Getting An “A” Grade In Kindness Beats Getting An “A” Grade In Practically Anything Else

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 10, 2018

(My brother goes to university while working part time in a small restaurant. His boss is a middle-aged man who constantly gets angry over the smallest things, but all in all is a good guy. His restaurant is in a mostly French-speaking area, but his French is bad and he usually communicates with his staff in English. He recently had a lot of trouble finding and keeping waiters. His wife is also sick with cancer and hasn’t got long to live.)

Boss: “Hey, [Brother], do you think you could work the night shift on Wednesday? [Other Waiter] just quit and didn’t give notice, and we have nobody to cover that shift.”

Brother: “Hm… not really. I’ve got a final exam the morning after, and I need the time to study. Can’t [Other Waitress] work it?”

Boss: “No, she’s already scheduled at her other job. You’re sure you can’t do it? It’s just…” *at this point he starts tearing up* “I would work the shift myself, even if my French is bad, but it’s my wife last chemo treatment on Wednesday and I can’t make it back in time. It won’t cure her but it will give her a little more time with us. I’d close the restaurant for the night but business hasn’t been very good lately, and I can’t afford to turn away customers. Please…”

(His boss actually starts sobbing. He’s someone with very conservative values, the kind of person who thinks men should not be seen crying.)

Brother: “Okay, I’ll work the shift under two conditions. First, I serve the customers and nothing else. I’ll bring my books and study during the down times, if there are any. And after we close, I do the bare minimum cleaning and will leave the rest to the morning guys. How is that?”

Boss: “Okay! No problem. You bring your book, and you study while you work! Thank you so much! You have no idea how much this means to me.”

(Since then, his boss has always been very thankful towards my brother. My brother ended up not being able to study much during his shift because there were too many customers. He studied after his shift and barely passed his exam. He never did regret that decision, though. As he told me, sacrificing one good grade was worth it to bring a little peace to someone in a very difficult situation. The only thing he regrets was not being there for the wife’s funeral, as he moved to another city before she passed away.)

Tribbles Of Fury

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 31, 2018

(I recently adopted a new cat. He’s quite unusual. This leads to me having this scenario, I don’t know how many times, with just about anyone coming in my home. As I welcome my visitors — could be friends, family, coworkers, anyone — I warn them right at the door.)

Me: “I got a new cat, Sugar. He’s a little spooky, but please try to not be scared; as it is, he’ll be more afraid of you than you can be of him.”

Friend: “Of course. No problem; it’s just a cat. Is he missing an eye or something?”

Me: “No… You see, he’s a little, round, fluffy ball of black fur.”

Friend: “Oh, no worries. I’m not superstitious or anything.”

Me: “Yeah… That’s not all. He has orange eyes.”

Friend: “Oh, so unique! Must be charming!”

Me: “Yes, he is! Actually, his appearance pushed him to be rejected by people, but really, he just wants to love people, if only they would give him the chance to be loved back. He’s a little shy at the moment, but if you stay calm, he’ll purr like crazy and even will try to lick you.”

Friend: “Aww, so cute.”

(Some time passes, and as we are having a cup of tea in the living room, the cat shows up and curiously but cautiously approaches. I don’t want him to sneak up on people, as he’s already surprising in himself, so I announce him.)

Me: “Hey, [Friend], he’s coming out. Say, ‘hi,’ to Sugar!”

(My friend is smiling as he turns to look… until the orange glow of eyes on a round shaped shadow slowly moving toward us is seen, then he SWEARS AND JUMPS on the seat. Sugar, scared by the screaming human, runs for his life, hiding in another room.)

Me: “Yeah, I did my best to warn you…”

(Most people feel like fools for reacting in such a way and excuse themselves. Also, second meetings with Sugar go much better. They get to see him for what he is: a scary but sweet little fluff-ball of love.)

A Disconnect Between The Paperwork And The Cable Guy

, , , , , | Working | August 14, 2018

(We are going through a financial tight time. One of the ways to cut back is the cable. It’s 2005, so we still have the analog — no receiver needed — service and the digital — receiver needed — service. By talking with a sales agent, we conclude that keeping the digital service only, with one receiver, is cheaper with more channels than keeping the analog service. I do know that they will have to come and install a trap, a filter, to prevent us from cheating and using the analog signal in other rooms. I usually don’t lunch at home, but I live and work in a small village with roughly ten minutes’ walking distance between the two. My girlfriend is out of work, so today I decide to go have lunch at home. Lo and behold, that day, during lunchtime, there’s a service truck from the cable company that stops in front of the house. We’re watching the living room TV from the kitchen. The tech gets his ladder, and climbs the post in front of our house. We get disconnected. I’m thinking, “He’s installing the trap,” but then, he gets down and puts his ladder back on the truck. I get out to confront him.)

Me: “Hi. You disconnected our cable?”

Cable Guy: “Yes. That’s what I had to do.”

Me: “That’s not supposed to be so. We switched to digital only. You should install a trap for the analog signal, not cut us off.”

Cable Guy: *in an annoyed tone, taking his worksheet* “Listen. That’s not my problem. I have it right here. See? I need to dis– Oh… I have to install a trap… Sorry, I’ll get right on it.”

(I go back inside to finish my lunch. He puts his ladder against the post, climbs up, gets down, removes his ladder. We still have no signal. I run out again.)

Me: “Excuse me, but we have no signal.”

Cable Guy: “Can’t be, I just replugged you.”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. I have no signal. Can you check it out?”

(He grumbles and takes his ladder again. I go back inside and turn my forty-inch rear-projection TV towards the window. He climbs up, gets down, gets in his truck, gets back up again, and poof! We have signal. Since it is time for me to go back to work, I walk out and talk to him as he is putting his ladder back to his truck — for the third time.)

Me: “So, what was the problem?”

Cable Guy: “Oh. The center pin broke off. I had to redo the connector.”

Me: “Well, heck of a good thing I happened to be there today. And please, for your next customer, take the time to read your work order properly, and ensure the job is well done before leaving? It would have been h*** to figure out what went wrong with our cable, if I hadn’t been here. Have a good day.”

(I waved my girlfriend goodbye, showing him at the same time that she was watching him.)

Home, Home On The (Price) Range

, , , , , | Related | July 25, 2018

(I am a student in my early 20s with a part-time job. My mum is not a student and has had a full-time job for many years. We are both looking for apartments.)

Mum: “I saw a lot of ‘for rent’ signs on [Street]! It’s such a good area; there are so many shops nearby, and there’s a park a short walk away… You should check it out!”

Me: “Um… Why don’t you check them out?”

Mum: “Oh, they’re not in my price range.”

Me: “And you think they’ll be in my price range?”

Let Me Educate You On Politeness

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(While the company I work for is country-wide, customer service is mostly province-based, so as customer service agents, we normally don’t deal with calls from or about a province outside our own. A guy from one of our suppliers calls the English-speaking line, but speaks to me in French.)

Caller: “Hi, could you transfer me to the service line closest to Mississauga?”

(That’s in Ontario. Unfamiliar with that particular city, or where it is exactly, I try to deduce which center would be closest.)

Me: “Is that near Ottawa?”

(He speaks French and reached the Quebec line, so I think he might be based near the capital, which is very bilingual and close to the provincial border.)

Caller: *laughs* “That’s kind of right next to Toronto! My brother used to be minister for the education; guess he did his job wrong!”

Me: *silent and unimpressed, looking for the right number to transfer him*

Caller: *after a moment not awkward enough for how rude he just was* “Well, it’s a beautiful place.”

Me: “I’m sure it is. Let me put you on hold to transfer you.”

(I’m guessing he didn’t realize he had gotten a line in another province, but it was still incredibly rude. I got a call from a different guy from the same supplier right after, and he was super pleasant.)

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