Not Such A Sour Story

, , , , | Hopeless | March 20, 2019

I’m at work in a lolly shop in Australia by myself; it’s a small shop. It’s a slow, boring day and I’m in a dreadful mood from customers being rude to me all day.

As I’m restocking some shelves, three American tourists come in and just start a casual conversation with me while they browse. They’re really nice and actually interested in what I have to say.

Eventually, a tall guy in the group asks me what my two favourite lollies are. I point out a caramel bar from the UK and a tin of cinnamon mints from America. He grabs both and buys them. After the purchase has gone through, he looks at me with a smile and says, “A gift for you. Bless you.”

I thank him but refuse; I say if he’d like he should pass the candies on to someone else who may enjoy it more.

They stick around for a bit longer, telling me what the similarities are like between Florida and Queensland, and since they’ve brightened my mood I buy them a five-pack of our most sour lollies in the store as a thank-you.

They may have travelled over 15,000 km to get here and only stuck around for ten minutes, but I’m glad they showed me it’s not all horrible working retail.

Faith in humanity slightly restored.

It Certainly Became A Night They Never Forgot

, , , , | Hopeless | March 15, 2019

(My senior year of high school, I take my crush out to dinner before prom. We are going as friends, sadly, but we still have a great time. We end up at a restaurant about an hour from our school and miraculously meet up with some mutual friends. All in all, it is a great meal. We are there for a couple of hours. About halfway through, an elderly man walks up to us — a group of teenagers, with two dudes in tuxedos and two girls in beautiful dresses.)

Man: “Ah, good evening! Might I ask what the occasion is?”

Me: “Oh, it’s prom back in [Hometown], and we came here for our dinner dates!”

(My friends and my date all nod in agreement, and after he shares his compliments, his wife shows up and they disappear into the restaurant. Eventually, we decide it’s best to head to the dance, so we ask for the bill. After a few minutes, we still haven’t gotten it. Finally, my guy friend waves down the waitress.)

Guy Friend: “Hey. We still haven’t gotten our bill and we’re going to be late if we don’t leave soon. Could you see what the hold up is, please?”

(The waitress looks confused, nods, and runs off to find out what’s going on. Within a minute, she returns with a receipt, and scurries off.)

Waitress: “Have a nice evening!”

(We look at the bill and see that the group’s total is about $120 — $60ish for each pair. However, it says at the bottom that it is paid for. Confused, I take it and go chase down the waitress.)

Me: “Hey. What’s with the bill?”

Waitress: *glances at it* “Oh, the man over there paid for it.”

(Surprised by this, I walk over to the man and his wife.)

Me: “Hey, is it true that you paid our bill?”

Man: “Yes, we did. We saw the four of you, and you reminded of my wife and me when we were young.”

Me: *pulling out my wallet* “Thank you, sir, but you didn’t need to. It was about $120, right?”

Man: *holding his hand out to stop me* “No, it is free for you. Please, do us a favor and make this a night you will never forget, all right?”

(I nodded, thanking him profusely. That was three years ago and I still remember that night. To that mystery man and his wife, thank you so much. Saving that money helped me and my friends.)

Charity Isn’t Just For The Products

, , , , | Hopeless | March 14, 2019

(Our charity shop has a café in it, so people are extra sociable — even non-regulars — and so am I. On this particular morning, the shop is empty except for me and an occasional customer.)

Me: “Good morning. I hope you’re having fun today! Let me know if there’s anything I can help you find, okay?”

Elderly Man: *looking shocked, eyes brimming with tears* “You have no idea how much I needed to hear a happy voice; the lady at the shop down the road was so rude and cruel to me just now!” *blows his nose on a handkerchief*

Me: “Oh, no! Do you need a hug?”

Elderly Man: *after a pause* “Yes.”

(I gave him one. He stayed for a cuppa, and he comes in to put a few quid in the donation bucket from time to time.)

Sunday School Kindness Applies Seven Days A Week

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 12, 2019

One day, when I am little, my mom misplaces her keys to the house. This is pretty bad because she doesn’t realize this until we get there, and the taxi has already left. This is the age before cellphones, so we can’t call a locksmith, nor my dad, who is currently on the other side of the city with our only car.

There is no public transport nor open shops nearby, and since it’s getting dark, my mom is scared. It’s just her and her daughter on the streets at night.

She decides to go with her raised-Catholic instincts and carries me to a church. There’s no one there but the Sunday school teacher, who’s just finished tidying up, and her husband, who’s come to help her. My mom explains our situation to them and, as it turns out, they live a mere block away from us! They invite us to their house to use their phone, call my dad, and wait there until he arrives.

Everything turns out all right. I only vaguely remember this incident, but my mom still gets choked up thinking about the couple who helped her when she was a scared young mom in need of help.

That’s Stall They’re Saying

, , , | Friendly | March 7, 2019

(I go to the restroom between classes. Thanks to the humidity, my hair is a mess, and I say so out loud without thinking in front of the mirror. Suddenly, someone speaks up from an occupied stall.)

Random Girl: “Aw, don’t say that! I’m sure it looks lovely!”

(Guerrilla compliments seem to be a thing now. Nice.)

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