It's interesting how things work out, isn't it? I was actually sick when I went to work. I was working with a young man who's actually an acquaintance of Cara's, also home for the summer. He was there for the 'scene' of the previous day, and he felt strongly that the manager's behavior was totally uncalled for. He spent the rest of his shift listening to her muse on the subject. "I was going to apologize, but..." etc. From that, I was able to figure out that she, on some level, realized that she had behaved badly. For my part, I was reactionary. I try very hard not to be, but I was emotional too. So that made me feel a little better as I scooted around mopping the floor and doing the things that you're supposed to be doing when you're not waiting on customers.
There is an elderly man that comes into the store and gets a couple coffees once a day. We've spoken in a friendly way since I began work there. He liked our place but was having a single consistant and annoying problem when he went to other gas stations from our chain. I explained to him how to solve his problem, and also pointed out the number to corporate on his receipt. "It's a training issue," I said. "Like as not, the person simply has never had anyone teach her how to do this." He was quite friendly about it, and was much happier when I saw him next. My solution had worked perfectly, and the girl at the counter had been pleased to learn something new. A win-win situation. Anyways, we were busy, I was on my own, and he waited patiently watching the customers, watching me. Finally it was his turn. I thanked him for his gracious patience, and rang him up: two coffee refills, just like usual. By then it was just he and I in the store, and there was time. I was getting his change from the drawer and he asked, "How do you like working here?" I was a little startled, but I said, "Oh, the job is okay. I like people. But sometimes it gets too busy. I try my very best, but I get flustered and screw up. Yesterday, I got yelled at, and I got mad back...I'm worried about losing the job..." I kind of trailed off. He smiled. He told me something that he observed each and every time that he came to our store. He complimented me, and took a moment to say an encouraging thing. Customers came in, and he quietly left the store, but you know, I felt much better. What he had observed was something that had been eating at me as an unjust situation. Simply knowing that I was not the only one to see it that way made me feel much better.
It made me realize, once again, we all have the power to make someone's day better.
Well, my second cup of coffee is done. I've got two monster exams this morning. I have studied myself stupid for them. Let's hope I don't get flustered there. Time for me to get this day under way. Where ever you are, make it a better place to be today. Make a difference.