I have a weekly ritual that I haven’t changed for 15 years. I make out my grocery list Sunday morning and do my shopping later that day. I never deviate from going to my favorite store that always has everything I need. One of the reasons that I’ve stuck with this store is because I know that checking out is consistently fast.
Anyway, one week, while I was checking out, I noticed this woman working two lanes down. She was ringing people up and talking to them the whole time. There was an energy about her that made her special. She didn’t take the smile off her face and she ended the experience by singing a little song. Not only did the customers seem happy by the time they left but it was apparent that the other workers loved her too.
Four days ago, I needed to run into the store to pick up a few things for dinner. When I came to the checkout lanes, I scanned to see if my favorite worker was there. I spotted her working two lanes down, doing her job with a smile on her face. I proceeded to get in the lane and wait for my experience. However, the person ahead of me was having some difficulty with her order. Many of the cashiers crowded around to try to help as the situation turned into a long process. I questioned whether I should pick up all my groceries on the belt and move them to another lane, but I didn’t want to lose my chance to spend time with my favorite cashier.
The whole snafu probably took 10 extra minutes but it felt like much longer. I watched my favorite cashier keep her composure and handle the situation. I realized that at times, I was feeling frustrated but I reminded myself to have a little patience and let the feeling pass.
When it was my turn to be rung up, she brightly greeted me and started a conversation. As we continued to talk, she thanked me for having so much patience. She shared that she really had to work on her attitude while attending to the previous customer. I admitted that I also had to focus on keeping calm and not getting frustrated. The exchange ended with us laughing a bit and she eventually pulled at my hand, encouraging me to join her in song about her store. I walked out in a really great mood.
When I was driving home, I gave thought to the whole experience. Being a cashier at a grocery store was probably not this woman’s dream career. However, I’ve never met anyone that seemed to have such a great time at work. I believe her comment about working on her attitude had much to do with it. She wanted to enjoy life and live in the moment. She was capable of finding a way to ride the waves and look on the bright side, even when things didn’t go her way. She was aware of her thoughts and feelings and how that translated into her behavior.
It was obvious that she made the best of life even when it wasn’t perfect. This resilient woman CHOSE to live a vibrant, happy life. The effect on others was incredible.
I hope that I get to see her the next time I go shopping.