On the 13th November, it was World Kindness Day. Now, the eagle eyed among you will realise that this post is VERY late. However, my blogging break has gone on longer than expected (even longer where I’ve had the lurgy this week), so I’ve fallen behind a fair bit with the topical content. Part of me thought I could just put this on the back burner for next year, but I had a list of content that I wanted to write, and honestly, not completing one thing on that list stressed me out too much #OCDProblems. So, I decided to go ahead and throw this out there anyway. Plus, there’s so much shit going on in the world right now, it wouldn’t hurt to focus on kindness for a change. My regular readers will know that I hate people because, as Roy from The IT Crowd puts it…
However, when stuff like this happens, it reiterates to me that not everyone is a dick, which is something we could all do with being reminded of now and again. So, here are three stories of where I’ve had my faith in humanity restored.
The Lost Phone
So this was the most recent event, happening October last year. My husband and I went on a night out with two of my best friends and their partners on Halloween. It was a music gig in a pub in Bath and long story short, we got hammered. As we left the pub, I dropped my bag on the floor and all of the contents fell out of it – my car keys, purse, phone, hand sanitiser, the lot. I scooped it all back in and after getting in the back of the car I noticed the only thing left in my bag was my car keys and hand sanitiser. Liam got out of the car to search for the pavement and even went back into the pub to see if any of my stuff was there. Of course it wasn’t.
I won’t go into detail of my breakdown after I got home, but let’s just say I was not okay. Sunday morning, the reality that I had lost three of the worst things to lose hit me hard AF. I’d lost my phone, my driving licence, and my debit card. We phoned the pub to make sure nothing had been handed in, which it hadn’t, so I very tearfully had to admit defeat. I reluctantly ordered a new driving licence online, and once my hangover had (sort of) subsided, we headed into town to sort out my new phone.
At this point, I was just desperate to get a new phone, however my husband who was VERY pissed off at last night’s events had other plans. He kept the man in the EE shop talking about phone specifications for what felt like hours while I hurriedly looked around for things I could potentially be sick into as my hangover came back with a vengeance. £75 later after buying out my contract, my new phone was sorted, I just had to make a trip to the bank on Monday.
Side note – I probably could have claimed this on our home insurance, but it probably would have put the price up for what was essentially, me being an idiot.
Anyway, that following Monday, I called EE to get my old phone blacklisted, and during my lunch made a trip to the bank to sort out a new card. After being passed from one staff member to another (seriously, why do places feel the need to micromanage everything?), I had a minor breakdown when the lady told me that someone had used my contactless several times, spending just over £40. They’d worked quickly, as we cancelled the card as soon as we got home, but they’d managed to treat themselves in the hour it took us to get there.
My new card and driving licence arrived a couple of days later, and after speaking to the fraud people at the bank I got the £40 refunded. I still felt like a fucking idiot, but I felt much happier having my stuff back. However, the following week I had a Facebook message from a girl asking if I owned a pink Samsung S7 with a personalised phone case! She explained she’d found it in her bin cupboard at her flat (where else would the phone belonging to a massive germaphobe be found?!). I had no idea how she knew it was mine, but she explained she saw there was a message from my father-in-law on the lock screen, so she checked his Facebook friends for someone with my initials to find me.
We arranged to meet in Bath during my lunch break and she gave me my phone back without a scratch on it. She’d even charged it up for me. She lived a fair distance away from the pub we were at, so I’m assuming someone found it, saw it was dead (as I’d been taking loads of photos and killed my battery) and threw it away.
I was gobsmacked that someone had found it, let alone took the time to find me and give it back! After some dickhead decided to go on a booze buying spree in the Best Buy shop, this person returning my phone to me restored my faith in humanity in what was quite the shitty situation. I’m so grateful to her – not everyone would have done that!
The Car Park Fail
If you’ve read my post on passing my driving test, you may already be familiar with this story. Basically, it was the week after passing my test and I was feeling good. I was home for the week and made a solo trip to the local Asda. Parking had never been my strong point, but I decided to push myself by parking in a busier area (to this day I will park in the emptiest area of the car park because of this incident). It turned out that I hadn’t parked straight in the space, so when it came to reversing out of it, things got a bit messy. After several attempts of trying to reverse out, I noticed a woman stood by the car next to me and she did NOT look happy. I rolled down the window and said “I’m really sorry, I’ve just passed my test.” She replied with “did you scratch my car?” Of course I hadn’t touched her car (I got dangerously close, but I certainly didn’t touch it), however she wasn’t having any of it. She continued to tell me that I was very close to damaging her car and I quote “You need to look at the way you’re fucking parking, love. This is ridiculous.” With that she got in her car and drove off, leaving me to sit in the car having a little cry.
In quite the state, I attempted to reverse out of the space again. Theoretically, because one car had now left, it should have been a lot easier. However, because this cow had completely shattered my confidence, I fucked it up further. I then saw that the woman who owned the car on the other side of me had come back, which shat me up even more. This time however, she tapped my window and asked if I was alright, prompting me to sob “I’VE JUST PASSED MY TEST AND SOME WOMAN HAD A GO AT ME” in her face. Poor woman. She was lovely though and offered to reverse the car out for me, but she had second thoughts when she saw how badly I’d messed up the manoeuvre, because she didn’t want to hit her car, which was brand new. The trolley man then popped over to see what the drama was, and because I was still crying my eyes out, the lady explained everything to him. He very kindly said he’d reverse it out for me, while I got out of the car and the lady did her best to calm me down. They were two of the nicest people and I’m so grateful that they showed up rather than another asshole like the first woman. I still went back to my mother-in-law’s where we were staying and cried my eyes out, and the whole incident is why I’m still shit at parking today, but looking back on the whole thing I try to focus on the fact that even though there was a massive bitch in the story, there were two lovely, kind people as well.
The Thankful Customers
We all know how much I hated working in retail. I’ve spoke about it A LOT. However, despite a lot of anger and a fair amount of crying, there were still some lovely customers. I have a few favourite customers who were grateful for my help and that I got on well with, but there were two occasions where I really felt like I’d done my job well.
The first was a lady who phoned up when I was having a shitty day, and she had one of the queries that everyone in the shop hated – she had ran out of contact lenses and was desperate for a spare pair. Oh and she was registered with another store. Basically, in these cases, it meant you had to:
- Tell the customer you’d phone them back
- Phone the store for the prescription and to check it was in date
- Check if we had the lenses in stock
- Phone the customer back to arrange for them to come and collect them
Okay, it’s not exactly the worst thing in the world but on a day when you have a shit ton of stuff to do and you’re not feeling great, it’s a massive faff. Needless to say the customer was very happy when I told her we had some lenses in stock for her, and she asked what my name was. Generally, when a customer asks for your name, it never goes well. You just usually get “I’m here to see Amy” when literally, any other member of staff could have served them. I reluctantly told her my name and reiterated that she did not have to ask for me specifically because I wanted to stay in the safe cocoon that was the office, away from face to face interaction (yes, I’m aware retail was a poor job choice for me).
Anyway, an hour or so later I was asked if I served a [customer’s name]. Normally in these situations, it was never good, so when they asked me if I could come downstairs, I reluctantly agreed. Surprisingly though, I was given a box of chocolates and a thank you card! The customer had left, but she’d wrote a lovely note saying that she really appreciated my help and that I’d saved her a lot of stress. I meanwhile felt like a total bitch for the fact that I’d been miserable the whole time and had moaned pretty much the whole way through the job. But still, I was touched that she still went the extra mile to say thank you. Especially considering that I had done a lot more for customers in the past and not gotten so much as a thank you!
Secondly, it was a 10 year old boy trying contact lenses. I famously hated sitting through contact lens teaches, mainly because I have zero patience, and children were never great. Mainly because they didn’t listen. This particular boy was desperate to wear them for PE, but bless him, he wasn’t the best at it, and ultimately I think he had about 5 visits. After speaking to his mum we agreed that the final time would be the last one for a while, but miraculously, he suddenly got it. It was amazing to see, and he was so happy when he realised he could do it. I went through all the aftercare stuff with him and his mum, and he left the store with a big smile on his face. I later went downstairs to get some change, and he and his mum had popped back in with two massive boxes of chocolates for us all and a thank you card. It was so lovely and it definitely made all those weeks worthwhile!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness? Or have you carried them out yourself? Let me know in the comments!