Friday, August 30, 2013

Miscalculated

You know when you go to store and find the shortest line. There's a lady almost done with her large order and you hear those dreaded words '"Oh, I'm going to have to take a couple things off". The guy behind you sighs and switches lanes, but you feel stuck because most of you groceries are already on the belt. You try to look sympathetic as she looks your way and apologizes. The lady starts digging through items that have already been bagged. Her children seem to take this as their cue to start arguing about whose turn it is on the mechanical pony, and come whining to her just as she hands back the box of donuts. Her child witnesses this and cries out about not getting the donuts and how she had promised they could have them. Her other children start pushing at each other and messing around. She's trying to comfort one child, discipline the others, and still dig through her items, to reach a manageable total.You can tell she is both embarrassed by her children's behavior as well as having to void off so many items, you're thinking just get out of the store already. You see the guy who switched lanes walking out the store with his order bought and bagged; just as the lady finally leaves.

We've all been there right, behind the dreaded "Please void this" lady. How many of us have been that lady? Today that lady was me. Those misbehaving kids were mine. That stack of voided items were mine. It's a horrible feeling opening your wallet and realizing that the $50 that was there, you spent it two days ago on gas; and now you have to be the "Please void this" lady.  I can tell you I wanted to get out of the store as fast as the lady behind me wanted me out. My kids wanted to get out of the store as fast as the lady behind me wanted them out.

How to you respond when we get stuck behind THAT lady?  Do you empathize with her, knowing how she might be feeling? Are you the guy who sighs heavily and switches lanes?