Fluent In Python And Kindness

, , , , | Friendly | February 12, 2021

I’m a programmer from France, and at the beginning of this story I am living in the UK. One day, my mom, who works in the town hall of a little village in France, tells me about a man who posted an announcement for a “web admin who can use [Technology].” My grandparents and mother know him; he is in charge of the local movie association. The village is too little to have his own movie theater, so this man decided to display movies in the church once or twice a week. He is in his fifties or something and lost his son to cancer last year.

I’ve never used [Technology], but I think I could give it a try, and I call the man.

Man: “Hi, thanks for helping me. You know, it’s my son that created the website, but now, I need to add something to it, and obviously, I can’t do it on my own.”

He gives me the technical details, and I work on it over the weekend. It’s not really hard to do, but I’ve never worked with this and I’m picking up work from someone else. The son did leave some documentation on the website. Yes, programmer folks, he left documentation for his side project.

I manage to do it and call the man back. He thanks me profusely.

Man: “You know, this website, that’s kind of the last thing I got from my son. I would have been so sad to let it go and not update it. Thanks again. We’re going to open a bottle of champagne with my wife!”

It’s clear that he has tears in his eyes, and I have some, too, of course. 

Me: “Yes, it was not a big deal, really. I was happy to help!”

Two days later, my mom sends me a picture of a 100€ bill.

Mom: “He came by the town hall this morning and left that for you. I told him it was too much but he insisted.”

I was not expecting any payment at all, so that was really nice of him!

Fast forward six months. I come back to France, and the man asks for my help another time, which I gladly accept. I invite him to come to my grandparents’ house so we can finally meet in person. Before coming, he sends me a text.

Man: “Hi! Sorry if it seems inappropriate, but what is your birth year?”

I answered, and he and his wife arrived at our home a few hours later with a bottle of wine dated from my birth year! We talked, I helped him, and it was really nice to meet them both.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Keep The Change And Be The Change

, , , , , , | Right | February 10, 2021

I am working a closing shift, the first I’ve worked on my own since being promoted to the management team. Just after I send my last insider home, leaving only me and one delivery driver, we get slammed back to back with orders out of nowhere. I’m trying to keep my cool, but apparently, my stress is showing through my customer service mask more than I’d like it to when I open our pickup window to help a customer. After I give her the total:

Customer: “Hun, are you okay?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I’m fine. Just a little frazzled, I suppose.”

Customer: “Are you sure? You seem upset.”

Me: “I really am fine. It’s just my first night closing the store on my own and we got hit with orders at an unexpected time is all.”

The customer nods and counts out the money for her total. Then, she hesitates, adds a couple more dollars, and hands me the money.

Customer: “Here, hun, keep the change. I hope your night gets better.”

Me: “Really? Thank you so much! I really do appreciate it.”

Customer: “No problem. Take a deep breath, smoke a bowl of green, and you’ll be fine!”

I laughed my a** off as she pulled away. That one customer made my night so much better, and not even because of the $2 tip. I wish some of my other customers would understand how far a little kindness and a sense of humor go!


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Oh, Shhhhuttle!

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 2, 2021

I live very close to my local airport, so instead of paying an absurd amount of money for parking when I travel, I jog from my house to the long-term parking lot, a twenty-minute jog, and then take a shuttle from there into the airport.

On my most recent trip, however, I arrived at the long-term parking lot and discovered that the airport had recently closed the lot due to the health crisis, meaning there was no shuttle to catch to the terminal. It was another thirty-minute walk at least from there to the nearest open lot with shuttle service.

Worse still, I had already been gambling, since I knew rain was expected later that day; about ten minutes into my extended walk, a torrential downpour started. The rain was so hard it actually hurt to walk into the rain and slowed my pace even more. Meanwhile, I was worn out from the first twenty minutes of jogging, and my backpack, stuffed full as my only piece of luggage, was really starting to weigh me down. Despite leaving plenty of “wiggle room” in my plans, I was starting to worry that I was going to be cutting it close to catch my flight.

Fifteen minutes out from the lot I was headed to, I noticed a shuttle leaving the employee parking lot. I know they are not supposed to pick up non-employees — there are even signs on the bus saying so — but I decided it was worth a gamble. I stood at the corner of the turn that they had to take and made a praying gesture, looking sad, wet, and miserable.

Thankfully, the bus driver took pity on me; he broke the rules and stopped to let me get on the bus. I arrived soaking wet at the terminal shortly after, and thanks to his saving me the time it would have taken to walk to the other lot and catch a shuttle from there, I had enough time to make a pitstop at the restroom and change out of my soaking clothes and into some clothes my backpack did a shockingly good job of keeping dry. A local shopkeeper was even nice enough to give me some plastic bags to stash the wet clothes in so I could put them away without getting the rest of my clothes wet.

I caught my flight out and had a wonderful visit and babysitting session with my goddaughters. Thank you to the bus driver for bending the rules for me! I’ll try to plan better in the future!

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Follow That Bus!

, , , , , | Friendly | February 1, 2021

As I’m waiting at a red light in the left turn lane, I look lazily to my left to see a smartly-dressed older woman tottering as fast as she can to the street corner in her kitten heels. The light turns green, giving us a turning advance, including a bus two vehicles in front of me.

The bus passes the next bus stop and I look in my rearview mirror as the older woman finishes crossing the road and stops on the corner, deflated. I stop at the bus stop and wait for her to walk to the stop to catch the next bus.

Me: “Come on, get in. We’ll go catch the bus.”

Woman: “What? What do you mean?”

Me: “Come on. I’ll get you to a stop in front of the bus.”

The woman’s eyes light up and she pulls the door open and climbs in.

Woman: “Really?!”

Me: “Yeah, let’s go!”

Traffic is bad so we’re together for fifteen minutes while tailing the bus. She tells me that her husband has headed to the airport to pick up her sister and she wants to surprise her by being there, too. By missing the bus, she’ll miss the next SeaBus, which means she’ll be behind by half an hour and unlikely to make it.

Me: “Oh, the SeaBus? I’ll just take you straight there. Then you’ll have lots of time.”

Woman: “Oh, dear, no. I don’t want to take you out of your way.”

Me: “No, it’s no problem. I was just getting home from work, anyway.”

Woman: “Well, thank you. I hope I’m not taking you too far out of your way.”

I give her a quirky smile.

Me: “The SeaBus stop is in front of my house.”

She thanked me over and over, but it was barely even a thing for me. I was done with my work for the day and happy to drive around a bit on a chilly afternoon.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Kindness Isn’t The Best Medicine But It Can Help You Buy It, Part 2

, , , , , , , | Right | January 27, 2021

I’m the author of this story here.

Just before Christmas, our pharmacist comes by to drop off some meds for my husband, roommate, and me.

Pharmacist: “Do you remember the woman from Thanksgiving that paid for [Husband]’s meds?”

Me: “Of course we do! How could we forget?”

Despite the fact that the pharmacist is wearing a mask, we can tell that he is smiling.

Pharmacist: “Well, she called us up again and asked about you and how you were doing, and then she told us to leave you a Christmas gift for her.”

We’re all wondering what else she could have possibly done.

Pharmacist: “She’s given you a credit at the pharmacy to help pay for your meds.”

Awesome, right?! We’re thinking she paid for this round of meds that the pharmacist is dropping off.

Pharmacist: “[My Name], guess how much she left you guys.”

Me: “I have no idea. These meds?”

He looks me dead in the eye.

Pharmacist: “[My Name], she left you guys $500.”

My jaw dropped. I’m not too proud to say that I ugly cried; we all did. That was by far the best Christmas present I’ve gotten in years. [Kind Woman], wherever you are, my husband I appreciate you. Thank you so much.

Related:
Kindness Isn’t The Best Medicine But It Can Help You Buy It


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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