We Can Do Nothing For Those Who Accept Nothing

, , , | Right | August 7, 2017

(My store has recently started a new “Store Pick-Up” option where customers can order items online and then pick them up at a local location the same day. Corporate is running several different sales that can only be applied to these online transactions. This is turning into a problem since many customers see the low prices online and get angry when they come into the store and see a higher price tag. A customer calls me over and starts to complain about this discrepancy. I explain the special sale, but she isn’t having it.)

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “There’s actually a lot we can do! We can process your purchase online using the store computer and it can be ready for you, at the sale price, in about 10 to 20 minutes.”

Customer: “20 minutes?!”

Me: “Yes, that’s one option. If that doesn’t sound good, remember that this sale will be going on for a few weeks. You’re welcome to go home, purchase as much as you’d like online, and then pick it up the next time you’re in town.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just go up to the register and give me this price today? You’re going to lose a lot of business this way!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this sale is specifically meant to encourage people to shop online and use the in-store pick up. I’m not allowed to manually adjust any of the prices to this level.”

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “Ma’am… there are still several ways that we can get you this sale. We can use a store computer and process an online order within about 10 minutes, or you can put in the order at your leisure and pick it up another time. Are you interested in doing either of those?”

Customer: “Just change the price for me at the register; I want these items right now.”

Me: “I can’t do that, I’m afraid. These prices are only for people who use the online ordering system.”

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: *facepalm*

A Neurologically Atypical Display Of Understanding

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 22, 2017

My boys are three and eight and both have autism. My eight-year-old has ADHD and my three-year-old has ADD and severe speech delays.

After checking out at the meat counter of a small meat shop near our house I try to move to the main check out section. My eight-year-old is trying to run around the shop with our groceries and is struggling to stay next to me. My three-year-old launches himself out of the stroller and tries to race around the shop while screaming. I manage to get them both under control for a few minutes but our stroller gets stuck and the groceries spill all over.

A kind worker comes around from the meat counter and starts to chat with the boys while helping me pick up everything. Once the stroller is unstuck he asks if we want help to our car or the door. He manages to help keep my boys occupied and doesn’t bat an eye when they are acting out from what is deemed normal. He made us feel normal and welcomed. We always go there once a week for our meat and many small things we need because we are welcomed, and it’s a shop that my boys are careful in without me needing to hold them tightly against me.

It’s a wonderful feeling when people treat non-neurotypical kids the way they would treat neurotypical kids.

Begging For A Happy Ending

, , , | Hopeless | July 16, 2017

Story takes place outside of a deli type store, during a heat wave in the middle of the summer. In 2012 I find myself homeless due to enormous medical bills that leave me bankrupt. I don’t have a bed in a shelter yet and I am not proud but have been begging outside the store for some spare change, to get a bottle of water. I feel ashamed for begging but I haven’t had any water since the day before and feel so hot and weak. I have only had 35 cents so far.

An ambulance stops by for what I assume is snacks. The woman crew member apologizes and says she doesn’t have any spare change when I ask. I thank her anyway and resume standing outside.

The woman comes back out after about 5-10 minutes in the store. She approaches me and hands me a bag. Inside the bag is two large bottles of water and a sandwich. I break down crying from her generosity.

She then asks if I have someplace to stay and I tell her no. She asks if it would be okay if she makes a phone call on my behalf. What happens next is a miracle for me. She calls a homeless outreach program and tells them I have nowhere to go. Within an hour, a program counselor comes to pick me up and I have a shelter bed and access to food and water.

The shelter helped me find a new job and eventually helped me transition into my own place three months later. I never did catch the woman’s name, but she truly saved my life. I can only hope that she realizes how much of an impact she had on turning my situation around. I still call her my angel.

She’s Totally Lost It

, , , | Related | July 12, 2017

(I am 17, my brother, 16, and our sister is about 12. It is long before GPS units and cell phones. Our parents go away for a weekend and leave us the keys to the car and some money so we can take ourselves out to dinner for a treat. As we’re heading back home from dinner, my brother, riding shotgun, convinces me that we should go driving through an area known for fun-to-drive, windy roads. Our sister, in the back seat, starts to get nervous about us not going straight home.)

Sister: “But what if Mom and Dad call and we’re not home?”

Brother: “Then they’ll either leave a message or call back later.”

Sister: *getting whiny* “But they’ll worry! We should go straight home!”

Brother: “Stop freaking out. We’ll be home before they realize we went for a drive.”

(We drive around for about a half hour, and I realize I know a back-roads way to get home from there, which I take. My brother recognizes what I’m doing and gives me a gentle elbow, then a wink.)

Brother: *sounding worried* “Gee, I don’t recognize this area. [My Name], are you sure you know where we are?”

Me: “Of course I do. I know exactly where we are.”

Brother: “Are you sure? Are you sure we’re not lost?”

Me: “Well… I think I know where we are.”

Sister: *whimpers*

Brother: *pretending to be angry* “Oh, great. We’re lost again! Geez. You did this last time we went driving, too.”

Sister: *starting to cry and panic* “Oh, my god. Mom and Dad are going to kill us. I knew we shouldn’t have done this. Oh, my god. We’re lost. We’re lost! What are we going to do? How are we going to get home?!”

(Five minutes later I pull into our driveway and our sister stops crying. Our parents go away two more times that year and both times leave us the car. Each time we go to dinner and then for a drive, during which we ‘get lost,’ only to have our sister cry and panic because she is sure we will never get home. Twenty years later, I am talking to my mother about her recent move into a new apartment.)

Mother: “Your sister came up to help me, which was great. After we finished we went out to dinner and the strangest thing happened!”

Me: “Oh?”

Mother: “I’m not too familiar with this area yet. Coming home I made a wrong turn. I said, ‘Gee, I think we’re lost’ and your sister started crying!”

Me: *bursts out laughing*

Mother: “Oh, no. [My Name], WHAT DID YOU DO?!”

(I tell my mother about the three times they went away for a weekend, how we would go for a drive and pretend to ‘get lost,’ and our sister’s reaction to it.)

Mother: “You are such bad kids! You traumatized your little sister!” *pauses for a moment, then laughs a bit* “Actually, I can’t believe she fell for it three times!”

Never Too Young To Say You’re Too Old

, , , | Related | June 30, 2017

(This happens while I am a nanny. Although I really want children at some point, I am only 21. One of the boys I’m a nanny for, four years old, comes up to me while I’m making them their snacks.)

Boy: “Miss [My Name], I really like you for a nanny. Are you a mommy and a nanny?”

Me: “No, I’m just a nanny right now. Why?”

Boy: “You would be a good mommy.”

Me: “Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.”

Boy: “Why aren’t you a mommy?”

Me: “Because I haven’t found a good daddy yet.”

Boy: “Well, you’d better hurry, because pretty soon you’ll be too old to become a mommy.”

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