Monday, 07 January 2013
I walked up to the deli counter today at King Sooper's to get some lunch. As I approached the counter, and older woman handed a woman just a little older than I am a box with chicken inside. Immediately the customer asked if the woman had put chicken breasts in there, sounding extremely offended. When the older woman assured that there was, indeed, chicken breast in the box, the customer angrily undid the seal on the box and began looking through her chicken.
Yes, the worker had put chicken breast in there. When the customer realized, she then started complaining about the size of the chicken breast. The conversation went a little like this:
Customer: Oh, there it is, but it's really small!
Worker: Yes, there are 2 chicken breasts, 3 thighs and-
Customer: I see that, but are you sure this is chicken breast? It's really small!
Worker: Yes, ma'am. This is the chicken breast right here --
Customer: Well, it's really small!
Worker: I'm sorry. They just give us the chicken, we don't have control over how big the pieces are.
Customer: You don't have control? Those two right there *points* are really big!
Worker: I'm sorry, ma'am.
Customer: These are really small and those are really big!!
At this point, a different sales associate stepped in for the poor older woman and offered to exchange the chicken pieces for the very, very rude customer.
As I was standing there, my thought process went from frustrated that this woman was making a big deal because I was really hungry, to finding the woman funny because of how ridiculous she was being, to angry because she was being a huge bitch, and finally...
Finally, I just felt extremely sad. This single, rude customer was likely to ruin this poor woman's day, and all because she didn't give her the two biggest pieces of chicken. This was an instance in which I was so overcome with emotion at the situation, that I really wanted to cry. I felt so bad for the worker. When it was finally my turn to order, I ordered my pizza sticks as sweetly as I could (they made them special order for me), and waited patiently. The desire to try to correct the customers rudeness was overwhelming. I've been thinking about this situation all afternoon, and I have a really big problem with the fact that the woman never actually stated what she wanted. All she could do was say how small her god damned chicken breast was. She had two, very civil options: 1) Tell the worker exactly what pieces or the size of pieces you desire or 2) Voice your concern about the size of the pieces, and use your words to ask for a solution (such as These are a little small, would it be possible to swap them out for some larger ones, please? Thank you!). It's not that hard, really.
So when the woman handed me my order, I took it, thanked her, and this is what I said:
You know, I really hope you don't let that woman ruin your day. She was being extremely unnecessarily rude...thank you.
She seemed genuinely appreciative of my comment, and although I didn't have anything over-the-top to say or compliment her on, I hope her day really wasn't ruined. As I paid and walked out of the store to my car, that feeling of sadness that the woman was being so awful to the worker was still at the forefront of my mind. I couldn't shake it, and as I thought about it, I realized that I get that overwhelming feeling of emotion about others problems a lot. It drives me to be kind to them, to go out of my way for someone, and to try to make someone's day even the smallest bit better.
That feeling is what I consider empathy to be, and I consider empathy to be a driving force in my life.
All of that being said, every so often I find myself amazed at how wonderful my subscribers and friends here on Xanga are. I have a tendency to get too sentimental too often with those I care about, but I just have to some times. You know?
So for the records (if I didn't mention you, don't feel bad, it's nothing against you, personally - just had a few people on my mind recently)...
@lanney - You are the sweetest, nicest person I think I may have ever met on the interwebs. You always have such nice things to say about people, and you are so considerate and caring. Every once in a while I get a comment from you that just blows my mind away. Even if I'm only fortunate enough to see your good side, I'm appreciative of it, so don't ever feel like you don't have a friend in me. I may not speak up much in the way of things, but I'm here, paying attention.
@Under_the_Ghillie - I'm amazed at how easily it is for you to cheer me up, although you, yourself, may not be all that cheery. I don't think I do such a fantastic job at cheering you up, but that's not for lack of trying. I really do hope that someday soon you find yourself trekking through this beautiful state of mine, so that I may have a chance to meet you. I thank you, so much, for putting up with me despite our (very obvious) differences, and hopefully those don't get in the way too often.
@filtered_sunlight@momaroo - Every time I see you've commented on something, it makes me smile. As weird as it sounds when I read your comments and respond back and forth with you, I feel like we are old friends, and that feels comfortable. I think there is something that can be said about that, considering I know almost nothing about you. If you ever need something, please, don't hesitate to let me know.
Thanks, friends. Now after being all empathetic and sentimental, it's time to get down to business.
Do you ever feel strong empathy for others? Is it a driving force in your life? How do you deal with rude people?
Why do people get so awkward when I go all sentimental on them???