The Shopping Situation

Remind everyone about the reason for the season. be nice to those around you.

Allow me to brag for just a little bit today. I hope you don’t mind, but it is one of those rare moments (okay maybe not so rare since I have a pretty healthy ego) that I am proud of myself or at least glad that God allowed me to look past my own pettiness just for a moment. Okay, so it is more of a God thing than a me thing, but we humans like our egos.

Last night, I did a little last minute shopping. I was tired and cranky as I am sure that most of the other shoppers were. I grabbed my purchases and stood in line. After about five minutes, one of the cashiers rolled her eyes at me and told me that the line started on the other end of the island. Okay, so the cashiers were a little cranky, too. After apologizing, I found my place in the real line, behind several different people. And waited and waited.

Some of the more creative shoppers were tag teaming their shopping. One person, the boss, would send out minions to retrieve items while he or she waited in line. Cranky me thought this might not be fair to the rest of us waiting in line.

When I finally got to the line, I noticed the cashiers just weren’t making eye contact. They were tired, they were stressed, they’ve had a much harder day than I had. They stated their required lines automatically without waiting for an answer. “Do you have a rewards card? Do you want to sign up for one?” They just wanted to get through the night.

The cashier that was ringing me up, the same eye rolling one, forgot a step and had to back out of each item and start all over again. The customer behind me sighed loudly. The cashier apologized profusely, and I could see her shoulders tense up as she braced herself. I knew she was expecting us to rant and rave.

What an opportunity I was given. I suddenly remembered what is what like when I worked retail during the holiday season. At that moment it became very clear to me that attitude can change everything sometimes.

Just a little sympathy for everyone’s situation, an expression of appreciation, and a joke or two worked wonders and the dark cloud around all of us began to lift. And this tiny little miracle happened. We were no longer feeling sorry for ourselves.

The cashiers and the customers all seemed to see each other as real people. Soon we were sharing fellowship and wishing each other Merry Christmas all around.

“Y’know,” the cashier told me (her name was Betty, by the way), I’ve been yelled at all day and was wondering getting through life was even worth it anymore. I’m glad that it is.”

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog