Fostering Some Growth In Your Classmates

, , , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2021

This happened in the mid-1980s. My state had just declared that only straight people could now foster children and I was one of many protesting this new policy. I was also getting an education degree. One of my teachers had us form small groups and choose an issue in the news about children or education to present on at the end of the quarter. I ended up in a group of about five people I didn’t know. I suggested the foster care topic and everyone agreed.

Our first meeting was in a restaurant. One of my fellow group members, [Student], was a bit older than the rest of us and brought along his eight-year-old daughter. He didn’t see the problem with the policy change.

Student: “I mean, I wouldn’t want a gay person babysitting my daughter.”

Me: “Oh. So, you wouldn’t want me to babysit her?”

Student: “What? No. You could babysit her. I just don’t want a gay person to.”

Me: “I see. So, I couldn’t watch her.”

Student: “I’d be happy to have you watch her. I just don’t want her around gay people.”

This continued back and forth a few times and he was completely clueless. The other students were trying not to laugh.  

Over the next month or two, we kept meeting and [Student] was always polite but still homophobic and opposed to gay foster parents. It didn’t matter for the project as we were only giving a factual overview and then each presenting on our own sub-topics, so we didn’t have to agree. [Student] had been planning something about how terrible it was for children to be raised by parents who weren’t straight. Eventually, I came out to him formally. He was surprised and didn’t say much.

At our last meeting before the presentation, we went over each of our sub-topics as some had changed a bit.

Student #2: “So, [Student], what have you decided for yours?”

Student: “I’m going to talk about the psychological harm to children when they’re taken away from their loving gay foster parents.”

And so he did. It was perfect.


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

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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He Has Altered The Deal…

, , , , , | Right | April 23, 2021

I work for a high-end retailer in the men’s tailored clothing area. I’m selling a customer a suit, which, naturally, has to be tailored to fit.

Me: “Your suit will be ready a week from today.”

Customer: “A week?! I need it in two days!”

Me: “Well, I’m not sure if that’s possible, but let me call the alterations manager and see what we can do.”

Customer: “No, it has to be ready in two days. If I can’t have it in two days, the deal’s off. This is an emergency!”

I call the alterations manager, who isn’t known for her empathy, and beg, wheedle, and cajole, explaining that we really need to help this guy out and using up a favor with her. She finally agrees.

Me: “Okay, sir, we’ll have it ready the day after tomorrow at five pm.”

About three weeks later, the customer comes in.

Customer: “Hi, I have a suit to pick up.”

Me: “Oh, hi. I looked for you on [date the suit was completed]. We had your suit all ready for you.”

Customer: “Yeah, I just didn’t have a chance to stop by and pick it up.”

This happens distressingly often!

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Any Tom, Dick, Or Kate…

, , , , | Learning | April 23, 2021

My name is Katharine; I also go by Kate or Katie. I am seven years old and clever but not bright. It’s the first day of school and we’re in gym, waiting for the teacher to take attendance. He gets to the student before me and then…

Teacher: “Kathy.”

I don’t say anything. I’m just wondering who this Kathy is that wasn’t in any of my other classes. 

Teacher: “Kathy?”

I’m looking around trying to see who I don’t recognize, but I don’t see anyone new.

Teacher: “KATHARINE [MY LAST NAME].”

Me: “Here!”

Teacher: “Why didn’t you answer when I called you?”

Me: *Baffled* “But you didn’t call me!”

The rest of the class “oooh”ed as if I’d pulled off some great insult, but I was just confused. The teacher asked my preference and called me Katie after that.

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We Have Often Entertained Angels Unaware

, , , , , , | Related | April 22, 2021

I was raised Catholic and used to be very involved in the church. I was baptized and confirmed, I used to be a catechism teacher in high school, I was in the youth group and youth choir, my sister was in the choir and was an altar server, my mom was a catechism teacher for over a decade, and my father was a lector and Eucharistic minister. We went to church every Sunday. Sometime after I moved out of my parents’ house, I stopped going to church, mostly out of laziness.

It is Palm Sunday, the weekend before Easter. I am at my parents’ house, and they invite me to church with them. I decide to go — why not? On the car ride to church and during mass, my dad starts “preparing” me for what mass is going to be like, basically teasing me and pretending this is my first time ever in a church. He explains what a missalette is, tells me when to sit, stand, and sing, and makes small comments throughout mass with a tiny smile on, so I know he’s joking.

It is time for communion. My mom is standing between us. My dad leans over.

Dad: “After the priest gives you communion, you say ‘Amen’.”

I smile, he stands back on his side, and I whisper to my mom:

Me: “I thought I was supposed to say, ‘Compliments to the chef’?”

She lets out a laugh/snort and covers her mouth to hide her smile. My dad, clueless, asks her to relay what I said. She tells him, and he looks at me, trying to stifle a giggle. Hiding his smile, he tells me:

Dad: “You’re going to Hell.”

I hope God has a sense of humor.

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A Few Minutes To Crazytown

, , , , | Right | April 18, 2021

I work in a twenty-four-hour gas station. I should note that we’re only “technically” twenty-four hours. We have to close for fifteen minutes between 3:35 am and 4:00 am in order to for the system to calculate daily totals and reset for a new day, so I guess we’re a twenty-three-hours-and-forty-five-minutes store.

One night, while we’re closed and I’m doing paperwork, waiting for the system to reset, I see headlights out of the corner of my eye. I make no move to the door since I’m not allowed to open for anyone but the newspaper vendor. I half-watch the guy as his car weaves into a parking space, parks diagonally across it , and stumbles his way to the door.

He completely ignores the closed sign that is eye-level with him and starts pulling on the locked door. He pulls harder each time it doesn’t open. When this fails, he presses his face to the glass and starts banging on the door. 

I finally go to it with a piece of paper I’ve written.

Note: “Sorry! We’re closed for just a few minutes!”

I press it to the glass so he can read it, maintaining my customer service smile.

As soon as he reads it, he absolutely Hulks out. He slams hard on the glass with the side of his fist over and over, screaming.

Customer: “F****** BULLS***, YOU’RE CLOSED! YOU’RE TWENTY-FOUR-F******-HOURS! LET ME THE F*** IN RIGHT THE F*** NOW! YOU UGLY, FAT C***! I NEED SOME F****** SMOKES NOW!”

Where I live, there’s a plethora of drunks and addicts. I’m used to this type of behavior. Completely deadpan, I walk back around the counter and take down his license plate number off the camera before I grab the phone and go back to the door. He’s still screaming and banging, threatening me with things I won’t repeat here. 

I make a massive show of dialing 9-1… He takes off before I can even finish, doing a massive burnout at the entrance before peeling out down the street with his car threatening to spin out the whole way. 

I still called the non-emergency number to report his car make, model, and plate number for a DUI. Hope he got what he deserves.

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