Your Shift Is Bigger, Longer, And Uncut

, | Austin, TX, USA | Right | September 17, 2016

The ‘South Park’ movie has just come out in theaters, including the theater where I am working. There is no single, key, specific bad customer here; just countless under-age kids trying to sneak in, to the point where corporate office sent a notation that all theaters must post someone inside the door for every showing.

I am the youngest employee, and in fact, one of the only ones who is not old enough to be a parent or grandparent.

As everyone else on the staff actively dislikes South Park, three guesses as to who gets stationed to stand just inside the entry to that theater, day after day, eight hour shift after eight hour shift.

Without meaning to, I have memorized much of the d*** film and can quote dialogue verbatim. Kind of ruined the show for me, and set me on the path of hating bratty, entitled customers. I also heard of a guy at another theater doing the same job who got maced for not letting a middle-school kid into the movie when she tried to sneak in.

All Dolled Up For Christmas

, , | Sylmar, CA, USA | Hopeless | September 13, 2016

I get a pre-Christmas package from my father. He is working with a doll-making company on their business and sends me four dolls in case I know a child who needed one. Since not everyone I work with has a steady job, I appreciate it.

Two days later, I am visiting one such person. My coworker and I discover that her husband has just died and all Christmas savings will have to pay for his funeral and medical bills instead of presents. This is especially hard because she is the one supporting her daughter and granddaughter, so there is little chance that they’d have any gifts to give each other.

We immediately decide to change that. With the monthly allowance we use for groceries and personal items, we go looking for gifts for all three women. The last thing we put in the Christmas package is one of the dolls that Dad sent me “just in case.”

All Dolled Up For Christmas

, , | Sylmar, CA, USA | Hopeless | September 13, 2016

I get a pre-Christmas package from my father. He is working with a doll-making company on their business and sends me four dolls in case I know a child who needed one. Since not everyone I work with has a steady job, I appreciate it.

Two days later, I am visiting one such person. My coworker and I discover that her husband has just died and all Christmas savings will have to pay for his funeral and medical bills instead of presents. This is especially hard because she is the one supporting her daughter and granddaughter, so there is little chance that they’d have any gifts to give each other.

We immediately decide to change that. With the monthly allowance we use for groceries and personal items, we go looking for gifts for all three women. The last thing we put in the Christmas package is one of the dolls that Dad sent me “just in case.”

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.

Save The Airport Dash For The Movies

, , | Charlotte, NC, USA | Hopeless | September 5, 2016

This happened several years ago while I was traveling for business.

I am making a connection at a very busy airport when I spot a toddler running full-tilt, with no chaser in sight. As he is about to run past me, I bend down and scoop him up, knowing that someone is trying to chase him down.

Within seconds, a frightened looking young lady with an infant in arms, tears streaming down her face is making her way towards me. The relief on her face is palpable when she sees me holding her young son.

She tells me she had been trying to change the infant’s diaper when her son took off running. She instantly regretted not buckling him in his stroller before attending to the baby’s needs.

She said she felt like a terrible mother because he got away. I told her that kids are inventive and surprising, that even the most attentive parents have something like this happen, and told her about an incident with my own son many years before.

I offer to watch him while she finishes the diaper change, and then walk her to her gate before heading off to my own.

I had a smile and a story to share with my family when I got home that night and a good memory to help when I feel discouraged.

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