So, I'm waiting on customers at the Tractor Supply, and a fellow pays me, collects his things and heads off, leaving me calling, "Hey! You forgot your change!" He came back, embarrassed, and the Amish fellow standing behind him says, "Well, if he doesn't want his change, I think that you should give it to the customer behind him," and he grinned broadly. The Amish used to be quiet around me, but heaven knows, I can't be quiet to save my life, and I teased a couple, and the next thing you know, they're giving as good as they get. They're not the quiet sober folks they started out as.
So, anyhoo, the line has a laugh about the whole thing and the man takes his change, and heads off once again. I wait on the Amish fellow, look up his tax exempt stuff, and he hands me the money. As I'm getting his change, he suddenly groans, realizing that he forgot the very thing that he'd come into the store to get. Much to my surprise, he darts off quickly, leaving his stuff on the counter and me holding his change. His friend, standing behind him, flashes a smile in his own beard. I said, "What was it he said? That the change should just go to the customer behind him?" And the Amish man behind him laughed out loud and said, "I heard him say that very thing," and the line laughed once again as vague protestations rose up from the customer over somewhere in the chainsaw section. I finally got the two of them taken care of and on their way, not without a good dollop of good natured ribbing.The customer behind THEM was surprised at their good nature. I rang her up and listened. "Nah," I said. "They have a reserved nature, initially, but take that as a caution: they give as good as they get." She listened and she said, "Well, what I can't stand about them is that they don't pay taxes."
And there it was. Prejudice. It was prejudice based on a myth.
"They pay taxes," I said. I explained that the tax exempt status meant that they did not pay sales tax through the year. Like many 'English' farmers, they're banking on the notion that their exemptions at the end of the year will balance out what they owe. They're no more tax exempt than a Methodist or a Catholic.
She stood there. "I did not realize this." She was not a unkind woman. I could see this. She was good natured too. She left and I went on to the next customer.
People do that a lot, you know. They've never met you, or talked to you, but based on something that they heard, they don't like you. I don't get that, but don't ever miss a chance to say a good thing.