Souped Up Kindness

| USA | At The Checkout, Awesome, Employees, Food & Drink

(I’m a university student struggling through my busiest day of the week on little sleep when I decide to get some lunch. I stop at a cafe on campus, planning on getting some soup since it’s cold outside.)

Cafe Worker: “I’m afraid we’re out of soup today.”

Me: “Oh, um, I guess I’ll have [sandwich], then.”

(I go to pay and realize I don’t have very much money on me, which adds to my already growing stress levels.)

Me: *exhausted and near tears* “I’m so sorry; I was only planning on getting soup so I’m short money for the sandwich. I can run back to my dorm; I think I have time.”

Cafe Worker: *shakes head and smiles* “So that’s one small soup. Your total is [total]. Have a great day.”

(I’ve since graduated but I haven’t forgotten the small act of kindness that helped an exhausted and very stressed out student get through the rest of that day.)

The Big Goodbye

| Severna Park, MD, USA | Awesome, Food & Drink

I have been working about six months in a food service job when I get a call stating that I have been offered a government job from a previous interview and that it is mine provided I can pass a background check. I let my manager know, along with the understanding that I won’t put my notice in until the background check clears.

Over the next few weeks, I make sure to let my other coworkers and some of my regulars know, as I’ve grown to have a good relationship with them. I did expect a good-bye on my last day; however, I didn’t expect the three specific things that happened during my last shift.

Firstly, one of my breakfast regulars said how proud he was of me and that he’d really seen me grow as a professional while I’d worked there. I appreciated him saying that given I’d definitely had some screw-ups in my time.

Secondly, three women who had been using our lounge to study for their nursing exams presented me with a Starbucks gift card, and a table of women who liked to come in after their swim lessons gave me a card with sixty dollars in it.

I was practically walking on air for the rest of the shift, but the real kicker was at the very end as I was packing up to leave. One of the managers, someone who had been tough but fair with me, came up to me and after taking back my apron, said, “Just so you know, we’re all so proud of you for landing this federal job, and if you ever need it, you’ll always have a job here if things get tight.” I never had to fall back on that, but as I walked out that day to go home, I couldn’t restrain a smile and some small tears of gratitude.

A Hot Slice Of Kindness

| Seattle, WA, USA | Awesome, Employees, Food & Drink

(A few months prior to this story, a new pizza delivery place opened in our neighborhood, owned & operated, though we didn’t know it at first, by a family of Ethiopian refugees. It’s absolutely the most delicious, and often most unusual, pizza either of us has ever eaten, and even though we really can’t afford to, we wind up ordering it once or twice a week. One evening there’s a knock on the door, and it’s our pizza guy, with a large pizza in his hands…)

Me: “Oh, hi, [Pizza Guy]. Good to see you but we didn’t order a pizza tonight.”

Pizza Guy: *beaming* “Yes, we know. You order so much pizza from us. You tip always. We bring you pizza, say thank you.”

Me: “Oh, but we know you guys are struggling. You don’t have to do this.”

Pizza Guy: “Mother say we must.” *holds the pizza out more* “You take, thank you.”

Me: “Oh, in that case…” *I take the pizza* “Thank you, and thank your mother.”

(We had to move away from there a few months later. I hope they did well. Wonderful people, and awesome pizza!)

A Good Attitude Pays Its Way

| SC, USA | Awesome, Employees

(I recently just had my car repossessed due to family issues like loss of job, relocation, higher living costs, etc. It’s right after Christmas and I’m freaking out because the car company wants a LOT of money to be able to reinstate the car loan. I have to go to work that day and my neighbor has to drive me. This is after I’ve been at work for a few hours.)

Me: “Hi, [Car Loan Company Representative], I’m [My Name], calling about [Car that was repossessed]. I am in a really bad place and I want to get my car back, but I just can’t afford [high amount to reinstate the loan]. Is there anything I can do?”

Rep: “Hi, [My Name]. Let me see what I can do for you here. It looks like we’re willing to settle and reinstate for [slightly less amount but still pretty high] but if you make a good faith payment before January 9th, we will extend the auction date another 10 days.”

Me: “Okay, how much would that be?”

Rep: “[Sum that’s close to the regular monthly payment].”

Me: “That is something I can work with. How much would I owe after that payment was made?”

Rep: “It would be [amount still high but still workable with a single income family]. But that wouldn’t be due until January 20th. It was the 19th, but I extended it to that Friday.”

Me: “Thank you so much. So if I make this payment tomorrow, via Western Union would that arrive right away?”

Rep: “It would take 24 hours to post but you’d also want to call us as soon as you send it so that we can get the money applied faster.”

Me: “Once the [high amount] is paid off, will I be able to get my car?”

Rep: “Yes, but the repossession lot charges a flat fee to our customers of $150.00 to get their cars out.”

Me: “Well, that makes sense. Okay.”

Rep: “Because [Car Company] wants to keep you as a customer and wants to help you make this right, I’ve asked management to put the cost of the repossession lot fee onto your account so you don’t have to pay any money at the lot to get your car out. Management approved it.”

Me: *speechless for a moment* “Oh, wow, um, thank you! That’s really nice!”

Rep: “It’s my pleasure. Please let me know if I can do anything else.”

Me: “Thank you so much, [Car Company Representative]! You’ve really helped me today. I hope you have a great day.”

(The point of this for those who think it’s too long: sometimes, a car company doesn’t want to lose your business or sell your car. It’s best to work with them and they will work with you.)

Hail To the Bus Driver

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Awesome, Employees, Transportation

I use our city bus system regularly to get to work. Unfortunately, our city’s bus system is notoriously… not good. I have to transfer twice across three buses total to reach my stop and if my second bus, the #11, is late, I miss my third bus, the #15, and must wait an hour for the next one, which means I am late to work.

Today, the #11 arrives a few minutes late to the transfer terminal, but due to some hiccups with loading passengers, leaves the station late and is cutting it close to missing the departure time for my third bus, the #15. As we’re pulling up to the stop before my transfer stop, I see the #15 coming down the road in the opposite direction of traffic, which means we are too late and I’ve missed it. When that happens, I will get off at this early stop to buy a snack at the convenience store across the street on the corner and walk down to the next stop to wait the hour.

As I’m standing at the light, I watch the #15 bus turn the corner, as it is supposed to for its route, but then it starts slowing at a place that isn’t a bus stop, and its hazards start flashing. My favorite driver drives this route around this time some days, so I start wondering if he recognized me in the rear-view mirror, and decided to wait, even though the drivers aren’t allowed to stop anywhere not an official bus stop.

The light for me to cross comes on as the bus comes to a full stop, so I book it across the road and on to the bus. It is my favorite driver and he has indeed stopped just for me! It meant a lot to me, as my work place is really busy with the aftermath of Christmas and my coworkers really needed me there. Thanks to him, I got there on time and I’m giving him a gift card the next time I see him!