Some people just get to you.
Now anybody who’s worked in retail will tell you, customers are always asking the same ridiculous things:
“Can’t you give me a break on this?”
“Do you have a coupon I can use?”
“How about you give this to me for free?”
“Why is this so expensive?”
But not this shopper. First of all, it was Sunday, and while everyone else was in sweats (except for the jerky adult males who insist on basketball shorts and flip-flops in 30 degree weather — what is that about, anyway?), this woman was dressed impeccably, with a pert beret, too. And she was polite. So already I was predisposed to like her. She approached me and said, “Excuse me. I’m trying to figure out how much this book is with tax included. I think it’s going to be $20.63, and I only have $20.03 with me. Could you check for me?”
I did, and it was. She looked totally crestfallen — but she didn’t try any of the stupid human tricks above. I suggested she go over to the customer service desk and put it on hold for a few days. She could come back later.
She thanked me, and off she went. This kind of thing happens all the time, where people forgot their wallet, or simply don’t have enough money. Why did my heart break just a little for her? She was lovely, about 30 years old, and the book was a giant volume on how to write a resume. From the way she dressed on her day off, to her gracious demeanor, to her little beret, to her weekend search for a job — I don’t know…she just got to me. So I found 60¢ in my pocket and I went over to her. “Is this all you need?”
She accepted the change — graciously, of course — thanked me profusely, and went to pay for the book. Of course, on her way out, she stopped by again and said, “Really, I just want to extend my most heartfelt thanks.”
Believe me, this woman is not going to have a hard time finding a job.
And why do I feel like this is the best money I ever spent?
Nice is as nice does.