Today I was in Walmart, waiting while my wife checked out her purchases. It happened that a friend of ours was the greeter. I watched her pass out some small gifts with a friendly word, dry the rain off the handles of carts just brought in, and give incoming shoppers a smiling welcome. She is not young, and not in the best of health. Standing for a three-hour shift is painful and difficult. But the financial needs of her family have necessitated that she do this.
We had been chatting during a lull when something happened. A man in dirty coveralls brushed past her through the exit doors, carrying a box. "Just a moment, sir," she said, hurrying after him. "I need to see your sales slip." He turned abruptly at the second set of doors. Scowling at her, he threw the receipt to the ground and was gone. As the wind tossed the paper here and there she snatched it up, giving me a weary look. "Don't let the turkeys get you down," I said, trying to smile. But it upset me, that little incident. Angered me. It made me wonder how many who serve us in stores, restaurants and other places of business have to endure such abuse. Boorish rudeness and snarling complaints, hour after hour, day after day-often for a minimum wage. Who needs it? Well, I guess they do, or they would not be there. And the company says, "Smile! Be helpful. The customer is always right."
As I write this, the Christmas shopping season is heating up. Stores are . . .