I find it ironic that during the season where we celebrate the birth of the savior of our sins, we are usually the least patient, not forgiving, and basically annoyed with those around us.
I am referring to the shopping experience during the month of December.
In my thirty-three years of life, I have learned to avoid stores leading up to the week of Christmas. I did well this year by shopping early and online. Oh, and by letting Nick play Santa and having him buy all of the last minute gifts.
However, instead of avoiding the after Christmas crazies, I joined right in and faced the crowds. Oh, the joys of human nature.
I cannot decide what my favorite story is. Could it be at Walmart, where I was shocked by the lack of chivalry by an old man? After waiting for around ten minutes for help at the jewerly department, I slightly left the area to find an employee, when I realized one was finally behind the counter. As I opened my mouth to ask for her help, an elderly man quickly walked up, spoke at the same time, looked at me and announced in a cheerful voice, "Sorry, I was here first!"
Um, okay. I was waiting for ten minutes and you just walked up. But, please, you go ahead.
(As I was later leaving the store, I looked back and he was still being helped with a line of people behind him waiting their turn.)
Or could it be the story of the angry woman in line at the Kmart customer service department? When I joined the line, I followed the clear sign that pointed to where the line began. As I stood there, I noticed a man walk up to the other side of the desk, avoiding the line. The woman in front of me spoke loudly, "Sir, sorry, but the line starts back here."
(Have you ever noticed that people often use the word "sorry" when they really mean the opposite? "Sorry, I was here first" and "Sorry, but the line starts back here"-translation meaning, "You are wrong and in my way so stop bothering me.")
The man was helped anyway, and as if that was not bad enough, the other customer service rep walked away from the counter to help another worker right as the angry woman approached the desk for her turn.
I really feared for the life of the next person to keep her waiting.
Thankfully, someone finally helped her. I eventually had my turn as well, but as I stood there, I noticed a few more people avoiding the real line and "playing dumb" by standing at the other counter. The service rep noticed my glances towards them and said, "It happens every day."
I think that every person should spend at least one day working in public service. Wait a few tables, stand on your feet for a few hours as a cashier, hand out some burgers and fries-just one day can give you a lifetime lesson on patience. The people serving you are doing the best that they can and they have to deal with all sorts every single day. Why not be the one who makes their day by being kind and patient?
Or-stand in line, complain, give the evil eye, build up your frustrations and let everyone around you know that your time is much more important than theirs. That could be fun, too.