Be The Change (Giver) You Want To See In The World

, , , | Scotland, UK | Hopeless | October 3, 2016

(I am serving an elderly man at the checkouts — nothing unusual, as the local area has both sheltered housing and lots of bungalows.)

Me: “All right, your total is [amount].”

(Man #1 gives me change from his coin purse; I count it up.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, this is a pound short.”

(Man #1 opens his coin purse again, but it’s mostly coppers. If it has been less than 50 pence I could have used coupons, but as it is, there’s not much I can do. The next man in line catches my eye and puts a pound coin on the conveyer belt. I pick it up and add it to the others.)

Me: “Oh! Sorry, sir, one of the coins was hiding! That’s [amount].”

(Man #1 brightens up.)

Man #1: “That’s fine, lassie; happens to all of us.”

Me: “Enjoy your day!”

(Man #2 steps forward.)

Me: “Thank you.”

Man #2: “It’s fine; hopefully someone would help my dad if he was a bit short.”

(I ended up using a 50p coupon for Man #2, based on a tiny dent on a cereal box. Not really supposed to for such tiny, near non-existent damage, but I was really glad to that man, both for helping the elderly gentleman and for doing so in a way that let him keep his pride!)

The Gift Of Giving Was Lost On Them

, | Greenwood, IN, USA | Right | September 13, 2016

I worked my way through college waiting tables at a restaurant in a mall just south of Indianapolis. The money wasn’t great, but it was enough and I needed a job with really flexible hours.

One evening, I’m given a five-top that’s a couple of parents and their three boys. I come by to introduce myself and the father introduces himself as a local minister there with his family. He mentions they’ve been given a $500 gift card from his congregation. I set about taking care of them and they go for a good sized meal; drinks, a few shared appetizers, main courses and even desserts.

All things considered, they aren’t a terrible table, but I did have to push two tables together which made my section smaller.

At the end the minister asks about using the gift card and I tell him it works just like a credit card. I run it through and return the slip. I hand it to him and he shakes my hand and tells me what an excellent job I did for him and his family and then they’re all out the door. I go back to help bus the table and pick up the credit card slip.

When I find it, I see it’s been signed with a big zero for the tip. I turn and watch them walk to their car out the window in total amazement. I got a hand shake for how well I’d done serving them their free meal and they didn’t give me a cent.

I know it’s not the worst burn — I’d seen people get worse — but it was the first time I was dumbstruck by getting stiffed.

Dressed In Honesty

, , | USA | Hopeless | September 11, 2016

(I work for a really well known higher end clothing retailer. I have a customer come up to me while I’m working at the cash wrap.)

Lady: “Hi, so, I have a bit of a funny problem.”

(The customer places in one of our bags on the counter obviously with something in it and holding receipt in her hand. As I reach out to take the receipt from her. She starts talking while I quickly try and figure out what the problem is.)

Lady: “So, I bought this dress a month and a half ago and wore it and loved it. I was just cleaning out some old receipts when I ran across this one. I realized I was never charged for the dress.”

(I stop and look at her, then quickly look for a double rung UPC. Nothing.)

Me: “Are you are sure this is the right receipt?”

Lady: “Yes and I want to pay for it. I said it was an unusual problem. Can you do that?”

Me: “Sure if you want me to.” *into my walkie* “Can I get a re-ticket at the cash wrap.”

(A coworker comes up and I explain the situation. His jaw drops.)

Coworker: “We work with this brand all the time so we can have a ticket made up really quickly.”

(He takes the dress off for a re-ticket.)

Me: “Thank you so much for being honest.”

Lady: “I felt really guilty about not paying, and I love the dress.”

(The coworker came back less than two minutes later and thanked her also for being so honest and told her the price, which was just over $20. The lady paid and was really cool about the whole thing. In fact, she seemed surprised that her honesty took us by surprise.)

Taxi It Forward

, , , | UK | Hopeless | August 12, 2016

(Two friends and I are getting a train to a conference in a really small town, which involves changing trains at a bigger town. We end up chatting to someone who happened to be going to the same town. She finds out the second train, which only comes once an hour, is cancelled.)

Stranger: “I’m getting a taxi. Do you all want to share? It will work out at £5-ish each.”

Us: “That would be great!”

(We get the taxi.)

Stranger: “So, what do you all do?”

Me: “We’re students at [University].”

Stranger: “Oh, I went there! It’s great, isn’t it?”

(We arrive at the destination; taxi fare is £25.)

Stranger: “Let me pay. You’re all students; you can do the same for students when you’re earning!”

(Set the weekend off to a great start, with us all feeling very happy about the kindness of a stranger!)

Tipped To Be A Good Night

, | TX, USA | Hopeless | August 5, 2016

(I have just parked outside a person’s house to deliver the pizzas that they ordered. Their order came to an even $25.)

Me: *at their door* “Okay, your order comes to a straight $25.”

Person: “Oh, I only have $25 cash, so I don’t have a tip…”

Me: “That’s okay!” *hands over the pizzas* “Enjoy your night!” *start walking away*

Person: “Wait!” *digs through purse and wallet* “This is the only thing I have that could be counted as a tip; it’s a $10 [Popular Online Store] gift card. I haven’t used it yet, but maybe you would want it instead?”

Me: “Oh, no, ma’am, I can’t accept that. It’s fine; most of the people I’ve delivered to tonight didn’t give a tip either. Really, I’m fine with it.”

Person: “Oh, no, you’re not leaving without a tip! I can’t have that on my conscience. If you really don’t want the card, at least make sure that it doesn’t go to waste.”

Me: *takes card* “Well… if you’re sure about giving me a $10 tip…”

Person: “Yep, I’m completely fine with it! Now, hurry and deliver those other pizzas. I’m sure those people want their food, too.”

(After this, I thanked her before rushing back to the car to deliver the rest of the orders. Everyone else that I delivered to tipped mostly over $5, which made up for the many people that didn’t tip at all. I also used the gift card to buy a new book, and it is now the best book in my bookshelf. Every time I read it, I’m reminded of that woman’s kindness, and remembered to pay it forward in the future.)

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