I work at a grocery store during the summer so I can pay my college expenses. Being a cashier in itself is not a particularly fun job, but some of the people that you meet and some of the things you see do make you smile.
Today there was an old lady, probably in her eighties, who seemed awfully frail and had trouble putting her groceries on the conveyor belt. A lady who had planned to come through my line paused a minute, the information that an old lady who couldn’t get her groceries on a belt would take too long slowly reaching her brain. Now, most people see that and walk to the next available register because they’re in a hurry to do something. They’re usually very important things, like “get home and watch TV”, “get my car washed” or “get home to sit down”.
Sadly, this shows how much our society has become one that stays in fourth gear, whether it be actual driving or grocery shopping. With the latest technologies making everything faster and more accessible, people have become used to getting what they want when they want it without waiting. Only a few hours ago, I was complaining to my brother about how my internet connection was slow today because my espn homepage didn’t come up ten seconds after I clicked it. This coming from the person whose home computer at 13 was a Windows ’97. That thing was slow as snails and waiting five minutes for anything to happen, and I’m not exaggerating, actually five minutes, taught me the true virtue of patience. I still have that virtue (Thank God…no, seriously, I thank Him every day), but I do think that I have lost a little bit of it because of the technological fast-speed world we live in today. Looking back, I used to get a kick out of those Comcast Slowskys’ commercials, because they were always talking about how they didn’t want things to go faster, and sometimes, I think maybe that would be for the better.
Anyway, back to the story. So, naturally I expected this younger lady to start walking to the next register, ignoring this older lady’s obvious predicament, because no one these days seems to ever care about anyone other than themselves. To my surprise, this lady asked the elder if she needed help, put down her own stuff, and started moving the old lady’s stuff onto the conveyor belt, something that made me smile. People don’t do this enough, which brings me to my first WordsofWisTIM:
1) Do something nice for someone else.
Look to better someone other than yourself. Pay it Forward. If you don’t know what “pay if forward” means, I strongly suggest you look it up, or click on the link I provide here. Pay it Forward is also a great movie by the way if you haven’t seen it. You can see a trailer for it if you’re interested here.
Now the second part of this story occurred late this afternoon, when, like I normally do, I asked a customer if they were having a good day. The man, bald, chubby, and in his forties, replied “fine” in a nasally voice. Some of my friends have jokingly said that I have a nasally voice, and so I have received the nickname “Squidward”. I didn’t know if he was making fun of my voice or not, so I decided to let it go. After I finished bagging his groceries and handing him his receipt with my customary, “Have a nice day”, he replied “Thanks, fruit”, and walked away.
Now, regardless of what side you are on in regards to the gay marriage debate, calling someone a fruit has no benefits at all. That made me very angry and the only reason I didn’t a) jump over the counter and start pounding on him or b) start an expletive-filled tirade, was because I was so shocked by what I had just heard. It was uncalled for. I had done nothing that offended him or anything, nothing wrong in the slightest, but I was made a mockery in my own workplace. This brings me to my second WordsofWisTIM:
2) Don’t be “that guy”.
If your goal in life is to do things like this, please feel free to move to Canada, Mexico, or if possible, another planet. No one wants you, “that guy”, around where they live, work, or hang out. They don’t want to be associated with you nor have to deal with you on a regular basis. If there were less of “you people” in the world, it would be a better place.