Low-Rent But High-Class

, , | Finland | Hopeless | May 18, 2016

(I’ve had an awful week altogether: a close relative’s battle with cancer is not going well, I sprained my ankle and it has been hurting for days, my tooth has been aching, I had to get a biopsy of a lump in my breast, my studies are not progressing as well as they should, due to our differing schedules I haven’t been able to talk to my best friend in few weeks… Pretty much nothing is going my way. Then I call my landlady.)

Me: “Hi! I just called to ask if it’s okay to lend the spare key to my friend? She has university’s entrance exams here in a few weeks, but I won’t be here during them because I’m going on a trip with another friend. She will just leave the keys here when she’s done.”

Landlady: “Oh, that’s fine. I’ll try not to visit then, so I won’t scare her. But how has it been going? We haven’t seen each other for a while.”

Me: “Well, I should be getting on with my studies, but I’m a bit behind the schedule. It’ll take me another year to graduate from [University].”

Landlady: “That’s not even slow. My daughter took ten years to graduate.”

Me: “Yeah, I guess six years is just fine. Well, in other news, I’ll be going home to work for the summer. I’ll still pay the rent for my room, though.”

Landlady: “I was meaning to say something about that. You and [Roommate] have been really good tenants, so I was wondering what you’d say about not paying rent for June?”

Me: “Oh, that sounds really good, but that’s… too much. I can’t ask for that.”

Landlady: “Well, you’ve lived there for many years, always paid your rent on time, and I don’t have to worry about the apartment, so I’d really like to do this. I know you don’t make too much money over the summer anyway. Can you tell this to [Roommate], too?”

Me: “Of course! Thanks. This is amazing.”

(My landlady had always been an awesome lady, but this left me almost crying from happiness after the horrible week I had been going though.)

Make Sure You Book The Good Waitress

, , | Houston, TX, USA | Hopeless | May 13, 2016

(I am out to dinner with my mom. We have just come back from a high school football game my close friend played in. It is rush hour traffic on Friday and the restaurant is extremely crowded. We are just about done with our meal when this happens.)

Mom: “Hey!” *trying to get our waitress’ attention* “Can we get our bill, please? We don’t need to take any more time than we need to.”

Waitress: “Sure, I will be back in a couple of minutes.”

(My mom and I start talking about a book I am reading when the waitress comes back.)

Waitress: “Here is your bill; are you guys talking about [Book I am reading]?”

Me: “Yeah. Have you read it before?”

Waitress: *sad tone* “No, but I really want to. Between school, work, and family I don’t have much free time much less any extra money.”

Me: “Oh, well, it is a really good book about…” *add really badly-explained book theme here because I’m bad at explaining*

(The waitress is visibly stressed until we start talking about the book, at which she becomes significantly calmer.)

Mom: “We will be going in a couple of minutes. I have to get something from my bag.”

Waiter: “Okay, I will be back in a few minutes.”

Mom: *pulls out a $20 bill the split second after our waitress disappears from view along with our bill total with a note saying “go buy yourself a book : )”*

(My mom and I hurried out to our car after we set the note on the table. I popped back inside just in time for her to read the note. I will never forget that happy feeling I got looking at her read that note. If the waitress that we had ever reads this I hope you got a good book you liked!)

Getting Along Like A House On Fire

, , , | Bastrop, TX, USA | Hopeless | April 29, 2016

(This story takes place shortly after the Bastrop County Complex Fires started up on Labor Day, 2011. At the time of the story, I’m working in the grocery department of the store when I see a woman getting off of the phone and starting to cry, fearing the worst I stop stocking and approach her.)

Me: “Is something wrong, ma’am?”

Customer: “Yes, I just heard that the fire took our house.”

Me: Oh, no. That’s not good. Were you able to save anything before they evacuated you?”

(At this point, the customer starts to list of different things they were able to save before sobbing again, realizing all of the stuff they couldn’t get.)

Me: “It’s okay, ma’am. I realize that it may seem bad, but you know one very important thing you were able to save.”

Customer: *through tears* “No?”

Me: “You were able to get yourself and your family, right?”

Customer: “Y- yes.”

Me: “Well, as long as you were able to take care of that, everything else will eventually get back together. While you might not be able to recover everything you left, you still have you, your family, and your memories, right?”

Customer: *stopping her crying* “Yes, I suppose I do.”

(As she stopped crying, I decided to forgo general policies and even public normal by hugging her when she started to cry again.)

Customer: “You are right. I do have the really important things and know that He’ll help us out in the end. Thank you…”

(She let me go and started to walk off, getting on her phone again. From what I heard as I left she was talking to her family and/or friends. Fast forward about a year or two later and I’m a cashier in the express lane when the customer I’m checking out gasps. As she does, I look up and realize it is the same woman and smile. Without warning, she hugs me again and starts to cry with her husband behind her, smiling.)

Customer: “Oh, you were right! Everything did work out. Insurance pulled through, and we’ve got a new place, and we were able to recover some of the things were forgot.”

(She started to explain about what happened after the affected areas were deemed safe to return to for salvaging purposes. Eventually, they handed me a local magazine that contained a story of the fire and showed where she was interviewed, pointing out where she mentioned me in it then tried to give me some cash. However, I refused it stating they should keep it, but, as they left, I noticed they still had the money on the counter with the husband shaking his head as I tried to follow them.)

Warrants A Good Action

, , , , | AB, Canada | Hopeless | April 18, 2016

(I’ve been pinching pennies for months. My house in a town three hours away has been listed for sale for five months and I’m living in a tiny rental room near my new job, so I’m paying for my house, taxes, bills, plus a rental, and finances are tight. I found out a few days before that my transmission needs to be fixed for $2700 or replaced for $3500. This bill will cripple my finances at this time. I am at a dealership service department.)

Me: “I’m here to drop off my car for an inspection; I’m really really hoping it’s covered under warranty. Can you call me if the bill is going to go over $100?”

Serviceman: “Yes, we sure can. If the repair turns out to be under warranty then the inspection is covered, too. If not then the inspection fee is less than $100 for sure.”

(Six hours later…)

Serviceman: “Hi there, has your car had any work on it in the past on the transmission?”

Me: “Yes, there was a fix to the axle or something in January. I’m sorry; I don’t remember all the details anymore, though.”

Serviceman: “Did you pay for that work? Where did you get it done?”

Me: “In [Other Auto Repair Shop].”

Serviceman: “Well, they used the wrong part and that fix would have been covered under your warranty, so I’m going to cover this whole mess under your warranty so it won’t cost you anything else.”

(He couldn’t have been nicer about it! I’ll be taking them some freshly-baked treats when I get my car back later this week!)

Be The Big Change You Want To See In The World

, , , | Austin, TX, USA | Hopeless | April 11, 2016

(I am six years old, and my dad gives me a $20 bill so that I can go buy a smoothie. The guy made my smoothie (which is $3 or so) and I give him the $20 bill.)

Me: “Keep the change!”

(I had recently heard someone say that and I was too young to realize that telling someone to keep $17 of change wasn’t normal. I got yelled at by my dad but I still remember how happy that guy looked.)

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