Get That Holiday Mango Home!

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2020

It’s Christmas Eve, so everyone and their dog is at the shops getting food and last-minute presents, etc. I am there with two small children. I’ve been to a couple of shops already and my EFTPOS card has been working fine, but now, at the checkout, with $100 worth of groceries and kids who are losing their patience, my card keeps getting declined for some reason. The cashier has run it a few times now, and I have explained that it was previously working, but the machine just keeps saying “declined.”

There is a line of about ten people behind me. I’m about to cry in frustration while my one-year-old tries to climb out of the trolley seat for a cuddle and my three-year-old has found the mangoes and is starting to eat one, skin and all, when the woman behind me speaks up.

Woman: “Here, let me just pay for it. Merry Christmas.”

Before I could even protest or anything, she handed over her card and the cashier put it through. I thanked her profusely, wished her and everyone else a Merry Christmas, and got my kids out of there. I went to an ATM, got $100 out, and gave it to one of the charity collectors, and then I got us all home.

I’m still not sure if the woman’s primary objective was to do something nice or to just get the line moving so she could get home herself, but either way, she was kind, gracious, and generous and I will never forget that, and it’s certainly made me more aware of trying to help other people around me.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for December 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for December 2020 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for December 2020!

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A Fold In Her New Reality

, , , , , | Right | December 2, 2020

I work in an arts and craft store that does not sell cards. We do sell thick paper that you can make into cards yourself, though.

A day before Father’s Day, these papers are popular with people looking to make their own personalized cards. Everything is going smoothly until one woman enters the store. She clearly speaks English, is middle-aged, and was clearly not born yesterday, so this still perplexes me.

Customer: “Do you sell cards?”

Me: “Not really, but we do sell paper you can fold and make into your own card.”

Customer: “Can you show me?”

I bring her over to all the selections of paper.

Me: “So, if you just fold these in half, you get your own card you can personalize in any way.”

Customer: *Pause* “How do you fold a piece of paper in half?”

Me: “You… fold in it in half?”

I then demonstrated how to fold a paper in half, thinking maybe she didn’t know how to cleanly fold a paper to get a clean edge. But no… this woman is still confused and amazed that I could do this.

I had to show her again how to do this, and when I unfolded it, she just looked so lost and unsure how this card had then turned back into an A4 piece of paper.

Somehow, this woman had gone her entire life never folding any form of paper in half or realizing that a card, unfolded, is just a piece of paper.

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The Aus-dacity Of Some People

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 13, 2020

I am an Australian of English and European background. I often get questioned about my nationality. My standard answer is that I’m from Australia because that’s where I was born. Most accept that, but one woman won’t take that for an answer.

Woman: “Well, I can tell by your accent that you grew up in Australia, but where were you born?”

Me: “Australia.”

Woman: “No, really. What country?”

Me: “I was born in [Nearby Town] hospital.”

Woman: “Okay, I believe you, but your parents aren’t Australian. Where were they born?”

Me: “Australia.”

Woman: “Both of them?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman: “So, what about your grandparents?”

Me: “All from Australia.”

Woman: “Great-grandparents?

Me: “Australia.”

Woman: “So, what about your great-great-grandparents?”

Me: “Most were Australian; one was German.”

Woman:German! See, I told you that you weren’t Australian.”

I had to walk away shaking my head. As a European Australian, of course, if I go back far enough on both my parents’ sides it will show English, Irish, and European ancestry.

This story is part of our Best Of November 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

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Manager, Manage! Part 4

, , , , , , | Working | October 19, 2020

We have a sale going on which results in long queues. I am serving a woman who has a lot of items. My manager is serving behind me at another register. We call customers from the same line. He rarely serves, but I wouldn’t let him leave me alone on the registers.

Manager: “Okay, if every second person in the queue can line up over here.”

Me: “[Manager], can you take the next customer as she’s been waiting the longest?”

She is also a regular.  

Manager: “No, I called every second person, not every first. You have to serve her.”

Me: “She’s been waiting the longest.”

I finally get to serve her. By this time, the manager has gotten through at least four sales. I apologise to her; she is so pissed off. The next day, she comes back.

Customer: “I’m sorry I didn’t thank you for what you tried doing yesterday. [Manager] was so rude.”

Me: “Yeah, I am sorry. I have no idea what he was thinking.”

Customer: “Well, I just wanted to thank you and say goodbye. You can tell [Manager] that I’ll be taking my business to [Competitor] from now on.”

Me: “Okay, I might see you there. I always shop there; they have better things than we do.”

Customer: “And they don’t have [Manager].”

Me: “They used to; that’s where he came from.”

Customer: “They probably fired him.”

Not sure if that was the case, but he was offered demotion or a forced resignation a couple of months later.

Manager, Manage! Part 3
Manager, Manage! Part 2
Manager, Manage!

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More Than He Bargained For, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2020

At a charity fundraising, I am browsing books and a man comes up and also looks through the selection. It is fifty cents a book, or four books for a dollar. He comes up with a selection of five and he speaks to the woman running the stall.

Customer: “Can I get these five for a dollar?”

Stall Owner: “No, the price is four for a dollar. Maybe later in the day when we’re down to the remnants.”

He uses every tactic he could: first customer of the day, get things moving, the books aren’t in great condition, and so on. Eventually, she relents and lets him have them.

Customer: “Great! I love bargaining, and I absolutely love getting a bargain!”

He hands over a $20.

Stall Owner: “I’m sorry. It’s so early in the day; I don’t have change for that.”

Customer: “Oh, no worries. Keep the change. The charity’s for a good cause.”

And off he went on his happy way!

More Than He Bargained For

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