Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tis the Season

I am impatient. I have probably always been an impatient person, but I feel like somewhere between having my first kid and becoming a crazy person, my impatience has skyrocketed to unmeasurable proportions. The supermarket is where this comes to a head. I believe I've stated before that I DO NOT ever pick the right lane. It is something of a talent to perpetually find yourself in the slowest lane 100% of the time, but I have that talent. I've posted a series of blog posts about my many misadventures in the supermarket and if I weren't too lazy to actually hyperlink to them, you could have a good read. But alas, I am too lazy, so you will just have to imagine what my impatient self could write about the grocery store... which brings us to yesterday.

Yesterday I went to the Walmart closest to my house to get some tomatoes, an onion, a green pepper, some protein bars... well, you get the point. I went to get some last minute groceries that I needed for dinner because I haven't been the best planner of late and it seems like someone is running to the store at least once a day for something I forgot to get the last time I ran to the store. Vicious cycle. Anyway. Unlike Walmart's usual 40-lanes-in-existence-only-3-checkout-lanes-open policy, there were sufficient lanes open. Everything looked like it was moving swiftly and efficiently and I was pumped to get out of there quickly. It was a holiday season miracle. So I scanned all the lanes, passing up a few and settling on one I thought looked great. The people in front of me didn't look like they were 90 years old and writing a check. They didn't look like they would be price matching all of the thousands of items in their cart and hunting around for that last coupon. They seemed like people who could handle the debit card machine with ease and they didn't have too much stuff... then I noticed the cashier. He had one functional arm, the other was shriveled and unusable at his side. He also seemed to have developmental difficulties. Do you know how long it takes someone with one arm to scan and bag a cartful of groceries? My heart sunk... and then it hit me.

I am a jerk. Really. A total jerk. I felt it instantaneously. The Beardocrat's mom was with the kids, and I was blissfully alone, and there was absolutely no reason to be in any rush. I didn't have anything pressing to get to, and even if I had, who cares? As I watched customer after customer get in line behind me, notice the cashier, and hastily move to another aisle with annoyed scowls, I was ashamed. Not of those people, necessarily, because who knows what was going on in their lives? But I was ashamed of myself. Being impatient means that the focus is solely on me. And who am I to think the world revolves around me and my schedule? As I watched the cashier slowly scan and bag items clumsily I had time to think about his life. How great that he has a job and can provide for himself. How great that he cares enough about my produce not to toss them into the bag but place it gently. How wonderful that he seemed focused on the task at hand and didn't pay any attention to people fleeing from his aisle rudely.

So holiday season (and beyond, lets hope) resolution. Be more patient. Be more aware of the people around me and their needs and contributions.

The end.