That Warm Fuzzy Feeling Isn’t Blood-Loss

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 15, 2018

I’m donating blood for the first time. I made an attempt a few years ago, but was rejected because I weighed too little. Since then, I’ve been trying to keep my weight at a healthy level, waiting for an opportunity to try again, but not really making it a top priority.

While I’m waiting to get called in for evaluation, I notice an elderly man walking around talking to the other donors. He eventually comes up and starts talking to me. It turns out that this man has bone cancer, and is dependent on blood donations every three weeks for his health. He is making it his personal mission to thank all of us, because it is people like us that made sure he could live to see his two grandsons’ birthdays.

I get through the rest of it with a smile on my face, thinking about giving what I have to someone who needs it. It’s nice to be able to help people, but to see what exactly a simple blood donation can do really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Rest assured, I’ll be back to do it again when the 56-day rest period between shots ends.

From Tears To Cheers

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 8, 2018

(It is a busy day where I work. I have endured a rude boss and a few rude customers. Finally, I am able to go out into the lobby to stock and clean it. While I am cleaning by the soda machines and condiment bar, a little boy of around five years old sees me crying to myself. Once they grab their orders, the boy and the older lady with him walk by me while I continue stocking the condiment bar. I feel a tap on my shoulder.)

Older Lady: “Are you okay, miss?”

Me: *thinking I’m not okay but if I say anything I’ll get in trouble* “I’m great, and I’m doing okay… Why?”

Older Lady: “My grandson said, ‘Grandma, I think that lady is crying; is she okay?’”

Me: *heart melts and I smile finally* “Please tell him that I’m fine, ma’am, and I appreciate his kind thoughts.”

Older Lady: *sees straight through me* “I hope your day gets better, miss.”

(I get more customers and deal with their orders, or stock behind counter. I finally get a chance to finish the lobby, and when I go back to the condiment bar she walks up to me.)

Older Lady: “My grandson felt really bad, and demanded we get you this from his allowance.” *gives me a super cute plushie giraffe keychain*

Me: “Oh, thank you, but I can’t.”

Older Lady: “He told me to make sure the nice lady up front got this from him.”

Me: *smiling* “Tell your wonderful grandson, ‘Thank you very much!’ He made my day a little sweeter!”

Older Lady: “I will. Thank you, miss; you’re doing a good job up there.”

The Cosmos Of Kindness

, , , , , , | Hopeless | July 5, 2018

This is one of those weird cosmic coincidences. Five or so years ago I was driving home from work and noticed a homeless girl, probably in her early 20s, standing at the exit of an underpass. It was the middle of a Phoenix summer in the afternoon, so this girl was braving near 115-degree weather, which is hot enough to cause heat stroke. Her shirt was in tatters, held together with safety pins, and she only had a rough-looking bag slung over her shoulder.

As I didn’t have any food or cash on me, I pulled over and talked to her. It turns out she’d been kicked out of her home by an abusive now-ex boyfriend, who had destroyed all of her belongings out of spite. I offered to get her some healthy food from a nearby grocery store, which she gladly accepted. In the end, I got her some healthy-ish meals that wouldn’t spoil easily — lots of dried fruits and unsalted nuts — vitamins, a new shirt, and tampons, as the poor girl had been without for several months. She was immensely grateful, and refused any further help from me. She went about her day, and I quickly forgot the incident.

Fast forward a few years later, and one of my roommates was in a horrible car accident. When I rushed to the hospital, guess who the EMT who got her in the ambulance was?

That girl helped save my roommate’s life, and I’ll forever be thankful to her for it.

Just goes to show you that kindness really can save a life!

A Textbook Case Of Kindness

, , , , , , | Hopeless | July 3, 2018

I am a 19-year-old female working part-time at a 24-hour fast food restaurant while at university. During my semester break, I decide to take on extra shifts as I have the time. I am also essentially broke, as for two subjects in my upcoming semester I am required to have latest edition textbooks. Unable to go for secondhand, I was forced to pay full price for both, which left me with barely enough for my next meal. Therefore, I agree to take on a Saturday late shift from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, then another the next day from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, ensuring I get paid overtime.

What I forgot, however, is that the Saturday late shift is by far the worst of them all. Over the eight hours, we deal with more bottom-of-the-barrel, deadbeat customers than I have ever dealt with in a whole year of working there. Long story short, we endure lewd, misogynistic comments from drunk men old enough to be our fathers, multiple women stoned out of their minds who holler, “WHY IS THE CAFE AREA NOT OPEN?” before hurling their handbags at us, and I spend forty minutes scraping pickles and cheese slices off the ceiling and heading to my break half an hour late. That is just part of what I deal with on this shift.

Every rush gets longer and busier to the point where, in my last hour, we have a never-ending angry mob chanting for their food like a cult.

To top it off, this is one of the hottest nights on record, and our air-conditioning is broken; we have nothing but a tiny fan in the corner that barely reaches the closest register. I am sweating from under my cap, constantly fanning myself with my hands, and eagerly counting down the last fifteen minutes.

It is while I am desperately trying to match orders to receipts that I feel a tap on my shoulder from a coworker. She points to a young female customer, and says she wants to talk to me. I do not recognise the customer; however, she appears to be one or two years older than me, dressed for a night out in the city, and very clearly sober. Given my past experiences, I still immediately assume the worst and approach the register timidly, prepared for a berating.

However, to my surprise, the girl gives me a soft smile. She says that she has been watching me struggle with the immense amount of orders while still remaining calm and collected and ignoring the constant stream insults. She also notes how often I was fanning myself and that I never failed to smile at any customer when handing them their food, regardless of their attitude towards me. She says that I have been doing an amazing job handling everything and then holds out a $20 note. As tipping is not a standard in Australia, I am not sure if I am allowed to accept it, so I politely turn her down. She insists and I still decline; however, I thank her profusely for her kind comments before returning to my station, this time with a warmed heart and genuine smile.

Fifteen minutes later, I am leaving the work area when I notice the girl has waited around. She walks over to me and asks if my shift has ended. Before I finish telling her yes, she takes my hand and presses the $20 note into it, then wraps me into a hug and tells me I deserve it. When she pulls away, she presses me on how I am getting home and I assure her I have a ride. She then offers me one last smile, wishes me the best, and leaves with a boy who has been standing not too far away.

What that girl will never know is that her generosity is the sole reason I was able to eat breakfast the next day and afford a taxi home after my next late shift. My paycheck came in later that week, and soon I was stable enough to spend money on more than just groceries, but I will never forget that girl’s good heart and kindness towards a person she did not know, and it is still one of the most heart-warming things anyone has ever done for me.

The Most Important Meal For Those Doing The Most Important Job

, , , | Hopeless | July 2, 2018

(I am in the supermarket checkout lane, the fourth customer in line. Third in line is an ambulance crew, clearly getting food and beverages for their breakfast and lunch. Suddenly, their radio crackles:)

Radio: *loud enough for everyone close to hear* “Ambulance [number], car accident at [address], two vehicles involved, several injured. Ambulance [other number] is on its way, as well, to assist.”

(One of the ambulance crew starts to leave, to go get the car, while the other stays back a few seconds to speak to the cashier:)

Ambulance Crew #1: “D***, guess another day without breakfast.” *now to the cashier* “Can we leave our things with you so someone puts them back? We can’t wait until it’s our turn.”

First Person in Line: “Just cancel my order and ring them through first.”

Cashier: “Won’t work. I need the manager, and he’ll take a couple minutes to get here. You can just leave it on the conveyor belt; I’ll put it away.”

(The second crew member thanks the cashier, and starts to leave.)

First Person in Line: “All right, just ring it through with my things; I’ll pay for it.”

(The cashier quickly asked the customer to confirm, and as she did the cashier rang everything through in less than 15 seconds, and gave it to the second crew-member who immediately walked towards the door. As soon as he got outside, the ambulance drove up, so no time was wasted with the driver waiting for the other crew-member to arrive. In the end, it wasn’t that big of a deal, monetary wise. Couldn’t have been more than 10 or 15€ total. Still, it was great to see the customer not even thinking twice about paying for the groceries, just to make sure the ambulance crew would have something to eat before trying to save lives.)

 

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