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Cheese Mission

December 17, 2010

So there it is. Therein lies one of the problems with blogging. When I wrote my last post, I felt really good about myself. And why not? I had just been to an interview and had done very well.

And now, weeks later, having not blogged for while, I returned to write about something else, but first re-read my last post. And I kinda feel stupid.

No, I have not heard from the potential employer. I know what you’re going to say. All those clichés to make me feel better, but it’s ok , really, no worries, I’m ok with it. I did well in the interview and for whatever reason I d haven’t heard. Likely there were better suited candidates. At least I am confident that it wasn’t because I screwed up the interview. But even still, re-reading my last post, and its over-the-top confidence, leaves me feeling a little more embarrassed than I would like.

That aside, I’m in a good place. Things are flowing nicely these days, as the lightness of doing “the course” has stayed with me. In fact its impact is getting more and more apparent as it slowly seems to be reaching into more and more aspects of my life.

I had come here to blog about an exchange I witnessed at the grocery store today. It unfolded right in front of me as I was waiting to pay for my taco ingredients. The woman immediately in front of me was not there to buy anything. She cut in line to speak to the cashier. It seems an hour earlier, she had been to this cashier and had forgotten her debit card. She didn’t realize it until she attempted to pay for something at the next store she went to. The cashier, an older lady, extremely slow moving and soft spoken, told her that yes, she had the card, and she had tried to go after her, but that she left too quickly.

What followed was a complete breakdown of communication:

Customer: Oh thank God, can I have it?

Employee: Oh no I haven’t got it.

C: Oh ok, where is it?

E: (very calmly and sweet old lady like) I don’t know.

C: But you remember me right, and you said you had it and you chased after me?

E: yes

C: So where is it?

E: (looking through the drawer) hmm. I don’t know.

C: (looking like she’s about to lose it, but didn’t) But you had it?

E: oh yes.

C: So who has it now?

E: Well, I don’t know, it’s not here.

C: (pause. Deep breath)  Then where is it?

E: That’s what I’m saying I don’t know maam.

By now I am surprised at my own ability to not freak the hell out. These two were like an Abbott and Costello routine. The poor guy waiting to pay for his stuff, and I, had both been interrupted by this show.   The missing question was clearly “If you had it, and you don’t have it now, what did you do with it?”

But that question was not asked for a few more minutes. Eventually it was determined that the cashier had put the card in the drawer, and that for reasons unknown, it had been removed from there. A call to the manager came up empty.

The woman started to get angry and insisted “I am NOT leaving this store until I get my card back!”

I was about to say “well, that may be so, but you ARE going to leave this register and go talk to the manager”, because, although I was still quite calm, I did have other things to do.

Then the phone rang. The manager was calling back. It seems she DID have the card after all. The cashier directed the customer to the office door, and she went off to claim her card.

Now here’s where observing with your mouth shut gets interesting. This whole time I had been thinking that this cashier, a seemingly extremely kind older woman, was also quite inept. In fact, the “me” of many months ago would have most certainly jumped into the confusion, and I’m sure my words and my tone would have left no doubt as to who I thought was being an idiot.

But when it was said and done, the guy in line ahead of me who had been just about to pay for his groceries when interrupted, was not seeing it that way at all. He rolled his eyes at the customer as she walked away and sided with the  cashier. He talked about this customer, and why did she think it was the cashiers problem that her card was missing. He told the cashier “You did everything you could, what more did she expect?” And then he talked about his kids and how he teaches them the same thing, just do your best, it’s all that anyone can ever expect of you.

Then it was my turn to tally up my groceries. This same cashier was warm and friendly. She rang up my stuff, and when she got to the block of cheddar she said “Oh, don’t you want the bigger one? It’s much bigger and cheaper?” I looked at her blankly, yet calmly. Before I could think and having not answered her, she said, “let me get it for you!”

She grabbed the phone and called for assistance. Someone came a few minutes later and she handed them the cheese, telling them to get the larger one for me, it’s on sale after all.

I just sat there, calmly watching this unfold. The other customers behind me, still waiting, some clearly frustrated some not caring. She chatted with the other cashier, who rang through 3 customers during our cheese mission. I played with my blackberry, and soon the young man returned with a huge block of cheese. Far more than I could possibly use, three times as much as the original block, but she did say it was on sale. Although I didn’t know what the savings were, I wasn’t about to object.

What was interesting to me about this is that I just watched it. I didn’t react. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t look at others and roll my eyes. And when our cheese mission was holding up the other customers, I didn’t own it. It was just something that was happening. Not to me. Not because of me. It just was.

What a calm and happy place to be.

Oh, and when I got outside I checked the price of the cheese on my receipt. It was three times the size, and ten cents LESS than the smaller one. A very good deal indeed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2010 4:53 pm

    Is it possible you just haven’t heard back yet – but that there’s still a chance? Companies are taking FOREVER at getting back to people lately, so I wouldn’t count yourself out unless you’ve heard for certain that you’re not The One for this job.

    But.. stop waiting so long between bloggings, man! STOP THAT.

  2. December 19, 2010 11:55 pm

    Glad you feel good about your interview! Great practice. Good luck in the job search!
    And as for the deal, can one freeze cheese? Or will you give half to Kelly or give it as Christmas gifts? A stocking stuffer perhaps? LOL Or have a cheese fondue party?
    Enjoy. I do love a good deal too.

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