Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It Happened Again At Wal-Mart!

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.   —   Galatians 5:22–23 (NASB95)

It happened again this past Wednesday night.  My wife and I went to Wal-Mart after Bible classes at church.  We spent a leisurely hour or so shopping, looking at things, getting a laugh out of the way some of the folks were dressed, and generally enjoying our shopping time.  Then we lined up at the check out counter.

There was a guy, with his teenage daughter, piling his items onto the counter.  The checkout lady started scanning his purchases and immediately he said something pretty sharp and loud to her.  It caught my attention.  He had coupons!  He had a sale sheet!  He wanted his discounts!  But the checkout lady, doing her job (and doing it well, by the way), had to point out to him that his coupon limited him to six of the frozen dinners he wanted to buy, and he had more than that on the counter.  She just wanted him to know that the coupon would only cover the six allowed.

Well, that was the end of the world!  He blew up!  Turned to me and said, “You folks might as well get in another line because we’re going to fight over every item!”  Of course, that just meant I was going to stick around to see the fight.  I wasn’t about to leave.  But fight he did.  He ranted.  He raved.  He made a point about how stupid it was for the coupon to limit six frozen dinners per customer.  Then, when it was obvious the checkout lady wasn’t going to cooperate with him, he turned on her.  She was stupid, along with all the other people who worked at Wal-Mart.  It went on and on.  No exaggeration.  It was mean.

Occasionally, he would turn and look at me for verification that he was being toyed with by the corporate giant, Wal-Mart, and the stupid people who made manufacturer’s coupons.  At one point, I did think I should say something to get him to see that it wasn’t the checkout lady who was wasting my time (which is what he said), but it was him!  But, I figured it would just make matters worse, so I didn’t say a word.

Finally, a supervisor came over, the guy continuing to rant and rave, and stood by his checkout lady, and upheld her decision to enforce the six-dinner-limit.  The guy finally separated his dinners into two piles and paid for the second batch separately, which is what he should have been prepared to do all along.

Thankfully, he left.  When he walked off, the poor checkout lady literally broke down into tears.  The manager had to take over the cash register to check us out.  My wife went around and put her arms around the checkout lady and consoled her, and I made it a point to make sure that the manager knew that his checkout lady had done nothing wrong.  She had the misfortune of getting a knucklehead customer.

This episode has bothered me for two days now.  The man made no friends.  Does anybody think the folks at Wal-Mart will ever go out of their way to do anything for that guy?  He left with me thinking he’s ridiculous.  I formed the opinion he works in the medical field somewhere, but I won’t tell you why I think that.  Let’s just say I think I’m right.  What if I go for medical help at a doctor’s office, or hospital, or lab, or other place and discover that guy is the one I have to see.  You think I’m going to hang around or see if there’s an alternative?  Wonder what it’s like at his house if he doesn’t get his way?  You see where I’m going with this?  I don’t think the man has a clue how bad he looked, but he probably doesn’t care.

Oh, and do you want to know how much money he saved with all those coupons he was ranting about?  Maybe a couple of dollars.  He was getting 10 cents off each dinner.  This is why I try to be kind to checkout ladies.  They have to deal with the most unlovely people.  And that lady did so with kindness she didn’t get.