I made a quick stop at Walgreens today to pick up some creamer for Haley before going over to her place to pick up the key to her apartment. Actually, the trip to Haley’s was on my way to school so I actually stopped by Walgreens so that I can stop by Haley’s on my way to my Anatomy and Physiology class over at the Southeast campus of HCC (ugh). As you can imagine, I was in somewhat of a hurry so I was glad to see that there were two cashiers open: one with 2 guys who both had carts and another with 2 women who both had a few random items. Golly gee, the obvious choice would be, of course, to get in line with the women right? NO! For the second time in two days at that Walgreens, I was held up by people ahead of me trying to cash in on some sort of coupon. I didn’t really mind because I’d alloted enough time for me to do everything I need and get to class in time.
What I did mind was the way the first lady customer was treating the cashier. It was obvious that the cashier, a nice Indian lady, was having some issues with the register. As someone who’s had a number of part-time jobs working in customer service, believe me when I say that those systems can get complicated and having an impatient or rude customer prodding you while you figure it out can be frustrating. Have you ever worked the cash wrap at Abercrombie with a million teenage girls and their mothers in line yapping at you about price tags, returns and receipts… during the Christmas season? Let me tell you, it’s no pic-nic. So immediately, this poor Walgreens clerk had my sympathy. And it wasn’t like the customer was just being impatient, she was flat out telling her how to do her job! “Enter 33 cents and scan it, enter 33 cents again and scan it and enter 33 cents again and scan that.” YES! All of this just so she can get 3 packs of gum for 99 cents! When I realized this, I suddenly felt horrible that I’m just standing there watching all of this happen but I knew that if I reacted, my good mood streak would just be ruined.
So I decided to wait it out and figured that it’s only a few minutes out of everyone’s day and it would all be over soon. Indeed, it all got figured out and the lady went on her way. The Walgreens clerk shot an uncomfortable smile to her co-worker on the other register. Next was the Asian lady in front of me… and wouldn’t you know it, she was rude to this lady too! Now, I don’t know what it is but I just get really bothered and embarrassed when I see another Asian person acting a fool in public places. I mean, it’s not like I’m related to them. This ho does not come to Friday night dinners at my house. I don’t call her Ate. And I certainly do not care that the pack of cigarettes she’s purchasing might very well kill her. She wasn’t even Filipino! So even though my initial thoughts were “Oh heck no!” I had to suppress that and instead, I decided to be extra nice to her when it was my turn. Who am I to be judging the two ladies in front of me for their actions? For all I know, both of them could be having the worst days of their lives.
So when I walked up to this nice Indian lady, I made a point to ask her how she was doing and give her a genuine smile so she’d know that the rest of her day can get better. It was a nice awkward moment we shared since in my effort to make her feel comfortable, I completely forgot that it was her job to ask me how I was doing. We ended up asking and answering each other at the same time, which I thought to be funny. Our 30-50 second encounter made a big difference in her expression and I saw the stress and panic disappear even if for a moment. I hope the rest of her day was ok because she definitely made my day.