Patience Is Its Own Reward, But I Won’t Say No To Coffee!

| Geneva, Switzerland | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Transportation

(I’m waiting in line for my coffee in my usual coffee shop. There are two ladies in front of me. The one just before me is a very chic-dressed, unsmiling lady on the phone. She keeps getting out of the queue while talking on her phone, coming back in in front of me, looking at the display case, then out again. It gets unclear whether she’s still queuing or not. When my turn comes, she’s been gone a while. I start to order but she barges back in, without a “sorry” and orders her own food. Since she WAS there before me, I have better things to do than argue, but the barista and I exchange a look. She orders and leaves. She never let go of her phone.)

Barista: “Good afternoon! Sorry about that, and thanks for your patience.”

Me: “It’s okay. She was like those cars that don’t have their blinkers on, but you KNOW they’re going to switch lanes!”

(He agreed with me and gave me a free drink for being always smiling and pleasant! It was worth being patient for!)


Rallying The Troops

| NY, USA | Kind Strangers, Neighbors

(I am in New York for business from another country. I am walking through central NYC, back to my hotel late at night. I walk past a doorway which has a very large man towering over and yelling at a cowering young woman. Nobody else is around, and being a small guy and a foreigner and in a strange country I just walk past. After a block I decide that I can’t live with myself if I don’t do something, so I turn around and walk back. There’s still not another person in sight. I am terrified. I pull out my mobile and pre-dial 911 but do not hit send, I just leave it in my hand in my pocket. I completely ignore the guy, walk up into the doorway beside him, and address the woman.)

Me: “Ma’am, are you okay?”

Man: “She is fine.”

Me: “Thank you, sir, but I would very much like to hear from the lady herself.”

(The man steps forward and begins to tower over me, but then steps back, glowering at me furiously, hands clenched at his side.)

Lady: “I am okay.”

(I asked her if I could call a taxi or walk her somewhere more public. She once again said she was fine, and I felt as though there was nothing more I could do and that I had pushed the situation beyond what was safe for me. I backed away, and found that there was a crowd of people behind me. I had no idea where they all came from, but we all stood there watching while the lady collected herself and the man calmed down. Someone in the crowd asked if he hit her, and I replied that I had only seen him yelling. The situation looked defused, and we all went our separate ways. I have been back to NYC many times since then and found the people of New York to be cold on the surface, but when it really mattered they rally around. Thank you to all those who stood behind a small guy trying to do the right thing.)


Dollar Of Kindness

| Tullahoma, TN, USA | Awesome, Holidays, Kind Strangers

(Today is Thanksgiving. Some stores close for Thanksgiving, like the convenience store down the road, but our store is open from 7 am – 10 pm. The phone rings and I answer it.)

Me: “[Store], this is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I was just calling to ask what time y’all are open until today?”

Me: “We are open until our normal time, 10 pm.”

Customer: “Wow, really?!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am!”

Customer: “Well, this is [Customer]; I live across the road from your store, and I was just wondering how many of you are working today?”

Me: “Well…” *hesitating, not sure how EXACTLY to answer as this question is a little out of left field*

Customer: “I am asking because I’d like to fix y’all a plate of Thanksgiving dinner to thank you for working today.”

Me: “Oh! Well, thank you, that’s very kind of you, but you don’t have to do that! That isn’t necessary, though the thought is appreciated.”

Customer: “You sure? I really don’t mind, since you have to work! What time do you get off?”

Me: “My cashier and I both get off at three, and that’s when the next shift will come in.”

Customer: “Oh, you get off at three? That stinks. Well, thank you for working today, and have a happy Thanksgiving!”

(I was so shocked and happy the rest of my shift. That someone would want to do that for us to thank us for working today, and show how appreciative they are for us working, was just more than I could have expected!)


Steering You Away From Harm

| USA | Health & Body

I am 17, and due to the super-high pressure of having to get perfect grades, work, and be in many activities, plus already having anxiety, I am not doing well, and have gotten into self-harm for some time. I often take a break from all this by staying with my best friend and her family. I am especially close to her mom, who is a doctor, since I’m really interested in medicine. However, one very early morning after staying over, I can’t stop myself from self-harming at my friend’s place. I hope to go back to bed unnoticed, as it’s just after five am, but her mom is also up early and almost literally runs into me.

She barks at me to sit down, because I look so pale and am carefully cradling my injured arm. Before I can do much more than stammer my protests, my friend’s mom has taken my vital signs and tries to roll up my sleeve. I frantically shake my head and try to jerk away, until she promises that she just wants to see that I’m all right and won’t get angry at me.

When she sees the injury, she pauses, takes a deep breath, assures me it’s OK, and tells me to stay where I am. Instead of calling my parents, 911, or starting in on me, she comes back with a massive, well-stocked first aid box, and calmly patches me up.

She then says that speaking as a professional, I need counseling and to have complete blood testing done, to check my iron levels and rule out physical causes for why I feel so bad emotionally. And, speaking as a mother, she would want to know if her daughter felt bad enough to self-harm, so I need to tell my parents.

This was a really small act of kindness, but ensured I got the help I needed, and knew someone cared about me in that dark time.


Convention-al Kindness

| Finland | Awesome, Kind Strangers, Transportation

(I’m at a comic convention where I have been hanging out with both good friends and casual acquaintances. I bought the train tickets back home beforehand but pretty much everyone I know begins to leave over an hour before my train does. I’m tired after the three convention days and since during this time I am still living in a small village, these events were pretty much the only time I got social. I’m talking with this guy who I’ve met only a few times, always at conventions, so we don’t know each other that well. He and his girlfriend have just talked about leaving themselves.)

Me: “You guys are leaving, too?”

Guy: “Yep. Better do it just before the con ends so that you don’t get stuck in the human mass.”

Me: “That seems to be the tactic for everyone I know here. I’ve still got an hour and a half before my train leaves and I have no idea what to do with that time. And I’ve got a train switch that’s over half an hour.”

Guy: “Where do you need to switch?”

Me: “[City].”

Guy: “Hey, that’s where [Girlfriend]’s parents live! Right next to the train station, too. We’re actually going to drive to their place straight from here and there’s room in the car. Just hop in and come with us. We’ll keep you company until your train leaves.”

(I was so stunned that someone who, at the time, was a casual friend I saw maybe twice a year would not only offer me a ride, but also invite me to hang out with him, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s parents, just so I wouldn’t need to be lonely. It’s been several years now and today he’s one of my closest friends.)