Tag Archives: kindness

Is common courtesy a thing of the past?

1 Jan

All the things I could have said!

All the things I could have said!

Honestly? It ticked me off 3 days ago and when I think about now, I’m still ticked off!

I was waiting in line at a shoe store with my DH to pay for a pair of winter boots. There was another customer in front of us and the transaction was taking an unusually long time. After about 10 minutes, the cashier called for another employee to open up the second cash register.

At the same time she called for the other employee, another customer entered the store, heard the announcement and immediately ran (literally ran) to the other register. This customer was no kid. I would guess that she was in her late 40’s – possibly early 50’s. My husband and I walked around the circle to wait in line behind her and all the while I’m seething.

And I’m pretty sure she realized at that point that she was “line crashing” because she raised her voice and explained to the cashier that she was just making a “quick exchange.”

Quick Exchange??? Let’s see.
-Return one product back into inventory.
-Refund money.
-Ring up the second item.
-Pay for it.

Hmmm, I’m not seeing (or feeling) like this rude line crasher’s “quick exchange” excuse had any validity.

I’m a wonderful “after the fact” person. And by that I mean that I can always come up with a witty retort, hysterical gesture or perfect solution – but it’s always after the situation has concluded. So I did nothing. Well, nothing except mutter a sentence about common courtesy at which time my DH gently elbowed me signaling that it wasn’t that big of a deal and to let it drop.

I stayed silent (hating myself) and watched as she exited the store and got into a car that was (HUGE SURPRISE) parked in the “no parking” area directly in front of the store. My, my, my – this woman just disregarded anyone (and apparently anything) that got in her way.

As I thought about it over the last couple of days, it reminded me of a conversation I had with myiStock_000010513793XSmall daughter when she got her first “outside the family business job” as a waitress for a chain restaurant. After the first couple of nights she said, “You know mom, it just never occurred to me that people would treat waitresses any different than you and dad do. You guys are always kind to everyone.” She didn’t elaborate, but I got the impression that she had her first taste of how rude people can be.

My mother always told me that you could always judge a man by the way he treated his mother and the way he treated a waitress. She was right. I ended up marrying a man who is kind and gentle to both and have never regretted it.

I’m mostly ticked at myself for letting it bother me. With all the problems in the world, if this is the worst thing that happens this week, than I guess I’m pretty fortunate.

And what would I say to this rude woman now that I’ve had a chance to think about it? Not a thing. I would just smile to myself knowing that I never barge in front of someone else, that I try to be kind to everyone I meet and that I raised my children to be the same way. Leading by example.