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Karma Can Be Deadly

, , , , , , | Working | September 14, 2021

Many years ago, I worked in an office that had an office food thief. I was occasionally a victim, maybe once every three or four weeks. I was in the habit of eating the same lunch every day, which included a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich.

One day, I realized that I was out of both grape jelly and peanut butter. No big deal, I thought, and I made a sandwich with cashew butter and strawberry preserves, instead. When lunchtime rolled around, I went to the break room only to find that my lunch bag was sitting on the counter and a couple of very upset human resources people were waiting for me.

Apparently, the food thief had an anaphylactic reaction to my sandwich and had to be carted off in an ambulance. HR started asking me questions about why I poisoned my lunch, but every question they asked was met with me asking what this had to do with my lunch and why they were tampering with my food.

Finally, it seemed as though they were ready to fire me. They demanded I explain myself. I pulled the untouched half of the sandwich out of the bag and took a big bite, then another, and finished it with a third bite.

Me: “There. I ate it. Maybe you should ask the thief why they’re stealing food when they obviously are allergic to either cashews or strawberries?”

A Quarter A Tray Brings Kindness To Stay

, , , , , , , , | Learning | September 14, 2021

In 1998, I was in my junior year of high school. School lunches were broken up into four periods, each lasting thirty minutes, to accommodate the nearly 1,600 students in my school.

Some kids brought lunch, and for those of us that purchased lunch at school, we were given trays to carry our food on. The use of a tray incurred a $0.25 deposit in your total. If you purchased $5.00 worth of food, you’d actually be charged $5.25 with that extra 25 cents for the tray. The idea here was to encourage students to clean up after themselves, bus their garbage to a nearby trash can, and then return the tray to the Quarter Lady. I don’t know if any of us actually knew her real name; she was just referred to as the Quarter Lady because she’d take the empty and clean tray — couldn’t have gobs of food stuck to it or garbage on it — and then hand you a quarter for returning the tray to her.

During the lunch period, some students either didn’t have much money or found it was easy to earn a few extra bucks by going from table to table and offering to return people’s trays and clearing their garbage for them. Most other students didn’t mind if they ran trays back to earn a few bucks to buy lunch.

A few weeks into the school year, [Student], who normally came by to ask for trays from time to time, started asking everyone if he could bus their trays. We didn’t know why. No one really made any noise about the situation he was trying to help out with, not at least until a few days later.

Word had been getting around that the Quarter Lady — an older lady, maybe in her late sixties or early seventies — had been diagnosed with some sort of cancer and students had been wondering why we hadn’t seen her at the tray return location to hand out quarters.

It seems that [Student] had been running all the trays he could so he could start a donation for the Quarter Lady. All the quarters he gathered, he would give back to the other lunch staff. Pretty soon, all the students were donating their quarters and other change in a donation bin set up at the tray return.

For the life of me, I cannot remember what happened with the Quarter Lady, but I do remember that the students raised almost $15,000 by the end of the school year.


This story is part of our end-of-year Feel Good roundup for 2021!

Read the next Feel Good 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good 2021 roundup!

Ignore My “No” At Your Own Peril

, , , , , | Friendly | August 28, 2021

One day, I’m home with my kids when there is a knock on the front door. My two huskies are excited to see who came to visit and my two kids are in the background; my five-year-old daughter is keeping her younger brother, almost a year old, entertained with toys.

I peek through the side window by the door and see two younger men, probably in their early twenties, in nice-looking suits and ties. They’re holding brochures in their hands and standing there patiently. I answer the door.

Me: “Can I help you?”

I’m holding my two huskies back behind me. Most people that see huskies are a bit hesitant and think they’re wolves and keep at bay a bit more, but not [Guy #1].

Guy #1: *Joyfully* “Hello there! I hope things are well today. We’re coming from [New Church] in the area, and we wanted to talk to people around the area to let them know we’re here and how we’d like to share the word of God.”

I’m not a religious person. I don’t agree with how churches function in general, but I don’t tell others how to be religious and let them do what they want. 

I give the two guys kind of a distasteful look.

Me: “I appreciate your time, but you’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m not interested in anything you’re having to share. I hope you two have a good day.”

[Guy #2] has been standing about six feet behind [Guy #1].

Guy #2: “Thanks for your time.”

And he turns around to start to leave. I move back a couple of steps into my house and I start to shut the front door. [Guy #1] decides it’s okay to step into my door and push a brochure into my face, and he tries to start talking again about their mission.

I snap. I step right up into [Guy #1]’s face since he is now standing in my doorway just inside my house and I have my two kids behind me. I have no idea what this guy is trying to do or what he is capable of.

I growl at him as I jab my finger into his chest.

Me: “I don’t know who the f*** you think you are, but if you don’t step out of my house right now, I’m going to f*** you up.”

Behind me, my female husky is now growling and showing her teeth. She is very protective of the kids, and with me worked up and angry with [Guy #1], she’s gone into protective mode. To keep her from coming at the guy, I have to grab her collar and hold her back.

[Guy #2] turns and runs while [Guy #1] stumbles backward, stammering, trying to say something. Maybe he’s trying to apologize, but I won’t let him get a word out.

I scold [Guy #1] more as he keeps stumbling backward.

Me: “I politely told you I wasn’t interested in what you had to say, and I even told you guys to have a good day, and you are trying to step into my house, uninvited! I’m home with my kids. I don’t know you, and I sure as h*** will f*** you up to protect my kids, and I won’t stop my dog from tearing your s*** up, either, should you try to push your way into my house.”

[Guy #1] was now white as a ghost, and he turned around and ran off.

My wife got home about four hours later and I told her about the guys that came to the door and what transpired. She told me that I treated them rudely, and she said she would have just slammed the door in their face. I told her slamming the door in their face would have been rude. I politely told them I wasn’t interested and told them to have a good day. It wasn’t until [Guy #1] stepped into the door that I threatened them.

An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 14

, , , , , , | Right | August 21, 2021

I am waiting at the gate to board a flight home after vacation. Between groups, families with small children are allowed to board. This is during a federal mask mandate for all persons two and up flying.

Gate Attendant: “How old is your child?”

Parent: “Two.”

Gate Attendant: “I’m sorry, but she needs a mask; it’s a federal requirement.”

Parent: “We have one in our bag. She has a pacifier.”

Gate Attendant: “I’m sorry, she has to be wearing a mask.”

Parent: “She’s one and a half.”

Gate Attendant: “I won’t be able to allow you to fly. I can get a supervisor—”

Parents: “No other flight has made us do that. It’s ridiculous!”

Gate Attendant: “It’s a federal rule, I’m sorry. You won’t be able to fly if she isn’t wearing a mask.”

The parents protest while angrily putting a mask on their child, doing so in a manner that makes the child start wailing. Finally, it’s my turn to board (masked). 

Me: “Thank you for doing your job.”

Gate Attendant: “I’m just following the rules!”

I felt horribly for her. How hard is it to follow a nationwide federal mandate that has played over the speakers every fifteen minutes? And in what world does a pacifier replace a face mask?!

Related:
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 13
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 12
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 11
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 10
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 9

He’s Slow In Many Other Ways

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2021

I grew up in Minnesota. We get some pretty bad winters, and most people learn to drive slowly and carefully when the road is bad. Then, there are the people I meet working as a tow truck driver. Here’s one example.

I’m in my personal vehicle, heading to the garage for work early in the morning. It’s still dark out, and we’ve had about eight inches of wet, heavy, EXTREMELY slippery snowfall overnight, with more snow falling. 

I’m in a chain of cars, all going about twenty miles per hour on a highway with a speed limit of sixty. We get to a straight stretch of road, and I see one set of headlights behind me pull into the other lane and start gaining — fast. A bright red, lifted, souped-up pickup truck flies past me and about eight other cars before darting back into line at the next corner. When we get to the next straight stretch, I watch the truck pull out and speed past a few more cars, until he gets to the front of the line and speeds off into the distance.

It comes as no surprise when, a few miles farther down the highway, I see a familiar bright red, lifted, souped-up pickup truck in the ditch.

I get to the garage, and my dispatcher tells me I have a job waiting for me on the highway I just drove in on. I tell him I know exactly who he’s talking about, and we share a laugh over the story before I get in my tow truck and head back down the highway.

When I get back to the bright red pickup, tow truck lights flashing, the driver jumps out of the truck and walks over, seemingly very agitated.

Driver: “Took you long enough!”

Me: “Yep. Conditions aren’t too great. Can’t risk putting the tow truck in the ditch, because that one would not be a fun story to tell the boss. So, what happened? Is there any damage I need to know about before I hook up?”

Driver: “No, I just slid. I don’t know how you all drive up here with this snow.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Driver: “Nobody goes the speed limit or anything. I had to pass cars everywhere because everyone was going so slow. That’s what caused me to spin; I tried to change lanes to pass someone and spun.”

Me: “Well, look at it this way. How many of those other cars did you see in the ditch?”

Driver: “But…”

Me: “I’ll be straight with you. I was one of those cars you passed, on my way into the garage. Then, I passed you again after you hit the ditch.”

Driver: “…”

Me: “Why do you think we were all going so slow?”

The driver finally lost his aggressiveness and was pretty sheepish for the rest of the interaction. Fortunately for him, there was no damage to his pickup — only to his ego!