We hear a lot of negative experiences working in fast food, retail, and all those other good jobs. Is there something that happened that left a you with some smidgeon of hope for humanity? Something wholesome that made your day a little brighter? Or perhaps someone who showed you how to be a truly gracious, humble person?

Maybe you were having a bad day, made some mistakes and it turned into a positive learning moment by a patient, understanding patron?

One of my mine was a time I was working at a Tim Hortons location, where I was put under a lot of stress and disproportionate tasks. I was always the one cleaning the washrooms, but I cleaned them very, very thoroughly and well. An elderly lady came up to me and said "Miss, will you please tell the person who cleans the washroom they did an excellent job. Will you tell them that, please?" I guess she didn't know she was talking to that person. "I can guarantee the message is sent." I just wished I could have gotten that kind of recognition from the manager.

#1

I used to manage a bakery-cafe. I had a regular customer who came in every single day for the palest baguette we had. We started underbaking one for her every shift. After months of this, another woman I hadn't met came in and asked for the same thing. She pointed to the one she wanted and I told her that one was held for someone. She gave me the regular's name and said she was her partner, and that the baguette was for her. She was a picky eater, so her partner came in to get her a baguette every single day, underdone so she could take it home, put it in the oven and finish baking so it would be warm and crisp for the person she loved. They were together for about 20 years before they were able to legally marry in my state. I tear up just thinking about them and their amazing love for one another. Bonus: they train search-dogs for a living.

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#2

I worked in food service right out of high school. Every Sunday this seemingly neurotic woman would place an order in a very specific way. It would have been easy to be annoyed that she wanted something different than normal but I always just smiled and made her order the way she asked. When I got tired of food service I started applying at other businesses in the area. One day I turned in an application and immediately got a phone call from the HR director who knew me as the only worker at that restaurant who could make her order the way she liked. I was basically hired on the spot. I’ve now been with that business for over ten years and have made a career of it. Be kind to customers whenever possible…you never know when you’re on a job interview. Being nice to someone odd can change your life.

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#3

When I delivered newspapers one of my elderly customers would bake cakes for me every so often. Another customer gave me twenty dollars every year for Christmas.

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