4


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Pies Usually Go Down The Pie Hole

, , , , , | Right | August 1, 2018

I work on a deli bar for a high-end retailer in the UK. We stock a variety of top-end products that you wouldn’t normally see at the more cost-competitive franchises.

It’s our company policy to offer tasters and samples, but not to have them signposted, so that potential customers will question what the product is, giving us the opportunity to create a sale. In theory, this works, but 90 percent of the time people will just take the food without batting an eyelid as to what it is.

I’m serving a lady a salad, at the farthest point away from where I have put up haggis pies on tasting. Then, whilst I’m weighing up her product to give back to her, a woman approaches me and asks me to “pop this” in the bin. Due to how normally she asks, I don’t even think as to what it could be; I assume it is an empty pot — they often fall over the counter. Boy, was I wrong. She’d chewed the pie up, realised she didn’t like it, spat it out, then handed it to me as if that was a perfectly normal thing to do.

So, I’m stood there in shock, and I say, “Are you for real?!” to which she replies, “Sorry, I didn’t like it,” and wanders off.

I wash my hands for what feels like hours, but I still feel dirty now even typing this. What really gets me was that she acted as if this was normal.

For the record, right next to the tasting area there is a designated pot for waste like cocktail sticks, etc. She could have easily placed it in there.

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