Tuesday, September 23, 2014


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.


Kelly said...

It's just as easy to be kind as it is to be angry or impatient.

That said, I don't always WANT to be kind (thinking of a specific case in point)....but I'm trying hard to make the right choices.

And the gentleman is right - don't take it personally when people vent to you.

Debby said...

You can't take it personally. We all understand why people are upset. We just can't really turn it around overnight. There is not one person there that doesn't wish we had a magic wand to fix it this very minute. But I try my best to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. There is no time to simply teach...we all are kind of learning on the fly.

Debby said...
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KarenTX said...

He was absolutely right! We've got the County Fair coming up and will hear all kinds of complaints. We try to help, direct them where they need to voice their complaint, but sometimes it's just not good enough. We wear bright yellow vests, so are the most visible committee on the fairgrounds and get every question imaginable! Sometimes you just have to shrug it off and say "I tried."

jeanie said...

Life is far too busy and venty - glad you allowed the lady her space to say and feel heard, but that man was worth a million more because he had a patience to see and be nice about it.

We need more of that in this world.

Bob said...

You realize the gentleman who spoke the kind word to you was an angel, don't you?