Respect Your Elders Children

You’d Be Demented Not To Help

, | CA, USA | Respect Your Elders

(I am a customer in this story, observing this. It’s about 95 degrees today, and an elderly woman comes in to the store wrapped in a coat over a sweater.)

Worker: “Hi, Mrs. [Customer]! How are you today? Did you walk all the way here bundled up like that?”

Elderly Woman: “Yes. I’m running away.”

Worker: *laughing* “Running away? Was there another fight at bingo today?”

Elderly Woman: “No, my mom was being mean to me and I got mad and ran away.”

(At this, the workers eyes go wide; she mouths an apology to me before paging for another cashier. She leads the elderly woman over to a chair and encourages her to take off her coat and gets her a bottle of water. I hear her telling the woman to stay there for a moment and walks away to make a phone call. Curious, I wander over to see if everything is okay and hear her asking someone if there are any drivers to pick the woman up.)

Me: “Is everything okay? I can call a cab for her if you need.”

Worker: “No, that’s quite all right, thank you. Just making sure she gets home okay.”

(She goes back to the woman, who remembers she has a daughter with gentle prodding but can’t remember the phone number and didn’t bring her address book. The worker waves me over as I’m still standing nearby and asks me to stay with the woman for a minute. She comes back a moment later with her purse.)

Worker: “All right, Mrs. [Customer], let’s get you home.”

(She proceeded to clock out and lead the woman outside to a shady spot to wait for the cab, then went with her. When I went back a few days later and asked about it the manager told me the woman had a really bad bout of dementia and that the worker had recognized that and wanted to make sure she got back to the living facility safely. The woman was moved to a secured floor. I can only hope that if something happens to my grandparents or me that we have a worker like that to help us.)

Kind Strangers Kindness

Doing Kindness A (Customer) Service

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Employees, Kind Strangers

(I am wearing khakis and a t-shirt, because I’m exactly the kind of person who wears khakis out. I am out shopping for a birthday present for someone when an older lady mistakes me for an employee at the store.)

Customer: “Hi, miss! Hello, could I trouble you for a little help?”

Me: “I guess so?”

Customer: “Which of these do you think a young lady would like better?”

Me: “Well, [Brand #1] tends to be made a little bit on the cheap side and [Brand #2] can run tight. Right now, [Brand #3] is pretty popular because they have some nice designs and decent quality.”

Customer: “Oh? Can you show me where those are?”

(I am kind of perplexed by this request, but I know where the display is, having just been there. I take her to the display and try to walk away.)

Customer: “How about this one? Her favorite color is purple. What goes with purple?”

(At this point, I figure that I’m not really doing anything anyway, so I stay with the lady and suggest a couple of necklaces that would look nice with the dress she picked out.)

Customer: “I really like this. I think my niece will absolutely adore it. Thank you for your help! I want to tell your manager what service you’ve shown me.”

Me: “Well, you could, but I doubt she would care.”

Customer: “Of course she would! Why wouldn’t she?”

Me: “Because neither of us works here.”

(The customer is silent for a few seconds.)

Me: “I’m a programmer. I don’t work here.”

Customer: “Well, I am so embarrassed! I thought you worked here.”

Me: “Don’t be! It was a nice way to spend part of an afternoon. I hope your niece likes her outfit!”

(I tried to reassure her, but she was red in the face and apologizing profusely. Ma’am, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know that it really was a nice way to kill time and I hope your niece liked her gift!)

Not Allergic To Kindness

| MN, USA | Health & Body, Kind Strangers, Money

I’m having an allergic reaction that the day after this throws me in the hospital. I’m already having a horrible week. My tire on my car was ice picked, and I don’t have the money to fix it/get a new one. I have one dollar to my name, and I go to the store to get knockoff Benadryl to slow down my reaction. When I get there, to my dismay, the medicine has gone up to $1.87. I literally only have a dollar to my name.

I started crying, and a worker walked by. She asked what was wrong, and I told her everything. She pulled out five dollars and grabbed a box of regular Benadryl. She handed them to me and told me that while life can be awful, it does get better. Two weeks later, I’m better. To the woman that helped me when I was down, thank you. You’re amazing.

Pale Potential Papa

| IL, USA | Awesome, Employees, Non-Dialogue

I’d been at work almost 14 hours one day, and was pretty worn out. People tell me that I tend to turn rather pale when I’m tired.

I am on the road, and my wife calls me.

“Please don’t freak out, but I need you to pick up a pregnancy test. The one I used tonight said it was positive, but I want to make sure…”

I head to a local big box store, and find a multi-pack of tests, so I buy that one. My wife has wanted a baby for years, and I’m sure she’ll want to triple check.

By now I’m exhausted, but I am not stressed or upset.

I go to the cashier, and she rings up the tests, and we’re waiting for the credit card to process.

I haven’t said much to the cashier, and she seems too tired or bored to even notice me.

The cashier then glances up at my face and does a double take. She seems concerned when and stares at me for a few beats.

She suddenly looks at the bag that is holding the pregnancy tests, then back at me.

She hands me my receipt, and as fast as she can, grabs the bag with the tests, wraps the bag tightly around the box, then drops the bag into another bag trying to hide what’s inside.

When she goes to hand me the double-bagged tests, she decides to wrap the whole thing tightly back up again, and hands me everything as a tiny bundle.

I laugh a little, smile at her, and tell her I’m okay. She looks a bit sad and sheepish.

I then thank her and head home.

This was five years ago; it ended up being that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

I still think of that cashier’s attempt at helping the quite, pale, stressed-out-looking man that I was that night, and it makes me smile…

Kind Strangers Kindness

It Took Some Back And Forth But You Got There

| Yonne, Burgundy, France | Awesome, Kind Strangers

(My mom is eligible in the French charity that distributes food packages to people with low income, so she decides to volunteer to ask for donations in the local supermarket. The charity waits behind the registers with empty shopping carts and ask to people if they want to donate part of their groceries after their purchases. While it’s obviously not an obligation, some people still have rude reactions.)

Child: *stares at my mom*

Mom: *waves*

Child: *to his dad* “Dad, what’s that?” *points at my mom*

Customer #1: *in a huff* “Don’t mind them. That’s for hobos!”

(Later in the morning…)

Mom: “Hi, would you like to donate food for charity?”

Customer #2: *unintelligible grumble*

(Later, beginning of the afternoon, my mother notices an elderly customer at the register, being very slow to get checked out. Once she gathers her groceries in her bag, she proceeds to walk towards the main entrance very slowly, barely walking. She then notices the charity stand.)

Elderly Customer: “Oh…” *looking disappointed*

(She then leaves. My mom sees her barely walking through the parking lot, carrying her groceries. Two hours later, she notices the same slow and elderly lady coming back into the store, this time pushing a shopping cart. They think nothing of it, until they notice one more hour later that she checks out with a cart filled with canned food, bottles of milk, and boxes of eggs. She then pushes the cart towards my mom, smiling…)

Elderly Customer: “Here.”

(Yes. While it was winter, and she was very old and barely walking, she did a round trip from her place back to the supermarket, just to donate a completely filled shopping cart. My mom and the other volunteers thanked her a lot, and the lady only replied with a smile, and then my mom told the other volunteers about her while they watched walk away from the supermarket, again through the parking lot. Thank you for bringing back faith in humanity, unknown nanny!)

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