i was at my local big chain supermarket today to round out the Trader Joe's shop earlier this week. i'm not sure if it is the same at every one of these markets, but my branch tends to be overly helpful. i come from a long background of customer service. it's very important to me. what customer service means to me is to be acknowledged and helpful to the degree that you are needed. some people prefer a nod, others a smile and others a verbal greeting. some people want to get in and get out with no help at all while others need a little point in the right direction. my supermarket staff appears to be on happy pills. one cannot walk through without notice. every single employee that passes gives a greeting and asks if you need help. some start reciting the specials in various departments. sell! sell! sell! it's a bit of an overkill really and i find it quite trying to not throw my arms up and scream. really, it's a delightful change...even when the best intentions are soooo wrong.
in the produce section i am encouraged to try all sorts of sale produce. i don't try it but i do make the produce guy pick out my cantaloup. it's hard to pick a good one when you can't smell a darn thing. in the deli department they wave slices of turkey my way and i can't help but laugh because what if i was someone who found it offensive to have meat dangling within reach? i think about these things that i know people think are easy, every day questions. i wonder about those things that people can't see, the things inside...our experiences, spiritual beliefs, cultural upbringings, etc.
i've always been a bit of an overthinker. i've been misunderstood because of it. i can be odd when i word things and ask questions that some find bizarre. i don't play mind games and don't like them played on me. if i feel like i'm being played, i may ask outright or i may just walk away, it all depends on a number of things. too often we assume things about others when really, we have no clue. even those we know we don't know thoroughly. i don't even know myself one hundred percent, ya know? as i was walking through the market i was thinking of all the interactions that must go on and the assumptions that miss the mark...or not. i thought about the person pushing the bread on someone who may be celiac and how the meat waving may offend a vegetarian. i passed by the fish counter and thought i would get some fish and the young man, ever so eager to help started chat chat chatting away about a number of things. he saw my purse, my lobster purse and immediately tried to sell me some lobster tail (i don't eat lobster). when i told him no thank you, he tried to get me to sample some shrimp, um, no thank you and i smiled and laughed to myself and then he asked me if i was ready for father's day and i had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. he doesn't know. he has no clue that i haven't seen my father since i was three years old. he doesn't know that my dad walked out on my family and stole my sister away to another state. he doesn't know that the man who fathered me never paid a penny towards my or my brother's upbringing and he doesn't know that i'm totally okay with him asking about my father's day. he tells me that ball park franks are on sale and i nod and say "too bad it's not the fourth of july" and i take my fish and thank him. i walk away thinking, poor guy asked me all the wrong things and i chuckle. we don't know anything about those around us. nothing at all.
i get home to find a message on the answering machine. it's my sister. she says that what with father's day around the corner and air fare on the low end, our brother and i should fly on out to meet her so we can go teepee our dad's house. the young man at the fish counter was very sweet and helpful, should i go back and tell him i need a super sized pack of charmin?
**$17 got me all that is in the picture plus an iced coffee and a $2 donation to prostate cancer. not bad at all, not bad...
*quart of mint chip ice cream
*4 ears of white corn, organic
*head of cabbage
*bag of brown rice
*2 pieces of tilapia
(and a cookie...shhh)