Heavenspawn - Warming A Retail Slave's Heart


This story was originally posted on July 10, 2011


HeavenspawnHey, it's Bats again.

I haven't sent anything since my last post since I thought it'd be nice to send in a good customer story. Today I had the kind of experience that restores my faith in humanity after working in retail.

My work was doing a food drive this weekend and this afternoon, since I was so frazzled looking by the time I took my second break, I was asked if I would like to be in charge of handing out information leaflets (which included a list of items we would accept as donations) and collect the donations in a trolley at the front of the store. I had so many customers who are normally so rude and horrible to me/other staff members who took leaflets and bought whole bags of extra food to donate.

It was nice to see that even the people who are total dickheads to retail staff are capable of doing nice things. But that (even though it did put me in a better mood) is not why I am writing today.

I am writing because of one kid. He looked to be about 10 or 11. Our conversation went as follows:

Kid: Why is there a trolley with food in it here?

Me: It's food that's being donated to the hungry in the local area.

Carolanne diveKid: So it's all being given away?

Me: Yes. People buy food and put it in this trolley and we give it to people who can't afford to buy food so they don't go hungry.

At that the kid's dad caught up with him and they walked out of the store. The kid had a very serious look on his face.

Not two minutes later he runs up to my trolley with a packet of instant noodles and says "I made Dad buy these for me but I think my noodles are better in here" and put his noodles in the trolley.

He didn't leave until I promised him that I would tell whoever came to pick up the food how to cook the noodles right.

The fact that one child was more generous than most of the adults that walked by was enough to keep me smiling even when I went back onto a checkout (at least until they were late letting me off at the end of my shift, but c'est la vie).



Read more Heavenspawn stories here!





RHU Tales To Warm Your Heart: A Sweet Surprise Almost Resulted In Selling My Bird


Carolanne and JasonFrom SciviasKnowsTalesFromRetail

This happened quite a few years ago, when I had just gotten married. I was working at a big-box pet store. We had this sweet bird, a young Indian Ringneck Parakeet that we named Joey. I would let him sit on my shoulder while I cleaned fish tanks. I really wanted to take him home (we already had a few budgies, aka "parakeets"), but his price tag, including all the accessories, was too much of a stretch for our newlywed budget. A retail store is no home for a parrot, so I was motivated to find the right owner for him.

One day, my manager told me a customer had called and was considering buying Joey, and wanted a quote for the accessories they would need to "do it right" while keeping it reasonable. She knew I was fond of him and asked if I would price out the stuff. Feeling bittersweet about Joey finding a home, I picked out a cage, perches, toys, etc. and came up with a number for my manager to give the customer.

Later that day, a couple came in and was looking very interested in Joey. I told them another customer was interested too, so if they wanted to buy this bird, it might be a good idea to do it now. But still, they decided not to take him home.

So Joey still had no home lined up, just a "maybe" customer who had called to ask about him. On top of that, my husband had just found out he was being transferred to my home state. We had asked for a transfer there if one became available, but didn't expect it to come so soon.

This was my last week at the store. So even if Joey didn't find a home soon, I knew wouldn't be seeing him anymore.

At the end of the day, the mystery customer finally appeared... it was my husband! He wanted to surprise me with the birdie he knew I loved, using the moving bonus (the amount of which I had not yet found out).

We brought our new pet, renamed Bonzo, and our other birds with us on our move, but I never let him forget that in his zeal to surprise me, he almost got me to sell my bird to someone else!



Cashier Inspiration: Elderly Custy's Appreciation For Assistance Made Cashier's Day


Carolanne 019za

From bluedoom57, Tales From Retail:

I've been working as a cashier in a retail store for nearly two years now, and I've loved it. There's been some bad, and a lot of good, but sometimes there are just those customers that make you feel incredible for doing what you do.

We're generally not supposed to 'shop' for our customers, though we of course help them find whatever they need. That said, not but maybe two months ago, and older man came into the store and handed me a small sheet of paper, and walked off. I looked at it, and it listed off a few small items. (I don't recall exactly what they were, but it was only 3 or 4 really small things).

I wasn't exactly sure what he wanted with this, so I walked to him and asked him, though he didn't respond. He's hard of hearing. I asked in a bit of a louder voice, but still didn't get a response. Instead of just continuing to try and get his attention, I walked off and gathered the things on his list. Again, they were small, so it took me all of a minute to gather them all, and I brought them back to him and tapped his shoulder. He looked at the items, and then looked at me, straight into my eyes. And he put his hand on my shoulder and said, word for word, "Thank you, young man. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you."

I nodded and said "You're welcome" and went back to my work. It was something really small and simple, but even just thinking back to when he said that makes me just so happy about what I do.





RHU Tales To Warm Your Heart: After 32 Years, A Devoted McDonald’s Employee Gets A Beautiful Send-Off



Anyone who works a 32-year career is deserving of praise, especially if during those 32 years, they put their all into the job and work diligently and with pride.

And someone who certainly fits that bill is Freia David of Needham, Massachusetts. David worked the French fry station at her local McDonald’s for more than three decades, and is a beloved employee and friend.

Working at McDonald’s is, sadly, often dismissed as not “really” a job, but for many people, it’s a good, honest wage.

David also has Down Syndrome, which means that her employment also comes with extra challenges that other workers might not have to face.

But since 1984, when she was just 20 years old, she’s been heading to work every day, and serving fries to hungry customers.

There are a lot of misconceptions about Down Syndrome, and a lot of unfortunate stigma still attached to the condition. These days, more and more people with Down Syndrome are working to educate others about it, including smashing some false ideas and prejudices that some people might have.

David retired from her position on August 29 last year, and she was given a warm send-off at her retirement party from McDonald’s as well as the Needham community.

David’s career shows that no matter your challenges, you can carve a path for yourself, and her well-attended retirement party shows how wonderful it is when communities come together in support and celebration.


David worked at the Needham McDonald’s fry station for 32 years, 11am to 2pm, five days a week. During that time, she struck up friendships with many of the customers.

Now 52, David is retiring. And so her employers and the staff at the Charles River Center threw her a retirement bash befitting of such a dedicated employee.


David was honored at the McDonald’s where she worked, and the public was also welcome to drop by and enjoy some free French fries.


She was also awarded a certificate in recognition of her achievements.

Timothy McCoy, the owner-operator of the Needham McDonald’s said, “Freia’s smile, her enthusiasm, and her daily hugs made our restaurant more than just a restaurant.”


“She is loved and respected by all of our employees, customers, and anyone she has come into contact with,” McCoy continued.

“We are so sad that she is retiring, but very happy for the time we had to work with her. The McDonald’s of Needham will never be the same without Freia David.”


And David served up some fries one last time.


After retiring, David plans to continue her programs at the Charles River Center. She also enjoys drawing and listening to oldies music.



The Charles River Center has provided its residents with jobs for decades, and the staff couldn’t be prouder of David for her career.

--Credit: Laura Caseley / The Charles River Center


Faith In Humanity Restored: Custys Rush To The Aid Of Another Custy


Carolanne whootFrom RHUer

Hey RHU!

I've been lurking for a over a year now, I've made a few comments here and there. I have a story to submit. I'll submit a few of my own horror stories, but I wanted to share this one that happened today in bitter cold Chicago.

Today, my husband and I stopped by our local friendly Bulls-eye place. As we were checking out, a woman in the next check out starting having a seizure. She fell within a couple of seconds and I'm not sure if someone caught her. There was a gut wrenching THUD, and as I spun around, I saw a bunch of people running to her.

As I pulled my phone out and already started dialing 911, I saw 5 other people doing the same. A staff held her up, and others were helping out as best as they could.

We didn't know anything about taking care of someone who had a seizure (although, after this incident, we should) so instead of gawking and being in the way, we left.

We didn't hear any customers complaining (in fact, many people helping were customers), other customers also got out of the way, managers rushed over to help. It was surreal to see everyone helping out in whatever way they could, even if it meant getting out of the way, picking up her things, calling for help... Especially since, in my experience, people take advantage of a situation like that. Demand services no matter what was going on, stealing items, being jerks.

When we stepped outside, we could hear the sirens. That was fast and I hope that poor woman will be okay.



Random Act of Retail Kindness Goes Down at a Phone Store During Christmas: Strangers Can Be The Kindest People


Xmas2009 155

From  falling2fast, Tales From Retail:

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.