Lesson Learned

I walked into the department store with my return, and saw the line was Way Too Long. This did not make me happy, knowing that it would not be a quick and easy in-and-out, but as I was walking toward the back of the line I saw the other register only had one person there, and she was checking out. Hello! I'll get in line behind her instead of 20 people deep in the other line! But as I rushed to stand behind her (and allowed 3 other people to get in line ahead of me in the Longest Line Ever) I saw the reason everyone was rushing to get in the other lane. The sign said, "I'm Sorry This Register Is Closed. Please Go To Aisle 2 For Assistance." Well, crap.

So I trudged to the back of the line at Register 2, and 10 minutes into waiting I saw a line formed at Register 1. Seriously? They're really open? Now I'm doubly ticked, because I could have completed the return and been on my way long ago had I stayed in line behind Lady #1. Both lines were equally long at this point, though, so I stayed in Line #2. And waited patiently as it inched forward.

It was the slowest line ever, and Line 1 didn't seem to be moving any faster, but my turn finally came and I plunked my return on the counter along with the receipt. "Oh, I'm sorry, returns must be taken care of at Register 1." But it said that line was closed I said rather unkindly as me and my steaming ears headed to the back of Super Duper Long Line #1.

So I waited again. And my efforts at reminding myself that I needed to be patient and understanding weren't working. The closed sign was still up, and I decided to point it out to the cashier when I finally got to the head of the line. I would also let them know that I was not very happy to have stood in line twice because of their incompetence.

My turn was next. Just the couple in front of me, and as soon as they were done checking out I could finally make my return. Hurry up already. So close...

"Wow, it's crazy busy in here tonight, isn't it?," they asked the cashier. The manager was there with the young boy, and she answered. "We had 2 employees call off tonight, and the only cashiers I have are these two trainees. They're so overwhelmed. We had two different people in buying $1000 worth of toys for Toys For Tots, and we were so backed up. This is just the aftermath of that."

The couple in front of me wished the cashier and manager both a very nice evening despite the craziness of it as they left. It was finally my turn, and I couldn't be mad any longer. As frustrating as it was for me to have to stand in line for 20 minutes, I didn't have to deal with the non-stop complaining from disgruntled customers for the next several hours. And this kid was a trainee. Egads, he needed some positive at this point. And as I just learned a very valuable lesson, I figured I'd put it into practice and be overly kind to the poor cashier just like I was shown by the thoughtful couple in front of me.

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