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The Grocery Store

I don’t like to waste time in the grocery store.

I like to be in and out fast.

One day, around 7AM, I was getting my week’s food shopping done early.

Hardly anyone is in the store at that hour.

Just the way I like it.

Once I get to the check out, I start piling my groceries on the conveyor belt.

I have two teenagers, so it’s a lot of food.

Three gallons of milk, four loaves of bread, etc.

There is only one check out lane open at 7AM since hardly anyone shops at that time.

Then, someone gets in line behind me and starts to make noises like they are irritated.

Dramatic sighs. Shifting from one foot to the other. Seemingly very impatient.

A few minutes go by as I continue to load up the conveyor belt and the clerk continues to scan my items.

Than, I suddenly realize that I recognize the impatient shopper behind me…He’s an administrator at the preschool my kids attended ages ago.  And he’s holding just one item to buy.

Just then, the clerk points out that another check out line has just opened up to the irritated shopper in line behind me.

The disgruntled shopper (pre-school administrator) makes several rude comments to the clerk and stomps off in the direction of the other check out station.

In response, the clerk checking my items looks around with confusion and anger.

I told the clerk, “It’s not you. It’s him. Turns out I know that guy. And he’s not really a jerk, he just acts like one sometimes.”

The clerk did not say anything in return, he simply continued to scan the rest of my items in silence.

When my receipt finally printed, the clerk held it out in his hand for me to take.

I reached out to take the receipt.

Instead of instantly letting go of his end of it, the clerk held on to it for just a moment.

When my eyes met his, he said, “Thank you”. And I could tell he truly meant it.

The 5 seconds I took to put the check out clerk at ease went a long way.

Sometimes, it’s good to slow down…even if just for a moment.

Give it some thought…