An hour or two later I sat on the couch to watch the news, since I was still awake. Instead of watching the news though, I saw the back of my eyelids and don't even remember the first commercial after the "Eleven at 11". Guess I was tired. I didn't sleep long though because God blessed me with the transition I prayed for and clarity for the presentation. I jumped, and I mean jumped up, the rottie even startled, and raced to the front room to grab my notepad and a marker.
I wrote three pages of notes with the idea, placed it with the other things I printed and started before stopping, and then went back to sleep. So exciting. I'll share a snip-it later in the weekend or next week but don't want to give away all the fun until after I've shared with the beautiful Baptist women who invited me to speak. Since I'm not revealing my presentation, let me tell you about my short trip to Oswego tonight.
We arrived with my parent's grocery list, a mini-grocery list for our house, and my presentation supply list in hand. Our goal was simple, return a couples and then find the items on our list. Happily, our task was accomplished and we looked forward to heading over for the enlargement BUT before we could get there, the service turned my smile to a cranky and disappointed face.
First the cashier's jerky driving of the conveyer belt knocked the new bike helmet I for Mary off, on to the floor with a bounce, and a slide. I turned ready to smile and say "Don't worry about it." but the cashier didn't apologize, she just glanced at me because I hadn't picked it up. Okay, we all have bad days and maybe she didn't realize it fell. It's our turn to cash out now and I look up say, "Hi, busy tonight?" Guess what, no response, not even a smile.
Okay, first the helmet and now not even a welcome. She scanned the cubes of soda for my parents, looked at me and said, "You can put those in your cart now." I just stood there and looked at her. She crossed her arms and waited. I didn't know what to say, all that came out was, "I thought this was your job." Please don't misunderstand, I don't expect anyone to put my groceries directly in my cart, but usually they slide them to the other side so they can continue scanning the groceries. Not tonight, she crossed her arms and waited for me to get them out of her way. My head was shaking so much I probably looked like I had a neck spasm.
We had two orders and I placed the divider bar between. She scanned the one item for my next order and then looked at me, "I said, have a good night." I just stared at her and before could speak Mary saved the day, "Oh, that's ours too. We put the bar there so they would be separate." The cashier looked at Mary, back to this dazed and confused Me, and then said, "Oh, your total is..." With my receipts and change I thanked her and told her to have a good night but she was already sharing her lack of charm with the next customer.
I wanted to let the kid know he impressed me so I said, "I didn't realize they turn on a dime, nice job." No response, not even a nod of recognition. I could feel the neck spasm return and then I noticed it. He was wearing ear buds and listening to his favorite music so he didn't even hear me. I'm not sure which offended me more that the workers are allowed to wear ear buds while working or the lack of customer service for the store as a whole.
We loaded the groceries into the car and headed to the office supply store. The last I knew, they closed at 8 p.m. Well...you guessed it, they close earlier, 7 p.m. to be exact. We arrived at the door at 6:58 p.m. One of the workers was standing outside having a cigarette as I walked up and saw the sign on the door. I asked, "Are you closed?" She said "Not yet but if you have something quick, you can run in." Of course they had brought all the sidewalk displays in so there was a mere path through the entrance. I said "Well I guess we're not going in, I have a copying job and enlargement." She didn't respond but instead, took another puff of her smoke. Grr....
I remember a time when a place close and then cleaned up and shut things down for the night. The complete opposite in today's world. Now they start sweeping, cleaning, packing up, and logging out thirty minutes to an hour ahead so that when the store is closed, the only thing left to do is lock the door and leave. It's a different world.
As I shared my vent with Ed while putting away groceries I had a realization, "Have I just gotten old?" We both laughed. There is truth to this statement yet I don't think this is all the issue is. Times have changed. Stores are open on Sunday, open twenty-four hours a day, and even have fast food dinner options at the check out area.
One of my favorite aspects of shopping when we were little was the interaction with the people. The cashiers always seemed to ask questions to my Mom that were evidence they "knew" and "cared" about my
Mom. I'm a realist and don't expect a super store or large office supply to know or have the time to inquire of life but some human interaction and decency would be nice. Right? Am I wrong here?
On the flip side, I've been to both these stores in the past and had nothing but wonderful service too. I always try to talk to the staff whether they are stocking the shelf, cashing me out, or gathering carts because we're all human and doing what we need to do in order to provide for our families.
I apologized to Mary for responding with crankiness in the car and asked her forgiveness. She chuckled and said, "You don't usually let people get to you. And those were the first people that didn't end up smiling by the time you left their register. Very strange." Then we laughed again. I said, "I'm so blogging this." More laughter.