Leaving An Expensive Paper Trail

, , , , , , | Learning | October 1, 2018

Like many people, I do not look back on my high school years fondly, and have wanted nothing to do with that place since graduating. One day, I get a letter from them in the mail. I figure it’s a donation request, and I have no intention of ever donating to them, but I decide to read it anyway.

Sure enough, the letter is a proclamation that donations are needed now more than ever. This isn’t surprising, since I have heard that the school has been all but bankrupt for the past few years and is in danger of closing. What is surprising, though, is something that I realize after I’m done reading. The letter — which cites rising costs of educational materials as a major reason for their needing donations — is two pages long, and printed single-sided on two sheets of paper.

I chuckle at the irony, and then throw the letter in the trash.

Giving You A Bridge To Cross

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 2, 2018

Almost exactly ten years ago, when I was a University student, I struggled badly with depression. It reached its worst when, over the course of about a month, I started to struggle with my course, began having financial difficulties and housing issues, and found out that my girlfriend had been cheating on me for months. It got bad enough that I tried to take my own life.

One night I walked to the edge of town where there was a bridge that crossed over a railway line. I sat down on the edge of the bridge with the intention of jumping in front of the next train that passed underneath me.

Some time after I got there, I saw a man approaching where I was sitting. He very calmly sat down next to me on the edge of the bridge and all he said to me was, “If you want to talk, I’ll be here all night.”

True to his word, he was there all night. I think it must have been somewhere around three or four hours before I could bring myself to say anything, and as soon as I started talking I absolutely broke down, crying so hard that I could hardly breathe, almost unable to get any words out at all, but this man kept sitting there, not pressuring me into talking, not trying to make me move away from the edge, just being there so I didn’t feel alone.

After a while of this, I remember him speaking up again, although I have no recollection of what he said. What I do remember is getting up and walking away from the edge of the bridge, and this man draping his coat over my shoulders and waiting there with me for an ambulance to arrive to take me to hospital. The last thing I remember is him giving me a hug and saying something like, “I hope things get better for you from here,” and that was that; I got in the ambulance and he went on his way.

Ten years later, I’ve gone on to finish my degree, travel the world, meet the love of my life, and get married, Now I have my first child on the way. I have never forgotten what that man did for me. He saw a stranger in need, and when he could so easily have walked on and ignored it, he chose to give up an entire night of his life to give what support and comfort he could, and if it wasn’t for his actions I wouldn’t be here today.

I never saw him again after that, but I still have his coat. It hangs at the front of my wardrobe, and every single day I see it and it reminds me that there are some truly good people in this world.

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Bugged By Being Pedantic

, , , , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(I’m a sales associate at a mom-and-pop store. I’m helping a young Amish woman locate the pest control.)

Customer: “I need some insect killer.”

Me: *takes her to pest control, picks up bottle* “This one is a good kind.”

Customer: “Oh, well, this kind is for bugs.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “Well, I need the kind for insects.”

Me: “…”

Doesn’t Hold A Candle To What They Said

, , , , , | Related | June 4, 2018

(This happens when my sister and I are kids. My sister has just learned how to light matches and is very proud of herself.)

Sister: *to our mom* “Can I light a candle and send it to [Aunt] to show her how good I am at it?”

Me: “That would be dangerous. You should freeze the candle before you send it so it doesn’t catch the box on fire.”

(As best as I recall, neither of us was joking.)

Unfiltered Story #113073

, , , | | Unfiltered | May 29, 2018

(A customer comes up to the service desk with a half-eaten jerky stick in his hand.)

Customer: “I’d like a refund on this, please!”

Me: “Okay. Was there something wrong with it?”

Customer: “Most disgusting thing I ever put in my mouth. Honestly, it was like chewing on a testicle!”

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