A BIG SHOUT OUT
Posted: December 24, 2015
As I wormed my way through isle after isle in various stores today, I thought about all the retail sales clerks and wondered how they keep their cool and a smile on their faces during the madness of the Christmas shopping season. While the majority of customers are patient and often, pleasant, while waiting in long lines, there are some who must be an enormous challenge to deal with during this frenzied time of year. They complain about the lines, the prices, not being able to find what they wanted, the crowds, the service, about the weather, etc. I just want to give a big shout out to all the hard-working sales clerks who deal with the public non-stop from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Most of them are not getting paid a decent wage. Many of them are doing this as a second job or working extra hours on their regular jobs and don’t have much time for preparing for their own holiday celebrations. I imagine it’s hard for them to create a magical Christmas for their own families, because they are getting burned out from the constant hustle and bustle going on all around them. I am guessing they don’t get regular breaks and are standing in the same spot for hours on end. I have to say, I haven’t run into a rude clerk at all this year and they all seemed to appreciate being asked, “How is your day going?”
Sadly, my daughter, Amber, and her family, witnessed a horrific scene in Walmart in Brookings the other day. A woman started walking up to a checkout lane, but when she looked up she said loud enough for all those around to hear, “Oh I am not going to be checked out by a black man,” and she turned and walked to another isle. My daughter quickly stated loudly, “Well, I’d love to be checked out by a black man!” and moved to his lane. The young man was clearly shaken up, but Amber told him what a wonderful job he was doing and thanked him for his good customer service. When the transaction was completed, with tears welling up in his eyes, he thanked Amber for her kind words and stated that no one had ever told him he was doing a good job.
I don’t know who the racist woman was, but I am so ashamed for her. I cannot imagine how anyone can feel so superior to another human being, especially because of the color of their skin. I cannot imagine a person behaving in such a vile manner as to speak out such a statement. I cannot image this woman has many close friends or relationships. I wished I knew her story, but all I can do is feel sorry for her that she has such a selfish, limited view of the world.
On a positive note, having witnessed the situation, my ten year old grandson, Michael Towers, has vowed that he is going to study harder in school, become a lawyer, run for governor, then later on for President of the United States. Because of this woman’s crude and cruel comments, his dream is now to become the first part Native American president and he wants to use his power to do more about racism in this country. He was sickened by this woman’s treatment of another human being. Michael, I am so proud of you for wanting to be a part of the solution to this issue. You’ll have my vote!
I would also like to give a shout out to all the package delivery personnel who work tirelessly and extra hours to ensure that we all receive our orders before Christmas. They, too, must have to scramble to make Christmas memories in their own lives. Without them, many presents wouldn’t be given and they deserve our thanks! Thanks also to all the postal service employees who deal with hours and hours of lines of people mailing packages and cards, while trying to be pleasant with the public. I had one UPS clerk smiling the other day. She told me how expensive it was going to be to ship my large package of gifts to my grandkids and asked if I still wanted to send it. I said, “Well I guess it’s cheaper than renting a sleigh.” She chuckled and I felt good about putting a little humor in her day. Sure I hated the cost of the shipping, but it certainly isn’t the clerk’s fault. All I could do was make the best of the situation and any time I can make someone laugh, I’m having a good day.
I also witnessed the true spirit of Christmas in the Dollar Store the other day. A little boy about four or five years old, after going through the line with his mom and walking almost to the door, turned and told the sales clerk, “Merry Christmas!” He had a big smile on his face. His mother didn’t prompt him either. The sales clerk smiled and chuckled and wished him a Merry Christmas back. You could tell it made her day.
My Christmas wish this year is for everyone to think about their words and how damaging they can be when they blurt out hurtful and/or negative things. We all can do better in this area and if we work a little harder, we just might change the world for the better.
Merry Christmas everyone!