Monday, December 17, 2012

Retail employees and the holiday blues..

Once upon a time.
Many, many years ago.
Actually, about 8.
I was spending my Christmas season working retail.
It was a Sam's club in Portage,
before they upgraded buildings.

This was a difficult time for me
Because at the ripe old age of 21,
I felt like I deserved so much more than a cashier gig.

Nearing the end of a particularly long shift
A tall, lone, early 30's man came through the line
with an average size cart of oversized products.

Going through my usual routine
I said "Hey, how are ya"
Not expecting a response
while I started shuffling the items across the belt.

At first he was kind of quiet,
then he began to make semi demanding comments about the pace in which I scanned
It didn't take me very long to realize he was completely kidding
but he kept up his act, almost with a straight face
but with just a hint of a grin.

Pretty soon, As I continued to scan,
 I was nearly doubling over with laughter
Grinning from ear to ear
slowly regaining my faith in humanity and brief social interactions.

What caused this man to try and brighten my day?
He obviously had to go out of his way to make the effort
It was almost as if he had worked similar jobs
that caused him to question his life decisions.

Honestly, he hardly broke character.
Enough that it was clear he was trying to make me laugh
I think, by the end, he did actually break character and
asked me how my night was going.

But I could hardly respond
Because my eyes were watering from laughing so hard
He said "bye"
I said "have a good one".

This is the only interaction I remember with any customer from my entire 6 month career as a cashier at Sam's club.

I often finding myself trying to do for others
what this man was able to do for me that night.
Simply show that I care.
And that, although they may not like their job,
and they may not get paid very well
and they may not even be doing that great of a job from your perspective

They are still a human being - worth paying attention to and worthy of respect.

Even if I'm in a hurry.
Even if the line was long.
Even if I'm not in the mood. 

Above all else - people remember how you make them feel.

This is Bing Crosby on the phone. He has nothing to do with this post. I didn't take this photo and I don't know who did. But I like Bing. and I just watched White Christmas.

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