The Birds And The Bees And The Bathroom Employees

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | September 21, 2018

I come from a very religious family. As such, I was never given any formal sex-ed talk.

I was 12 and I was at the mall by myself. I went into the washroom and found blood in my underwear. I completely panicked and ran into the closest store.

In this store, there was one female worker, but the rest of the store was empty. In tears, I begged her to call my family to come get me because clearly I was dying.

The woman calmed me down and gave me an adhesive pad. After explaining what it was and how to use it, she let me use the staff-only washroom in the back. She then gave me the whole sex talk my parents and my religious school had failed to tell me. She only told me because I was so freaked out and confused. I don’t think she knew I was religious; she just thought I was super innocent and my parents didn’t tell me s***.

I never told my parents what this employee said. My parents acted like my period was shameful and discouraged any discussion about it, besides saving sex for marriage, when I went home that night. Before I went to bed, my mom handed me a package of pads and a book about Virgin Mary. She didn’t explain how to use them, the difference between wings and no wings, etc., like the woman in the store had. I would’ve been so overwhelmed if it weren’t for that woman.

The following year, I was taught about how abstinence is the best birth control, but nothing like what that employee taught me. I had to be the one to teach my friends about their own bodies, and I am so grateful for what that employee did. I have friends who are in their early 20s just learning what I learned when I was 12.

This woman saved my teen years.

The Engine Died But Not My Hope For Humanity

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 17, 2018

When I was going to college at a commuter campus, there was one semester that, due to tight finances, I was stuck driving an old car. It had a recurring problem where the engine would randomly die while idling. I was working on getting money together to get a more reliable car, but in the meantime I had to use this one.

Usually, when the engine died, it would start right up again without issue, but every once in a while it would take several minutes of letting the engine sit before I could get it started again.

One time I was on my way to class, sitting at a red light at a busy intersection, when the engine died. Unfortunately, it did not start up again right away, and I knew I was going to be stuck there for a bit. I immediately put on my emergency flashers while trying to gesture to the lady in the car behind me that she would have to go around. The light turned green, and the lady started honking at me and angrily gesturing for me to move. I frantically tried to start the car again, hoping I could at least get it going enough to pull up on the curb and out of the way.

While I was doing this, I saw a woman who was parked nearby get out of her car, walk up to the lady behind me, and angrily shout, “You dumb b****! Can’t you see he’s having a problem with his car? GO THE F*** AROUND!”

The lady squealed her tires in doing so. The woman who did the shouting then came up to my window and in the kindest, sweetest voice asked if I was okay. I told her that I just needed to try to get my car moving enough to get it out of traffic. She said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. Just do what you have to do. I’ve got your back!”

I thanked her profusely, and finally managed to get the car moving long enough to pull it into a parking lot where I could wait for a tow truck. That turned out to be the last time that car worked right, and I ended up getting a replacement soon after.

While I definitely wouldn’t have handled the situation the same way that woman did, it was an amazing feeling to have a stranger so fiercely watching out for me!

You Can’t Snow In Kind Gestures

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 15, 2018

(When I am in high school, my mom and I live in an apartment complex for probably two years. One year we have a decent snow storm; it isn’t bad, but it leaves about three feet of snow around the car. Our shovel has broken, and since winter is almost over and we have little money, we had decided to take our chances and not buy a shovel. So, at ten am after the storm, I wake up and go out with the balcony broom — a broom we keep outside to sweep leaves and such off our little balcony — and try to unbury the car. I work for a good hour, and get about half the front cleared away, when a plow comes in to get what is left over. I don’t know if he doesn’t notice the high schooler with a broom trying to move the snow, doesn’t care, or doesn’t have any room not to, but he literally plows an entire parking lot of snow in front of the car and partially onto the hood. I stand and stare at the pile, defeated, and watch the plow drive off. I sigh and start trying to move the snow again, this time pushing it and literally digging with my hands, when a guy a few cars down notices.)

Guy: “Did that plow just push all that snow in front of your car?”

Me: “Yeah… unfortunately for me.”

Guy: “And you’re sweeping it?”

Me: “I don’t have a shovel; this was the only thing I thought might work.”

Guy: “How long have you been out here?”

Me: “Probably an hour; I started around ten.”

(He watches me sweep a little, and then runs to his car. I don’t pay attention to what he is doing, but a moment later I notice a shovel moving some snow.)

Guy: “I only have one shovel, but I’ll do what I can real quick; I’m a little early for work.”

(It’s been probably six years since this happened, but I still remember it. If you ever read this, thank you. I really appreciated the help, and I don’t know if you ever knew how much the little act meant to me. I hope you weren’t late, since you stayed and helped dig out most the car. I know I probably looked ridiculous and pathetic sweeping snow, but at least we both got a good story.)

Kindness Has Found Her Calling

, , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2018

(I work in a call centre that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve just experienced a huge snow storm, which is completely out of the ordinary for Ireland, and the call centre had to close for two days. When we reopen, it is incredibly busy, and customers are furious at how long it is taking to get through. Then, I get this lady.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to customer services. This is [My Name] speaking. Apologies for the long wait, and thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry about me. You’re obviously very busy today.”

Me: “Yes, I do apologise about that. We’re just experiencing a backlog after being closed because of the snow. I can log a complaint for you, if you wish?”

Customer: “Oh no, no, no. I used to work in a call centre myself. Tell me, what’s your target handling time for calls?”

Me: *confused* “Um, five minutes?”

Customer: “Okay, so I’ve been speaking to you for just under a minute. That means I can continue to talk to you for four minutes without ruining your stats.”

Me: “Okay. And what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Oh, nothing at all. I just know how awful the customers must be treating you today, so I wanted to ring and have a friendly chat so your day isn’t all bad. I’m ringing the call centres of any suppliers I use and doing the same thing. You shouldn’t be shouted at all day because it snowed.”

(She genuinely had no query, and just filled the next few minutes with idle chit-chat. She just wanted at least one person to get a nice call on what was an otherwise awful day. We were so busy that she must have waited nearly an hour just to be nice to someone for five minutes!)

A Bagful Of Nice Customers

, , , , , | Hopeless Right | September 6, 2018

(I have just finished ringing up a customer I’d been working with for about half an hour. She was in quite a hurry as she had a formal event that night and was going right from the store to her hair appointment. She had just left to run to the restroom before leaving, so I am surprised when she comes to find me a few minutes later.)

Customer: “I was just in the restroom and realized I didn’t have my bag. I don’t remember ever having it.”

(We look all around the department before the customer says she has to go. I get her information so I can get back in touch with her. I call security, and she saw on the camera where I’d given the customer her bag, but we stopped to look at some lipsticks a little ways away, and the camera couldn’t see us. I asked the customer service manager what to do.)

Me: “Can I grab her three products and get them to her? If we find her bag, we can just put them back, and if not, we can do an inventory adjustment.” *we are quite well-known for our customer service, so this is not an outrageous request*

Manager: “That’s really up to you. If you think she’s on the up-and-up, then go for it. You’ll probably get a customer for life out of it.”

Me: “I totally believe her. I’m pretty sure someone accidentally picked up her bag, because it was so busy and there were a lot of people around.”

(I quickly grabbed the three products the customer had purchased and was filling out a form so I could deliver them to her house when my coworker came and got me.)

Coworker: “Hey, a customer just called and said she picked up someone else’s bag by mistake. It had some [Brand] in it. Did you sell that to someone?”

Me: “Yes! I’m just about to deliver some replacements to that customer.”

Coworker: “Well, this lady said she’d bring the bag back tonight.”

(I got to take care of my customer, who was totally sweet and wanted to pay for the replacements I brought her because she didn’t want me to get in trouble. And the other customer brought the bag back with all of the items in it. Faith in humanity: restored. For the time being…)

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