Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Your Last Act

When I was a teenager I worked for a while in a trendy little clothing shop at the mall. For the most part it was a fun job. I got to see my friends as they came in there to shop and I got a discount on clothes. What could be better for a teenage girl right? Working retail isn't all it's fun though. For some reason people find it easy to take out their aggressions on sales people. Now I have to admit I have been guilty of this a time or two as well. However they do have to do something to prompt it. I always feel bad after, and as the years roll by I try very hard to be nice to them.

I remember a lady came into the shop one day and she wanted to try on some clothes that were about two sizes too small for her. But it was the 80's and the customer was always right in those days so I smiled and helped her to a dressing room. She emerged about 15 minutes later and just ripped me apart because our clothes were "mislabeled" according to size. I realized at the time she was clearly having a bad day and didn't want to admit she had an increasing waistline. But I never forgot that woman.

I have witnessed other sales people receiving this type of harangue from angry customers over things that aren't their fault. Every time I see it I have the same thought...what if you left this shop and got into a fatal car accident? Now I know that probably seems morbid, but would you want that to be your last act on this earth? Would you really want the last thing you ever did in your life to be treating a stranger badly?

I did something stupid tonight and I thought I broke my hand. I popped a little bone on the outside out of place. I also bruised the bottom of my foot yesterday at the gym somehow. I have been sorta accident prone this week. I was in a lot of pain but I ran to a convenience store because R ran out of chips for his lunch. The guy behind the counter was so friendly. Despite being in pain and wanting to get back home, I chatted with him for a couple minutes and he really smiled broadly as I left. I am sure working the late shift at a convenience store is pretty lonely and tedious in its own right and I felt being pleasant and talking to someone for a couple minutes was something I could certainly do.

As I got in the car, for some reason I remembered that woman from all those years ago. And I was glad I wasn't like her. If I hadn't made it home for some reason I would have been content in the knowledge that my last act on this earth would have been to leave someone with a smile despite my own minor discomforts.

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