I was your customer yesterday at Walmart. It was a bad week at my house. The washing machine rolled over and died, then the clock radio committed suicide too. Funny thing, I woke up without the radio to screech at me, but I figured I’d better not depend on waking up spontaneously forever.
I figured I’d just pop in yesterday, get a radio and kitty litter and then go on home as I had a lot of better things to do than hang around at Walmart looking at the plants and talking to the greeter, especially with the washing machine on the blink.
Well, the problem was that everybody else in town must have been out of kitty litter too. There was a mob there – actually there is always a mob there on Saturday. Honestly, Jason, it is worse than I-24 in rush hour, people crawling all over each other like ants at a pancake breakfast.
I picked out a nice radio. That took me about five minutes. I liked the digital one with the big green numbers that I can see at night without my bifocals. Problem is that “policy” said I had to pay for it in the electronic department. I could not go to the front registers to check out with it even though it was a $20 item. I had to stand in line in the electronic department with other irritated, red-faced, customers in the same boat.
We converged on the cash register like a bunch of charging bulls with our groceries, basketballs, drug items, kitty litter, baby food, and even a few honest-to-goodness electronic items. I thought I’d perish with fatigue before I got to the front of the line. Customers and shopping buggies were wound around the electronics department, down the aisle – out the back door and down the Interstate for all I know.
You were there by yourself, Jason, with only one cash register open for the entire electronics department, one young man against an angry mob. Without even a whip or a bullhorn, you stood there checking stuff out, smiling and never becoming impatient. When I got to the front at last, you didn’t even bat an eye when I asked you to check out 12 bags of mulch along with my $20 radio. You checked out my marigolds, my kitty litter, my cucumbers and baby food for my grandson. Like all the rest of the whacko customers, I didn’t want to go to the front and wait yet another 30 minutes to pay for my non-electronic items.
You are a hero, Jason. You work at a menial job doing drudgework. You deal with irritate customers that are frustrated not with you, but with the system. I don’t even know your last name, but I do know that you are a good person. You deal with people and treat them with politeness and courtesy. You do not hide behind the scenes and avoid the raging masses of humanity, as the managers seem to do.
I was impressed with you, Jason. I think you should get a promotion. I don’t know how much you make there, but it could not possibly be reward enough for the job you do. I think you deserve a raise – a big one! You were just trying to do your job. But, you were doing more than should ever be fairly expected of one employee, and you were doing it with a smile and a “thank you.”
And so, Jason, this is my tribute to you and to the others like you, who labor daily unrecognized and unrewarded, those who give all and ask for no praise in return, but only want to do a good job and help other people in some small way. That is something we no longer have enough of in in the world.
I don’t know you, Jason, and you don’t know me. You were my sales clerk and I was your customer. Our lives passed briefly for a few fleeting moments, and you made mine a little bit easier. I just want to say thanks!