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» Random Acts of Kindness

Friendly London
I think I might have posted this one before, but I'm not sure.

Many years ago I lived and worked in London.

One sunny day, I was doing my weekly bigshop in the Tesco that was on my drive home (the one by Coppets Woods, just off the North Circular in Finchley, fact fans). It was a Tuesday at about 5:30, so everyone in there seemed to be like me, doing a weekly shop for themselves on the way home from work.

I'd got my week's worth of food and found a checkout with only one person in the queue.

The person in question was a fairly good-looking woman in her early 20's in an expensive-looking business suit with a trolley full of Tesco Value stuff. This stuck me as a bit odd. The next thing that stuck me as a bit odd was she was unloading her trolley by going down her shopping list and putting each item on the belt in order, so was taking a while.

When everything was scanned and bagged, the checkout woman told this lass how much it was and the lass handed over one of those clear bankbags with some money in it.

The checkout woman counted out the cash and said "not enough", pushing the money back towards the lass. The lass looked confused for a minute and said "it should be enough". The checkout woman said "well, it's not". The lass aid "but what can I do?".

Now, it was clear to me that this lass had a learning difficulty of some desription. from what I could see, someone had given her a list of everything she needed and the money to pay for it. Which would imply she couldn't work this stuff out for herself. There was something about the way she spoke that was a bit of a giveaway as well.

Anyway, the panic set in for this poor lass. The checkout woman had told her that she would either need to make up the full amount or put something back. The lass was picking things out of her bags, looking at her list, then putting them back in the bag, clearly not being able to decide what to do. All the while, the checkout woman was constantly tutting and sighing, like "Tut, hurrr. Tut, hurrr. Tut, hurrr" and so on.

So I said to the lass "have you not got enough money, love?". She just looked away and looked like she might start to cry. So I said to the checkout woman "has she not got enough?" and stuck my hand in my pocket, pulling out a handful of shrapnel. The checkout woman stared at me open mouthed for a second and said no. I said "right, I'll cover it, how much do you need?" again, the checkout woman just stared at me like I'd grown a second head and said "what? why? it's 8 pence" so I gave her a 10p said "you can keep the change for the next person who comes up short".

The poor lass mumbled "thanks" and scuttled off, clutching her shopping. The whole time I was running my bigshop through the till, the checkout woman staring at me like I'd just done the most amazing magic trick she'd ever seen. When she handed me my recipt, she actually "did you know her?", I said no, she looked even more incredulous and said "then why did you do that?" I just walked away at that point.

I felt good at first for helping out someone in need, then felt very sad that she needed my help and the woman was so shocked that I showed a little bit of humanity.

Eight fucking pence.
(Mon 13th Feb 2012, 10:18, More)

» Karma

What goes around, comes around.
Not really sure if this is Karma, but since when has that stopped anyone from posting a good tale?

When I was about 10, one of the houses that back onto my folk’s place was owned by a local “hard nut” gangster-wannabe type, along with his wife and two kids. Really nasty piece of shit he was.

Every Sunday, he had the same routine, he would drive his prized BMW 5-Series to a pub a few miles away, have nine or ten pints with his “well’ard” cronies, probably glass some poor fucker who looked at his pint funny, then drive home. Once he got home, it would start “MY DINNER’S COLD YOU STUPID BITCH!” *SMACK* “HOW MANY” *SMACK* “TIMES” *SMACK* “HAVE I” *SMACK* “TOLD YOU” *SMACK* and so on. It would then move on to “AND YOU TWO CAN SHUT UP AS WELL!” *SMACK SMACK*.

You could hear this shit through two closed windows and a distance of about two hundred feet. And it would last for hours. His two kids went to my school, but kept having time off with things like “measles”, which they must have got a couple of times a year and “the flu” which caused mysterious swellings around their eyes.

So anyway, lovely guy.

One Sunday, he was down the pub as usual when he spotted a black kid walk past the afore mentioned Beemer. Did I mention he wasn’t exactly fond of the darker-skinned members of society? Well, he wasn’t. He comes flying out of the pub and accuses this kid (who was about 8) of first trying to steal his car, then of keying it. After hurling a bit of racist abuse about, he gives this kid a normally reserved for immediate family members slap and goes back to his drinking and general hardcuntness.

Ten minutes later little black kid arrives back in the pub, still crying, being dragged by his dad, points at knobhead neighbour and says “that’s him”. Guy goes up to big bully boy and says “what the fuck do you think you’re doing hitting my kid”. Bloke, safe in the knowledge that 1) He’s well’ard (in his mind at least) and 2) he’s with 10 of his “crew”, turns to the guy and says “Oh fuck off, you stupid n*****” (radio edit for racism).

Father of crying child sticks the head on the racist, bullying prick, slamming him straight down to the deck. One of the “crew” looks like he might intervene, but is stopped by a look from the now very angry father. This angry bloke then proceeds to paint the pub with the guy who hit his kid. He proper battered him. He actually beat him so badly that he lost an eye and walked with a limp for the rest of his life, since he was pretty much paralysed down one side. All while the guys “crew” stood and watched, shitting themselves in case they caught some of what he was getting.

Funnily enough, we never heard him hit his wife and kids after that, possibly because he couldn’t anymore. He moved out about 9 months later, since he could no longer afford the mortgage and, rumour has it, his wife took the kids and fucked off not long after, since she was no longer scared of him.

You lie down with dogs…
(Fri 22nd Feb 2008, 9:10, More)

» The Police II

Mistaken identity
Many moons ago, in the time before broadband, we needed to get (what was considered then) a large amount of data from our office in London to a customer in Liverpool. We dug out one of the very expensive CD-Rs and burned all 200meg of the data onto the disk, gaping in amazement at how we could make our own CDs. This was a while ago.

We then drew straws to see who got to drive through the night to deliver said disk. The young lass who worked for me at the time "won", was handed the keys to a company car and was handed an A-Z of Liverpool, so she could find her way.

And off she was dispatched.

When she got back into work a day or so later, I asked her is she had any problems. She said "no", then "well, sort of". Panicking that something had happened to the precious, expensive CD-R, I asked her what had happened.

It transpired that she had been driving along the M62 in the manner of someone who was driving a car that was not theirs i.e. thrashing the life out of it, when she saw blue lights in her rear-view mirror and she, quite rightly, gets pulled over.

Now, she was doing what she called "licence threatening" speeds not long before she was pulled over and was bricking it. So she does what any 19-year-old, very good looking, busty lass would do, she pulled her top down low enough that you could see the tops of her nipples and puts on her best innocent look. When the officer comes to her window and asks her if she knows how fast she was going, she gives it the full "I don't know officer, it's my first time on the motorway and I don't know where I'm going and everyone was going so FAST and I was so SCARED and I didn't know what to DO and there was so many CARS I've never driven this car before and... and..." and then squeezed out a tear. And was duely let off with a "don't do it again".

Now, this would be fairly unremarkable, were it not for the fact I drew the CD-delivery short straw about two weeks later. I was proceding down the M62 in the same company car at reasonable (sub-90, at least) speeds when I saw blue lights in my mirror. I pulled over, wondering what the fuck I'd done. The copper saunters up to my window, looks at me, looks crestfallen and then says "sorry mate, thought you were someone else" and slinks back to his car. Perv.
(Mon 9th May 2011, 10:52, More)

» I Quit!

Quitting Karma
Was working for a games developer a few years back, it was a small company, only employing about 16 people. From the very start, I really didn’t get along with the then owner and managing director. Whenever anything went wrong, I was the first to be blamed whether it was my fault or not. After working there for about 12 months, the company got bought out, lock, stock and barrel by a larger, American company.

The MD stayed and our relationship deteriorated further, but I had just bought a house and was about to get married, so I pretty much had to stick it out. It even reached the point where he wouldn’t talk to me directly, and would only go through my boss, who constantly sucked up to him – I even used to make a point of giving him a cheery “GOOD MORNING!” every day, because I knew it annoyed him and made him look like a bit of an eejit when he would blank me in front of people.

Due to my boss refusing the defend me, I spent half my days being bawled at for not hitting the ever-shifting deadlines. I tried not to care, but averaged about 2 hours sleep a night from the stress.

Things really came to a head when I wanted three weeks and a day off to get married and have a very nice honeymoon. My contract said I could have three weeks with appropriate notice, or more with the permission of the MD. The MD said no way, laughing as he did so. I tried being reasonable for a while, before saying “fine, I’m taking three weeks and a day off, I’ll be back on x date, if you don’t like it, tough” and off I went. At my wedding reception, my boss wouldn’t speak to me (but ate the £50 a head dinner anyway) and was rather dismayed to discover an old mate of mine was fairly high up in the parent company, which I didn’t realise until he said “Why did you invite *my boss* from company Y?” and I told him I worked for that company, he just said “mate, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but find another job NOW. We’re gonna close that place in the next three months or so”. Shit. Still, at least I had the heads-up.

When I got back off honeymoon, I was informed that my position was being made redundant, though they made the mistake of showing someone I used to work with around the office while I was there. A little bit of digging revealed that he was being brought in to replace me. You can’t make someone redundant and replace them with someone else straight away. So I got my solicitor involved. The solicitor wanted me to take the redundancy and then sue for unfair dismissal. I had a better plan: knowing that the company was about to go west, I threatened to sue but then got my solicitor to draw up a “fair deal” that involved me signing a contract saying I wouldn’t sue and then quitting, in exchange for a (very) large payout. Since I knew the company didn’t have the funds to cover the payout, I refused to take a cheque and demanded a banker’s draft, which came out of the MD’s personal account. When he handed it over, I said “Thanks. I quit. I’ll see you in the dole queue” he just looked puzzled.

Three weeks later, the American parent company closed to office down, royally screwing over the staff in the process - only giving them statutory redundancy pay, which is somewhere between fuck and all. The MD begged my mate (who oversaw the closing of the office) for a job at the parent company. After being nice about it for a while, he told him to fuck off, in those exact words. I lived large off the payoff for six months; the MD sold his house, not least because he, personally, was paying my mortgage instead of his.
(Tue 27th May 2008, 10:49, More)

» Bastard Colleagues

On The Buses
Not me, but my uncle:

My uncle Rae lived and worked in a small, rural town on the south coast as abus driver. This is the kind of town with an hourly bus service, not one the runs every couple of miutes.

Rae used to work the early shift, so had the "pleasure" of having his boss get on his bus every morning to get to work.

Guy was a complete twat and would keep a close eye on what time the bus arrived and left certain stops, berating my uncle if the timings weren't spot on. As a result, Rae has to be one of the few people in the country who has a conviction for speeding in a bus.

One morning, my uncle was summoned to his bosses office and was screamed at for a good half hour by his boss, who demanded to know why he had stopped 100 yards short of a stop to pick up one of the regulars - a little old dear who volunteered at the local hospital, who was clearly running late that day and hadn't quite made it to the stop.

This was against company policy and resulted in Rae getting his final warning (he had previously got into trouble for being caught speeding in a company bus).

Next day, who should Rae spot 100 yards from his stop and waiving his arm like crazy? His boss. Did my uncle stop to pick him up? Did he fuck. Did my uncle have a job by the end of that did? Did he fuck. Did he care? Did he fuck.

Length? 12m with a bend in the middle, evidently.
(Mon 28th Jan 2008, 10:31, More)
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