So I am the manager of a cell phone store, and this is around the Christmas season, so money is tight for a lot of people.
We have an insurance program where you pay a monthly charge, then if you need to use the insurance you pay a fraction of the full price of the phone and get another sent to you. Depending on the phone it can range from $50-$200.
I'm working with a lady who happened to come in and had a broken phone. Well it wasn't broken, mostly it was waterlogged from being put in the washing machine for a little bit. It was a sweet little old lady who wanted to talk to her grandkids for Christmas and take pictures. Unfortunately the phone was a goner, too damaged to function or salvage.
I told the lady as much as a gentleman walked in the door and just wandered around a little. I told him I would be with him soon and he nodded. I finished explaining the options to the lady, who was not very happy about the situation, as essentially I had told her that there was nothing we could do and that she was going to be without a phone for Christmas. She said she didn't have the money for an insurance replacement (around $150), so she left nearly in tears.
She was sitting in her car in the parking lot of the store, and the gentleman who was in the store asked what happened with her. I explained the situation, and he nodded and said he would be right back. After stepping outside and talking to the woman for a minute or so, they both walk back in. The gentleman hands me his credit card, and says he's going to take care of whatever it would cost to get her another phone.
It was extremely heartening that a random stranger would do something like that with no expectations for reward. Especially around the holiday season.
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I work in a large chain grocery store, and this happened one night when a coworker and I had closing shift in our department.
I stepped into the back to get my water bottle, and upon coming out, a child came up to me and said, "Thank you for working at [grocery store] sir."
Then the boy went back to his mother in the deli section. This 10 second interaction made my entire day a thousand times better.
Until that point it had been a rather miserable day. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to thank him, as he went back to his mother so quickly.
I know many of the stories you come across tend to be of ridiculous and annoying customers; but every once in a while you find a brief moment of kindness that somehow makes the entire day better for you.