Sunday, November 29, 2009

"it coulda happened to anybody"

I keep meaning to blog about this... just because i want to remember it.

Last Monday Brad & i went to Walmart to get some things. The store was packed & the lines were long. I was tired & ready to get home. We picked a checkout line that didn't look as bad as others. We got in line & waited...& waited...& waited. A lady got in line behind us with her two kids. We waited some more.

I started to get impatient. What was going on?! Why is this taking so long, i wondered. I grumbled about it a little to Brad, but he wasn't bothered in the least. I remember at one point actually saying, "Why do i always get in the line behind people with issues?!" & he said, "We ALL have issues." Huh. So true. He has unending patience with things like this!

I definitely do not. There were 2 young women at the front of the line & something was wrong. I found out later that they didn't have the money or a credit card or something. The girl checking out had a $20 bill but that was all the cash she had. Come to find out, when she went to pay, she realized her card was not in her wallet. She was afraid to spend the last of her cash, if her credit/debit card was missing! Her friend had left, so i think she was going to look in the car or something.

The lady behind us started putting all her stuff back in her cart. She looked at me & made a face - not mad but just out of patience. Of course, with two kids in tow i can understand! But there was no way we were going to do that! I knew that the minute i put all my stuff back in our cart & walked away, the other girl would come running back. And sure enough- that lady behind us finished reloading her cart, turned around & before she was even out of the aisle, the other girl came running back & it was our turn! 

The card had fallen in their car. So the girl paid & checked out & all was well. She thanked the check out girl very sincerely for waiting. It was now our turn & the check out girl said to us, "Y'all are the most patient people ever! Thank you!" & as Brad was saying, "Oh, it's no problem. No sense getting upset over it", i was thinking, "i'm pretty sure i was NOT acting like the most patient person!". And then the girl explained what was going on, why they were taking so long. She said, "You know, that coulda happened to anybody."

That stuck with me for some reason. It was just the way she said it. It's rare that a point like that is made that sticks with me. But it's so true. That could have happened to anybody. Why should i get so impatient & upset & annoyed with things like that? She is so right. It definitely could have happened to anyone. And i know if it was me, i would be so thankful for the kindness of that checkout girl. I think it struck me because that is so RARE these days. Customer service people have no concern or care for people's needs. Everyone's patience is running thin. Including mine. ESPECIALLY mine.

I am a very nonjudging person. I can see past people's mistakes to who they really are or who they could be. I can overlook any personality flaw. AND YET- when it comes to waiting in line or sitting in traffic or answering the phones at work... my patience is GONE. Out the window. I want them to move NOW. I have things to do, places to go, people to see!! MOVE IT OR LOSE IT is kind of my attitude. =P

But i am still thinking of that checkout girl at Walmart. She was probably 20 years old. She could have been impatient with those people like so many others would have been. I used to work at a gift shop & definitely got impatient with customers who could not make up their minds!! Being a checkout girl is not a fun job & i can understand how any of them could get impatient with customers doing things like that! Forgetting items & running back to get them, or forgetting their wallet at home. But this girl was thinking of others, which is truly how we ALL should be!

I hope that i remember what that girl said anytime i start to get impatient. "It coulda happened to anybody" - SO TRUE. And i know that i would want people to think this if i was the one holding up the line.


  1. That IS a good lesson! Thanks for sharing.

    I'm sitting here thinking you guys must have been standing in line FOREVER... but that's because everything already moves slower in the south haha. Seriously... anytime I go somewhere south people just move slower. It's a good thing... but it takes time to adjust to it.

  2. Thanks for sharing. What a sweet story. We all get caught up sometimes with all we have to do and places we need to go, but truly that girl could have been any of us. Thanks for reminding us to be patient and understanding this time of year. Have a great day!

  3. It sure is a great lesson! Thanks for sharing.

    On time my grandma and I were talking about situations like this because I am just like you with the MOVE IT OR LOSE IT attitude, and she said, well, if you were in their situation would you act they way they did or do what they did? When I think about what is going on with that person and imagine myself in their shoes it really turns things around for me.

    I love that this girl has stayed on your mind. :-)

  4. YOu know, I miss "wally-world", but not the lines. And I'm like you, though, can't stand those LONG waites in lines. I think I prefer zero customer service, and pple hitting me with their buggies or wanting "crawl up my butt" than the LONG waits!

    But good lesson, hard to bear in mind, but very good point!

    Sorry I'm not feeling so hot, so I'm a little bitt of a sour puss! LOVE YA THOUGH!


Comments are my favorite.