I’m sure we’ve all experienced something like this before. For me, these potentially awkward situations seem to happen specifically if I’m in a HUGE hurry! So I have to stop and think to myself…is fixing this worth altering my schedule? Is it really worth the time to make them fix the problem? Most of the time, mistakes don’t bother me…but in this case I’m not sure what I would have done!
If you’re in a hurry, not paying attention, or just in too much of a rush to really care about fixing any mistakes, I get it. But this story really takes the cake! (Pun!) So here’s the situation…
Lisa went to pick up a cake for a birthday party. She wanted to have it customized, so she stood in line at the bakery. She asked the clerk at the counter to quickly put a pink icing border around the cake, and to write “Happy Birthday Mandy” on the face. It should have only taken a minute or two…but 15 minutes later, the clerk comes back out with THIS:
Lisa took the cake to the register before she really looked at it…and when she did, she couldn’t believe it! Was this a joke? She was in a rush and wasn’t sure what to do, but she figured that if anything else, it would get a good laugh out of the party guests. She went to the cashier and tried to pay for her purchase, but the employees wouldn’t let her leave without speaking to a manager. More employees gathered around and told her something that she wasn’t expecting…
She later updated the story after the store manager called her the next day. The woman who helped her out with her cake decorating request was indeed autistic, and at the request of Lisa would not be reprimanded. The store had hired the woman and instructed her to “do her best to meet the customer’s needs,” and she had done just that!
So many of the symptoms of autism are invisible, and since it is a spectrum disorder, a large variety of skills might be impaired, while a wide range may be left completely untouched. In this case, Lisa could not have known that the clerk at the counter would have a problem with hand-eye coordination, but she assured everyone who shared her post that the clerk is still employed and was not going to receive a reprimand in the slightest.
This goes without saying, but having patience and giving people the benefit of the doubt in stressful situations can really make a world of difference. If a store is busy, a restaurant is packed, or the customer service desk has a line a mile long, remember that the workers are people too! In this case, one small act of kindness meant the world to this clerk and everyone who works with her at this grocery!
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