It happened at my local Aldi store. If you're not familiar with Aldi, it is a type of discount grocery stored based in Germany, but with many U.S. locations. It is unique in that you bag your own groceries; pay a (returnable) quarter for shopping cart rental; have one type of most grocery items, i.e.; one type of ketchup, one brand of milk, one type of corn flakes, etc.; pay lower prices because of these things and you wait in long lines because there may be only one cashier depending on the time of day.
I feed a family of six so I am one of those people that everyone hates getting stuck behind because my cart is full. Like everyone else, I'm usually in a hurry and trying to cram too many errands in too small of a time slot, but I try to be gracious (sometimes) and let someone with a small grocery order go ahead of me in line, particularly if they are waiting patiently.
Confession time. If I hear someone groaning, sighing and complaining behind me, I pretend they don't exist and don't offer to let them go ahead. I know, I know, this is not how a Christian woman should behave. I'm working on it.
On this particular day, I heard a man groaning, sighing and complaining behind me and I pretended he didn't exist. He was trying to get the cashier's attention so she would call for another cashier. Suddenly I hear a bellowed, "Ma'am. Ma'am." But I didn't turn around because I didn't think he was talking to me.
Turns out he was, and he asked to go ahead of me. I politely responded that yes, he could.
After he went ahead and placed his three boxes of tissues on the counter, he began to complain loudly to the cashier about the lack of other cashiers. I chimed in and said (nicely), "When you shop at Aldi, you have to learn to be patient."
He continued to complain about the lack of cashiers and I said, "This is how Aldi keeps their prices low." He sort of muttered to himself, thanked me for letting him go ahead and left.
It was just a small encounter and not particularly important, but as I left the store I realized I felt really, really good.
Normally, I would feel angry that this type of big-mouth bully once again got what he wanted through rude, pushy behavior. However, for the first time, I calmly and politely confronted a complaining bully.
The kind of person who usually makes me angry.
But this time, I spoke up, defended that poor cashier, made my point and remained gracious throughout. Did I accomplish anything? I don't know. Did the man gain a new understanding about his behavior? I don't know that either. I do know that I felt empowered and still smile when I think about it.
Welcome to Day 2 of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Today's letter is B.