Christmas shopping can be stressful!
Everything takes longer. Long traffic lines. Long lines at the check out, and long faces on people waiting in line. People are often grouchy and it feels as if they expect everyone else to be the same way. However, I have a “secret decision” regarding this pervading attitude of irritability.
When faced with Christmas shopping — especially as it grows closer to the actual date — I try to make a conscious decision NOT to be a grouchy, stressed person. Instead I try to smile at the people around me, be friendly and especially try to be PATIENT — even when the lines are long!
Recently, I was in line at a busy store. Things were moving along smoothly when the lady in front of me asked the teenage clerk to put some tape on her box so it wouldn’t fall open. Wordlessly, the young clerk stopped checking, walked away from the check out area and began marching quickly across the front of the store. The lady checking out turned to me with the most bewildered look on her face and instantly began apologizing!
However, the sight of that young clerk silently exiting the check out and moving in a stiff stride, struck me as funny and I began to laugh! I told the woman it was no problem and I wasn’t in any hurry. My comment seemed to help her relax and then she began to give me the play-by-play of the clerks actions.
“She looks like she’s marching!”
“Surely she could have just checked with one of the other clerks around her?”
“I’m so sorry!”
“I had no idea she would take off like that or I never would have said anything!” (I began to laugh even more)
“I think she’s coming back and carrying one piece of tape in her hand!” (This brought on laughter that produced tears in my eyes)
“Yes, she only has one piece of tape in her hand.” (More laughter from me — and then she started to laugh too)
“Can you believe this?”
“I’m so sorry!”
“Who would have thought she would take off like that!”
The girl returned to her check-out area and finished up, while I tried to contain my laughter. With her bags in hand, the woman turned to me, smiled widely and thanked me one more time for being so patient! I laughed and waved goodbye!
As I moved up to check out I glanced over my shoulder to find a line of people who had obviously become amused by the crazy situation the two of us had just encountered. It was then I realized that my “secret decision” had become visible and had resulted in turning a negative into a positive! This made me further realize…..
….Christmas shopping wasn’t the only time I needed to live out my “secret decision”! How about all day every day!