At The Shoppers

At the Shoppers Drug Mart down the street from my house, there’s a young girl who works the checkout on weekdays. I’d guess she’s about 20, so of course she is gorgeous, in a very natural girl-next-door kind of way. She has long red hair and that creamy kind of skin redheads often have, bright green eyes and impossibly straight teeth. She’s tallish and slim and even looks good in the Shoppers Drug Mart required red shirt uniform.

But more than this, she’s just a delightful soul. She’s so friendly and kind. She chatters all day long – “Okay, we’re ready to go, and this, and this, and this is on sale, I’ll make sure you get that price, and would you like a bag, it’s no trouble at all, paying with VISA? Excellent, and it’s a little slow, there we go, fantastic, thank you so much, and here’s a coupon for next time. Have a great day!”

On to the next person – exactly the same chatter but it sounds absolutely sincere and warm and welcoming. She cares about your wait time for the VISA machine, y’all. All day long, it must be hours of this, and yet she’s always cheerful. It amazes me.

I have seen her have endless patience for people confused by the debit machine.

I have seen her wait kindly for people to pick out lottery tickets, wish them a very happy day, then apologize sincerely to the next person in line for the wait.

I have seen her, at the end of her shift, look at the line up of people and stay an extra 10 minutes to clear it along.

I have seen her smile widely at people who have forgotten one last thing and have to run back for it.

I have seen her. She’s beautiful.

I don’t know what she’s doing at the Shoppers Drug Mart on weekdays, during the week. I like to imagine that she is going to art school in the evenings, or maybe saving up for a trip to Paris, or has family obligations that mean she has to work for a few years before heading to university, like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. I hope that while she is repeating “And is there an optimum card for that? no? No problem at all!” for the thousanth time today, that she is secretly dreaming of a life full of romance and adventure or maybe just a nice cup of tea brought to her at the end of the day by someone who loves her.

Maybe being a cashier is all she wants out of life – to meet her, you’d think so. But I hope for more for her. Because I have seen her, and she deserves it.

10 thoughts on “At The Shoppers

  1. What a wonderful post. I so hope she somehow reads this. Sometimes we need to realize we’re seen. There’s something about it that inspires boldness and confidence.

  2. You should tell her. And tell her boss. So much customer service is mediocre these days and when youthful people do all the things you think they’re incapable of, it’s even more special.

    In fact, I am going to take my own advice here. There’s an elderly lady at the Lowe’s checkout, who is the same way. She even calls me ‘dear’ and not ‘maam’….lol. I often wonder about these older people working these retail jobs – do they have to? do they want to? But, I always enjoy staying in line waiting my turn when she’s at the cash, and I never say anything other than give a nice response back to her (like, thank you too, have a nice day too!)…so next time I go in, I will say something to the manager. Because she deserves the recognition.

    Also, it has come to my attention that it’s bloggers who notice these things and then take the time to publish them on the internet. Thank you for your observations.

    C (formerly Javamom)

  3. this is beautiful!! I agree with what a couple others have said, you should definitely tell her AND also the manager/owner too. I’m sure they already know how nice and pleasant she is, but they may not realize just how awesome she is (as some management/owners aren’t overly ‘hands-on’, but I’m relating that more to my restaurant working experience). I’m sure they’d appreciate to hear this, and you’ll definitely make her day too!! Most of the folks working at the Shoppers close to me seem to hate their job…they don’t even say hello or try to chat, just ‘would you like a bag’ and the odd grumble. We need more people like her in the service industry 😀

  4. Don’t we all wish to be really seen, like you’ve done for this lovely girl? I think the best gift you can give a person is that kind of feedback. What do you think of printing out a copy of the post and giving it to her next time you’re in, as a special thank you?

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