I picked William up from school today, and we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items. On the way there, we had a talk. He'd had quite an tantrum the previous day and I wanted to talk to him about it. I knew that his heart broke a little when he said good bye to his Aunt Cara, but I reminded him that he was in second grade now. "If you are upset, you're old enough to use your words. You do not throw a tantrum."
He listened, and he agreed. "I was being immature," he said. He explained to me how maturely he had behaved in school that day and I told him that I was proud of him.
We went into the store and picked up some supplies for the next few days. I am having some surgery and wanted to give Tim some easy meal options.
We were waiting behind a man who had a cart with three cases of water, two in the back, one balanced in the seat. There were also two bags of coffee beans.
I was setting my things on the conveyor and I heard him say, "This needs to be rung up separately." I didn't watch closely, but his hand hovered over the coffee. I continued setting my things on counter.
I heard her give the total. I heard him flip. "That's not right!" he exclaimed. But he handed over the cash and she finished the transaction. He snatched his change and receipt, and really began to rant. "This is for the three cases of water!"
She looked confused. "Right," she said. "I'll ring up the coffee now."
He had wanted the one of the waters rung up with the coffee. "When I tell you to ring things up separately, I mean what I say," he growled. His anger was way out of proportion to the situation.
I stood there watching this. The man had set nothing on the conveyor. The water had been rung up from a card at her register. A reasonable person would have set the two coffees on the counter and asked her to ring that up with one of the waters, but he was not reasonable. He was disgusted and he made his disgust known. The cashier was a young girl. She apologized profusely and kept a smile on her face. He continued to rant.
I stood behind him and waited. She waited for him to pay. He finally swiped his card, muttering and punching the buttons. Then he grabbed his cart and took his rage right out the door.
The cashier looked at me and said, "Did you find everything you needed today?"
I said, "Yes. I did, and I just want to say that you did a very good job with a very unhappy customer. It was a misunderstanding."
She said, "I've been here for four years. Most people are great."
She was ringing up my stuff and I was swiping my card and William and I headed for the car, William clutching the stuffed toy he'd picked up for his new cousin, Iris.
Wouldn't you know it? The angry man was parked next to me and he stood glaring at me in a very angry manner. I ignored him. He glared. I'm not sure why he was so angry at me but maybe he was pissed at the whole world. I don't know. Some folks are like that.
William climbed in the car talking a blue streak about his present for Iris and I returned the cart. As I got into my own car, I heard him cuss and then saw him striding purposefully back to the store. I watched carefully. He headed straight in the exit. He was going back in to complain to the cashier or her supervisor.
Quite a tantrum, all of it over three cases of water and two bags of coffee beans.
What a world we live in.