Monday, May 03, 2021

Next!

 We were standing in a line-up ready to check our groceries through. We'd waited about ten minutes and were now next in line. I could see the cashier finishing up and I knew once she'd cleaned the area we'd be good to go. Then out of nowhere a woman appeared, she wore flappable as if it was a couture line, she had in her hands a pre-wrapped sandwich, a bottle of water, and a fancy cupcake. She approached me and asked if she could go next, she had just a few things, then it all poured out.

It was short-staffed where she worked and her lunch hour was reduced to only the time it took to get something. "I never thought about the line-ups here, I should have thought of them, but really I have to get back, there are people depending on me." I glanced over at Joe and he smiled and we both agreed she should go ahead. She stepped in front of me just as it was time for her to go up and pay.

We heard it first, angry breathing, it was coming from the woman behind us in the line-up. She was some mad. As soon as we had eye contact, she lit into me, told me that I had no right to let that woman go in front of me, that my decision affected everyone waiting patiently in the queue. I registered shock on my face and said, "It was only a few things and she was pressured to get back to work. "How is that my fault?" she asked.

"It's not your fault, I said, "it was your cue to be kind."

Then, I was called up. We pulled our cart over to the side and said to her, "Go ahead, I inconvenienced you, this will hopefully make up for it.

She looked a bit chastened, but she went ahead.

5 comments:

ABEhrhardt said...

We're still ALL under such stress, even the vaccinated.

Kindness is a hard choice when you've been standing for a long time - and I have some sympathy for the woman after you, too. Maybe she had a sick child at home, or had to get to her mom's before herself having to go back to work.

It was kind of you to let her through, too.

theknapper said...

omg.....she went ahead
you were kind and gracious
maybe afterwards your words sunk in
Dr Henry would be proud of you if you were in BC
Her mantra is Be kind, Be calm, Be safe

Maven said...

I think you came up with the best possible solution. I don't think I would have been that kind and creative. Yea for you.

lexica said...

Ooh (as someone reading your recounting of it), that feels like such an aikido-like move. "I'm not going to confront you, I'm just going to move to the side so you can trip over your own unpleasant attitudes and assumptions."

mary said...

I see your point but frankly, if I had been in line and someone did that, I would be none too pleased. I would guess there were other people in line who may have been in a hurry. I'm a little shocked to think someone would try and jump a line like that. All that said, you were nice to let her in.