I meet hundreds of people in a day, one right after another. There is no time to talk, not really. Sometimes people recognize me and want to talk. "How's your daughter doing?" they will ask. And I will assure them that she's fine, but really, if I stopped to talk, the people standing in line behind would probably riot.
That's the way it is in this job. People stopping in to pick up a prescription on their lunch break, or before work, whatever, and they don't have time to wait. Unfortunately this is a transition time for my store. New people have been hired to replace the seasoned staff that left en masse, due to a conflict w/ corporate. So we are not as efficient as the staff we are replacing. There is a learning curve with the job, and we're all trying to negotiate that curve as best we can, but people are often angry and impatient.
I try to be as kind as I can, and as quick as I can, and once again, I realize the importance of a kind word. A customer was blasting me for the store's inefficiency. A very elderly man stood behind her watching in amazement. I apologized profusely. Repeatedly. But that is not what the woman wanted to hear. She wanted to vent her spleen, and so I let her, and then I moved on to the next customer.
The elderly man approached the counter, and leaned forward, making eye contact, and said with a faint accent, "You do a good job. You remember that. You do a good job, and this is NOT your fault." I've always known this, but once again, I realized the importance of kindness. I patted his hand and said, "Thank you. Sometimes it is good to be reminded." He said no more, but we completed the transaction and he went on his way.