My local grocery hires people of differing levels of ability and gives them an opportunity to earn a living wage during the day when the store is not busy. I appreciate that.
So, I had to pick up a few items today and went a bit out of my way to shop there and support them. They weren’t that busy so each register had just two or three people in line and because I was in a rush to get back to work, I passed 8 registers until I came upon one that had only one person in line. (Y’all, my ass has NO patience!)
The guy working Register 9 used to bag the groceries but he hung in there and tried his best every time he came to work and now he’s a cashier. I know this because he told me.
He was a good bagger but he likes being a cashier better because you get to talk to all of the nice people because you have to talk to people to get to know who they are and that’s a part of his job – customer service. I know this because he effin’ told me this, too.
Only problem is he’s not that good at talking to customers and ringing up groceries at the same time…but he’s working on it. I know this because despite my hurried attempts to rush him along, he stopped ringing out my shit to tell me that, too.
So after 10 minutes in line and another 15 minutes to ring up my THREE items, including a pack of gum that I nonchalantly tossed on the belt at the last minute, I left the market frustrated but strangely also encouraged that I was indeed smart enough to figure out the iOS 7 download because he did it and now he can play games on his phone. And if he can do it, I can do it, too, if I don’t give up. I know this because this is yet another thing he told me….today…while I was in line…waiting for my three items…including the pack of gum…for 25 minutes…total.
As I stood there trying to keep my whole head from exploding, somehow I heard a little voice (no, not THAT one…the good one) tell me to shut the hell up and LOOK at this man who, in just 25 minutes, somehow managed to exemplify tenacity, commitment, vulnerability, kindness, encouragement and mindfulness – qualities that I struggle with every day. But more importantly, I caught a glimpse of someone who learned to value what really matters above all this other b.s. in our daily lives – our connectedness as human beings – and is paying it forward every chance he gets.
Next time I’m there, I’ll ask for him by name.