At work today, I overheard a customer yelling at another customer because "this is an express line! Can't you read?! TEN ITEMS OR LESS." Wow. Calm the hell down, sir. First of all... I'd rather my cashiers ring people up with a billion items than to turn them away. I really don't give a damn what the posted signs say. In fact, I think it is rather poor customer service to even have such signs, since a lot of people don't look at them anyway, which causes annoyance from all parties involved (sometimes involving my cashiers, who can be whiny if I haven't bribed them with chocolate and cookies that day). Secondly, the woman offender had fifteen items. Fifteen. In a "ten items or less, please" aisle. It's not like she had a hundred items, or even thirty. She had fifteen. Heaven forbid.
But mostly it really bothered me how annoyed this other guy was. WHO CARES how many items she had?! Really now. Do you have somewhere urgent you need to be? If so, you probably shouldn't have come into your local retail-giant-super-store. On a Saturday. And expected to be out in a flash. Really sir. Poor planning on your part. And if that's the biggest problem you have to face today, well then you're a really damn lucky guy, and I'd love to change lives with you for the day. Really. I would. Not that I have it particularly bad either, but my goodness! To really get into an argument with someone over how many items they have in their shopping cart? Find a happy thought, sir. Or, if you'd prefer, find a sad thought. I have plenty of sad thoughts to share with you - take your pick. How about the fact that I have a twenty-two-year-old friend who has cancer, and has been in the hospital now for almost a month straight. I bet she wishes she could go to her local retail-giant-super-store, just because it would mean that she was allowed out of isolation. Or how about my co-worker's grandson, who is only three and is surely too young to understand why the big mean doctors and nurses won't stop poking him, or what he did that was so bad that he had to be taken away from his brothers and made to lay in a certainly uncomfortable bed. He probably has no idea why everyone is crying all the time around him now, or why a complete stranger just sent him a stuffed animal (and a really cool spongebob coloring book!).
Want some more sad stories, sir? I am sure I can find you a few.
So, Mr. Impatient Shopper at the local retail-giant-super-store... how about instead of being angry that some lady got into the line with too many items, you thank God that you woke up this morning. Thank Him for allowing you to be healthy enough to walk in and shop. Those facts alone make you luckier than a lot of people today.
I've started lately to let things roll off of my back. I mean, things still bother me - I'm only human after all. But in the end, I have a lot to be happy about, and a lot to be thankful for. Seeing so much suffering lately, and the people who have banded together to get these two young people through these times, has renewed my faith in the human spirit, and filled me with hope and pride. Good job, world. Good job.