Yesterday, I was at the tail end of a nine day streak of hosting a workshop, moving to a new home, shooting two weddings out of town and shooting five sessions. Oh, and I also have three daughters four and under 🙂 I was at the store with an overflowing grocery cart to catch up on how much we had been lacking during the moving process and I was exhausted. I have been killing the FitBit goals because of how active I’ve been and I’m running on about five hours of sleep a night while we finish this moving process so things have been CRAZY! When I was in the store yesterday, it was my time to wind down. The off season on the Outer Banks is starting to begin and so the crowds at Food Lion where we go are dying down significantly, so naturally, they have less staff on during this time of year.
I went to check out and only two lines were open, and it seems ALL of the people in the store had to check out at the same time. I was like okay, this may be a while…so I texted Mike and just gave him a head’s up because my goal was to be out by 7:30pm and I knew that wasn’t going to happen now. Then slowly around me, it started. The complainers. The people talking about management needing to have more staff on, the people talking about the check out person going too slowly. One of my ultimate pet peeves is when someone in public comes up to me to complain about something….as if that were going to bond us immediately and we would sit and be negative and bitter together.
No. Don’t come up to me and complain about staff, slowness and not having your world go as fast as you need it to go for you. It’s so funny when people are on vacation to come and be more laid back and still bring the rush and stress with them. These poor staff members are limited and clearly they are going to have to work harder and faster and do you think they even want to be there? How do you know three people didn’t call out sick? How do you anything about what’s going on with a grocery store, retail store or restaurant? Ariana Huffington’s book THRIVE touches on how corporate America and technology being at our fingertips has created a sense of entitlement for so many people…and it’s true.
I thanked the Lord for the groceries in my cart and the ability to afford them while people complained around me. I thanked the Lord for the amazing couple I just shot on the beach, for the beautiful sunset that night and for the fact that I am able to be healthy and happy in this store at this very moment. I prayed that the people complaining in line would give the checkout employees grace and see a human, not a machine, when it was their turn to pay.
The old man in front of me turned around and complained about the “disservice” and I said to the sweet older lady checking us out that she is amazing, working SO hard and I hope that everyone stops complaining and treats her well, and appreciates her. She is doing everything she can, it’s clearly out of her hands but yet people are going to feel the need to whine about not being able to get those groceries home fast enough.
I think of the people on the street who would give anything for a warm home and good food to come home to. I think about the employees working furiously to restock in the refrigerated aisles freezing their butts off. I think about that sweet old lady that always compliments me and the girls scanning as fast as she can not even having the time to look up and smile like she always does.
After working in restaurants for a long time, I have a soft spot for people in these kind of industries. I get really, really ashamed and humiliated when I’m dining with a rude person and it makes me see them so differently. Cashiers, waitresses and waiters, bussers and bartenders are not machines….they are people. Please think about how much they would probably be more than happy to switch positions with you the next time you want to complain! Spread sunshine and joy and appreciation and fight back against being the one complaining in the store!!!!! You have no idea how much you may change that person’s day, I promise! 🙂
Now, look at this picture of Autumn and remember this any time you hear a grocery store complainer!! 🙂 You HAVE to smile then!