I had an interesting experience at Walmart the other day that really opened my eyes to how important it is to speak kindly and use good communications…
Lately, I have been going to the grocery store on Friday evenings after I get out of school so I don’t have to go on Monday’s. Don’t ask why I started doing this or why I would prefer to go on a Friday night rather than a Monday, because who knows why and who knows how long it will last. Lol. Anyway, that’s what I have been doing. So, this past Friday night after school I was at the grocery store, just taking my time getting all the different items I needed. I was all done getting my items and was headed to find a check out line and I seriously came up to this line that had one person in it that was just paying. It was so lucky, I didn’t even have to wait in a line! So, I push my cart to that line and slowly started emptying my items from my cart. I heard the check out lady mention to the guy paying that she was almost done for the night, but I didn’t hear the whole conversation. So, I thought she was getting ready to close that check out line and that I was going to have to move all my stuff. Slowly I kept taking my items out of the cart, and in the mean time the guy ahead of me had paid and left. The check out lady then started reorganizing the money in the register and looked like she was kind of cleaning things up. I kept waiting for her to say that she was closing the line, but she didn’t. So, I continued to empty my cart. Once my cart was all empty I felt bad because I didn’t want her to have to check out my items if she was off work, so I said “Are you done?”. In my mind, I was just feeling bad for possibly being annoying and I knew exactly what I meant by saying ‘are you done’.. BUT, this lady looked up at me like she was so sorry and felt so bad and looked at me like I was the meanest person and said, “yes, i just finished.”. Thinking that she meant she was done for the night, I started to grab my items and put them back in my cart and said, “I’m so sorry! I’ll move my stuff and go to a different line.” And instantly she goes, “No, no. I’m not closing. I thought you meant ‘are you done’ reorganizing the drawer.”
I felt awful!
This poor lady thought that I was being the biggest beeyotch. What she didn’t know was that I was just patiently, happily waiting. So, I apologized to her and told her that I felt so stupid and that I needed to communicate better, but that I was in no way annoyed or upset that she had taken a few extra minutes to reorganize the cash register drawer. She was really nice back to me and we ended up having a great conversation about communication and how important it is. It was such an interesting and random example to me about how important it is to not assume people can read your mind and to always explain/express yourself through good communication. It also was a good reminder that other people have feelings as well. Sometimes its so easy to get caught up in your own life and your own problems, that you forget others have problems and feelings and a life as well.
The greatest thing about this life though is that even though we have these awkward experiences, and sometimes we aren’t as good as we want to be.. we can always become better and be forgiven. It is always worth it to be kind to others.