One Dollar Makes Ten More

, , , | Gold Coast, QLD, Australia | Hopeless | June 7, 2016

(I work in a well known major grocery store on the registers. I’m not particularly fond of my job but I always go out of my way to go above and beyond for customers. This happens on my usual Saturday shift. A lovely old gentleman is buying some salmon that’s on special.)

Me: “Your total comes to $9 for those two packets, sir.”

(The older gentleman counts his money a few times before looking at me in despair.)

Older Man: “I’m awfully sorry but I seem to only have $8. How much is a single packet.”

(The special is $8 for two packets or $6 each.)

Me: “It’s $6 for the one, sir.”

(He counts his money again just to be sure he doesn’t have the needed dollar.)

Older Man: “Okay, I will just get the one today, then.”

(He looks so miserable that I make him an offer.)

Me: “I have an idea; I have a spare dollar here. You give me the $8 that you have there and I will throw in this dollar for you.”

Older Man: “Oh, you don’t have to do that! I will just get the one for $6.”

Me: “Nonsense! It’s too much of a good deal to pass up!”

(I finalise the transaction and he’s on his way. I continue to work for another couple of hours when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see the old man.)

Older Man: “I can’t let kindness that you showed me go unnoticed. I went home and got some more money and a present for you.”

(He hands me the dollar coin and a handful of instant scratchies.)

Me: “Oh, sir, that’s so lovely of you but it’s not necessary!”

Older Man: “You helped out an old man for no reason today. This is most definitely necessary. You have a lovely day, dear!”

(I spent the rest of my shift smiling, and I managed to win $10 on the instant scratchies!)

The Going Rate For Kindness

, , , , , | MI, USA | Hopeless | June 6, 2016

(My parents have been residents in a condo for older adults for almost a decade when my father passes away unexpectedly. Without Dad’s income, Mom won’t be able to cover the monthly fees for the condo, and will need to move. While we are looking at other options, we get a call from the accountant at the condo facility.)

Accountant: “Mrs. [My Name], I have an option that might be of interest to your mother. From time to time, it becomes necessary for us to move residents to different rooms to make space for renovations and expansion of our facility. When we do that, we temporarily decrease the monthly charge to compensate for the inconvenience. As your parents have been in that room for quite a while, it’s overdue for renovation. So we’re going to move your mother to an identical unit two doors down until her old room is available again. The new rate will be [an amount that mom can afford comfortably].”

Me: “How long will the renovation take? I appreciate that this will buy her some time, but once she’s back in her old room and the rate goes back to normal, she’ll be in trouble again.”

Accountant: “Well, we’re actually going to be expanding the office suite into that space, so the old room will no longer be available.”

Me: “So…”

Accountant: “So she’ll continue to get the reduced rate until her old room is available again.”

Me: “Which is… never?”

Accountant: ”That’s correct. I do apologize for the inconvenience. We hope your mother will find her new room satisfactory.”

(Thanks to some clever accounting, my mother was able to stay in the community she loved at a rate she could afford, until she passed four years later.)

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A Dollar And A Smile

, , , | USA | Hopeless | May 28, 2016

(I have health issues, and frequently need medical testing to ensure everything is okay. I’m at a hospital I’ve been to before – but not for quite a while – for yet another series of tests. This time the parking garage has signs everywhere stating CASH ONLY. I have absolutely no cash on me. When I check in, I ask the receptionist if there is an ATM so I can pay for the parking garage. Towards the end of check-in, this happens:)

Receptionist: “And keep a hold of your parking ticket – the technician can stamp it for you so you only have to pay a dollar! You may not even need the ATM!”

Me: “I don’t even have a dollar. I usually carry at least a little cash, but things came up. I’ll just use the ATM.”

(The receptionist offered to give me a dollar for the parking garage and I was floored. A little thing like that can mean a lot. I gave her all the coins in my wallet in return. Thank you!)

Tipping The Scales Towards The Good

, , | Boston, MA, USA | Hopeless | May 27, 2016

(I work at an old family restaurant that has been in the area for generations. One of our regulars is a woman who has been coming here every week for a while now, since she works right down the street, and the wait staff have gotten to know her. I oversee the following between one of our waitresses and the regular, between the waitress’s trips to her tables…)

Waitress: “The usual today?”

Regular: “Yeah, same as always. You doing okay?”

Waitress: “Things are rough at home, that’s all.”

Regular: “What’s up?”

Waitress: “My husband got arrested last night. His probation was almost up. It was something really stupid. He was fine, good behavior, he’s been great…Now I’m alone with the kids, and they don’t really understand what’s going on, and they want their dad, and it’s just been hard…”

Regular: “That’s really awful. Let me know if you need anything, all right?”

Waitress: “It’ll be okay. He’s going to get off light, they say, if he behaves…It’s just a few months…”

Regular: “It’ll be okay. He’ll be home soon.”

Waitress: “Yeah.”

(Later, the waitress hands off the receipt, the regular pays with card, she hands back the receipt for signing. The regular leaves, and then this happens:)

Cashier: “Hey, [Waitress]… she left you a two hundred dollar tip.”

Waitress: “What? You mean twenty dollars. That’s ridiculous.”

Cashier: “No, look at this.”

(The tip has “$200.00” written on it, with a note of well wishes on the side. After glancing at it, the waitress flees out the door with the rest of us chuckling behind her in the entryway. She returns after a bit, out of breath.)

Waitress: “I caught up with her down the sidewalk. That’s ridiculous! She never gets to tip me again!”

(We all laughed. The regular still comes back every week. I’m glad people have each other’s backs in this world.)

Drive It Forward

, , | OK, USA | Hopeless | May 26, 2016

(Several years ago, my wife was on disability and I was unemployed, and finances were always tight. I had a contract job lined up that would pay $50, but I needed gas to get there and back. We went into a local store and started feeding all the loose change we could find into the self-checkout to load a gift card for gas.)

Person: “You know, there’s a change-trading machine over there.” *motions toward change-trading machine*

Me: “Yeah, I know, but they charge a fee, and I need every cent to go into the gas tank.”

Person: “Ah, I understand.”

(A moment or two later, she came over and pressed a $10 into my hand.)

Person: “Hope this helps!”

(I was so thankful, and I have never forgotten that. I do my best to pay it forward as much as I can.)

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