What is it about standing in a check-out line that brings out the worst in people? Understandably, it feels like a waste of time to stand in line and pay for items. We’ve already spent a while shopping around and when we’ve finished, we just want to leave and go on about our days. When the check-out lines are longer, we get impatient and feel rushed. When there is a delay in the check-out line – for whatever reason – we become agitated. Some people don’t know how to handle this feeling, and we end up with stories like these…
(I’m in line to pay. There was a guy in front of me is about in his 40s, and very well-dressed in a suit and tie. The lady in front of him seemed to be a single mother with her child. I’m 25, and pretty shabbily dressed; wearing only faded jeans, an old, novelty Star Wars shirt, and have my long hair almost covering my eyes.)
“Lady, can you hurry up! Some people are important and actually have places to be!” The guy was fuming, obviously losing his patience.
(The woman is fumbling with her money at his outburst. In her cart she only has basic groceries and what appears to be a birthday cake for her child. She mumbles something about not having enough money, and decides to leave the cake behind.)
“Don’t waste everyone’s time if you can’t even pay for your s***! Or maybe you need another government handout that comes from my taxes?!” He says haughtily, clearly trying to embarrass her.
(At this point, I feel like I’ve got to step in.)
“Hey man, that’s enough!” I said, taking his attention away from her.
He scoffs and turns around. “Who do you think you are? I’ll have you know I’m the directions manager at QPK Shipping, and no one ever talks to me like that.”
(Suddenly, I become much more respectful.)
“I’m so sorry, sir. I had no idea you were so important. Would you mind if I asked you for your business card?”
(He smugly hands me his card. I see he is, indeed, who he says he is.)
“And here’s my business card.” I said, handing him my card printed on heavy card stock, embossed with my title.
“Why in the hell would I want your—”
(He suddenly goes pale as he notices that I am co-owner of QPK.)
I didn’t bother to answer him and continued. “Now that I know your name, I’ll be sure to phone your supervisor to ensure you’re put on probation. One more act like this and you’re fired.”
(He stammers for a bit, before practically running from the store. I end up paying for the mother’s cake, and even gave them a bit extra to buy the kid any toy from the store.)
What are the odds that these two guys would not only be shopping at the same time, but also have gotten into the same line? That rude man must have really angered the universe to end up in a situation like this! I hope that he has learned his lesson. This mom was just trying to do her best in the worst of circumstances, the least he could have done was offer her a little bit of sympathy. I’m glad this kid was in line to give him a dose of his own medicine!
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