Here’s An Idea… Try Being Nice Instead.

Today’s Lesson: “A teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down…” –Mary Poppins


The guy in line in front of me was not only being a jerk but was clearly embarrassing his wife, as well.

“You guys really need to get your act together!” he barked at the clerk. “Ringing up 3 items should not take this long. It’s a hassle to buy anything here.”

The wife was staring intently at the floor, red-faced and silent while the irascible bully continued dressing down the clerk. “You sell nice stuff but I don’t know why anybody would want to buy it.”

The clerk offered a sheepish apology, “I’m sorry for your experience, sir,” she started but her cut her off. “Just ring it up,” he demanded.

I knew if he made just one more comment I was not going to be able to keep from stepping in and asking him what his problem was or why he seemed so angry or just to ask, “Excuse me, but what is it you are hoping to accomplish right now?”

A little part of me was relieved that he had nothing more to say. His wife could not snatch the bag and head out the door fast enough. The clerk said, “Have a blessed da…”

“Whatever,” the guy mumbled as he stormed out. I placed my item near the register and offered a warm smile to the clerk. “I admire your patience,” I said.

The clerk, clearly flustered but making the best of it, said, “You are only my second sale. I hope it goes better.”

Wow. Before you take your frustration out on a stranger, maybe take one second to consider you have no idea what is happening on the other side and show a little empathy before showing your masculine (or feminine) insecurity.

“Don’t worry,” I told the clerk when she handed me my receipt, “You’re doing fine. Have a great day.”