“If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you.”
You know those little, yummy, 300-empty-calories-but-totally-worth-it, mini cupcakes that you see at the grocery store, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club…everywhere?
One delicious, chocolate, mini cupcake, with red, swirled frosting, is staring at me, while I write this.
Last night, I made an evening run to Walmart to buy groceries. Yep, I went on a Friday evening. You’d think it would be pandemonium in there, but it was straight-up chill.
A very pleasant surprise, indeed.
It’s always nice, when you don’t have to lower a shoulder to get down an aisle or play “bumper carts”, as you “accidentally” send the “Move your ass!” message to some clueless woman who stopped in the middle of the row for no apparent reason whatsoever.
As I went through the aisles, picking and choosing the seemingly least-healthy items I could find, I noticed that there were an absolute ton of Walmart employees, stocking shelves.
They were everywhere.
I started paying attention to whether or not the customers interacted with them, as well as the body language of the employees.
First, let me just say that the majority of the customers — nope, let me correct that — not one person shopping in that store said one word to the employees.
The customers moved around these employees — these people — as if they were inanimate objects; Reaching over and around them, to snatch something off the shelf that the employee had just placed there.
The Walmart stockers just kept their eyes straight ahead and continued stocking.
Some had their shoulders slumped, head down, eyes straight ahead — sending the clear message that they didn’t want any interaction.
Others would look at the customers and smile, as they passed, only to be completely ignored.
Are we really so busy that we can’t say hello to someone who just smiled kindly at us?
When I arrived at the sliced cheese section of this particular Wally World, in Dickinson, North Dakota, there was a man standing there, replenishing different varieties and brands of sliced cheese.
He was wearing the standard blue vest and Walmart facemask. We didn’t make eye contact. He wasn’t slouched or sending the message that he didn’t want to be bothered either.
As I reached up to extract some prepackaged colby jack slices, I said, “Excuse my reach. My apologies, if I’m getting in the way of you doing your job. I’ll just be a second.”
My goodness…the look of sheer appreciation in this man’s eyes was crystal clear, as his head snapped in my direction.
It was as if his eyes were saying, “You can see me? You’re not going to just push me out of the way so you can grab what you want?”
But that’s not at allwhat this man said to me. . .
Instead, he offered his assistance, “You’re not in the way at all. If you need anything from the top shelf, please just let me know, and I’ll get it for you.”
As I placed the cheese in my nearly-filled cart, I looked him in the eye and said, “Thank you.”
Even though he was wearing a company-mandated facemask, I could tell by the way his eyes squinted and turned up that he was smiling. “You’re very welcome,” he said.
It was a five-star Wally World experience.
Deciding to keep up the positive momentum, I made the choice to positively interact with each Walmart employee who wasn’t sending a clear message that they did not to be disturbed.
Each and every time, the employee was pleasant and helpful.
Listen to me here, people.
Each and every time.
It was simple as me saying, “Hello!” to them, or “I’m so sorry to bug you. I just need to get by real quick.”
The clincher, though, was the absolutely lovely woman who was stocking a display in the bakery.
I’d smiled and greeted her, as I pushed my cart by her, and she warmly greeted me, as well.
Then, I circled back around, when I noticed the display she was stocking was delicious, mini cupcakes.
“Oh my gosh, those look so good!” I couldn’t help saying and I reached for the package of 12 closest to me — yes, I will eat all 12 and love every second of it. Sue my fat ass, if it offends you.
The Walmart employee, gently placed her fingers on the package I was picking up and said, “Take these,” as she handed me a different package from the cart she was using to restock the display. “They’re fresher, and no one else but the bakers have touched the package. They’re straight from the bakery and haven’t been sitting here all day.”
I returned the package I’d previously selected to the display and accepted the package she was offering instead, and thanked her.
“It’s my pleasure,” she said. “I hope you have a great night,” with kind eyes.
My takeaway from my journey into Walmart-Land is simple:
Even while working, people like interaction.
Not just Walmart employees. Every one.
Make no mistake about it, I can’t stand the salespeople, working on commission, that jump on you like a fly on poop, as soon as you walk into a store.
I’ll flat-out tell those vultures to go eff themselves in the quickest fashion imaginable.
There’s a distinct difference between kindness and an agenda. We all know this.
One of the quotes that’s most resonated with me on this topic is this:
“The Worst Thing You Can Do To Someone Is Make Them Invisible.”
And yet, a lot of us makes others invisible without even realizing that we’re doing it.
Not gonna lie: I ate two of those mini cupcakes when I got home last night.
Frosting + chocolate mini cake = Sugary Ecstasy.
I see you, Walmart Cupcake Goddess.
I see you, and I thank you for your kindness.