I was at the checkout of the grocery store today when I noticed the clerk rolling her eyes and tutting as a young couple (who obviously were struggling to make ends meet) were putting their groceries on the conveyor belt. Due to the cashier’s behavior, I decided to stick around and see how things played out. I stayed and watched as the clerk abrasively scanned through their things. The final total was $132.57.
The young girl looked nervous, but scanned her food stamp card anyway. Again the cashier rolled her eyes and smirked when it came up on the screen that the balance on the card was only $95.30. The woman took great pleasure in telling the couple this. Angered, I stepped up and said, “First of all you need to lower your tone. Second I’m going to help these two out. And don’t you dare roll your eyes at me!” She didn’t say a word.
I took out my purse and stood there going through all 3 of my coupon carriers very slowly. After finding what I could for the young couple, I handed them to the cashier. I then gave her my E-card so they got double the coupons. This really seemed to annoy the clerk – now the couple not only had enough to pay for their shopping, the total had gone down to $68.22.
The couple were overcome with joy, hugging, kissing and thanking me over and over. I reassured them that it was utterly my pleasure. After they packed their shopping and left the store, I turned to the clerk and asked “Why?”. She looked like she was gonna burst into tears, but remained silent! How much does it take just to treat people with respect? Why is it easier for some to hate or belittle than to love and encourage? What did it cost me to help these young people? NOTHING. Just some coupons that I can earn again.
Just Paying It Forward