Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons Learned in Kindergarten

People amaze me. Truly they do. I can't say that this is a good thing.

Have you ever noticed, truly seen, the way people treat one another? Yesterday at work I was struck just by all the things we learn as children, at home, at church, in kindergarten, wherever, that we seem to forget as we grow older. We have a "right now" "me first" attitude. We expect other people to go out of the way for us, but we refuse to contribute. Three lessons I think we've forgotten:

Lesson One: Wait Your Turn

Yesterday at work I was helping a customer, ringing him up so he could leave, and talking to him while doing so. (I'm a social person, he was buying a calculator for his daughter, we were discussing which math class she's taking -- I can't help myself.) I was in the middle of the telling him the total when a woman interrupts, "Can I use this machine!"
"I'll be with you in a minute ma'am." I had no idea why she was asking. Was someone else on the machine. Was there an error on the screen? Who knows.
"I just need to know if I can use it!"
"I'm not sure, ma'am." I could feel my jaw clenching.
"Well, can I?" I glanced apologetically at the man, who shrugged, and peered around him. There was an error message on the screen.
"I'm not sure, ma'am. I'll check in a minute."
I finished ringing my customer up, and then went to look at the error message. Ironically, it wasn't an error message, but a message telling my customer to put her card in. "Yes, ma'am, you can use this machine. Just stick your card in this slot."

Lesson Two: Listen

Yesterday was one of "those" days, I suppose. I had a customer call up, and ask how much it costs to develop a camera. I'm assuming she meant a disposable camera. "We have a two-day send out service and a one hour service. It costs $6.48 for singles for a 24-picture roll in an hour, and it is $4.48 for singles for the sendout service."
Silence on the other line. "Ma'am?"
"So how much does it cost?"
"$6.48 for singles in an hour, $4.48 for singles in the two day service, $8.88 for doubles in an hour, and $5.36 (I can't remember for sure, but I think this is right) for double in the two day service."
"So how much does it cost?"
Trying not to scream: "It depends, ma'am on whether you want singles or doubles, and whether you want the one-hour service or the two-day service."
"I know that. I want to know the amounts."
"It's $6.50 for singles in an hour and $4.50 for singles in two days."
"How much is it for doubles?"
"$9 for doubles in a hour and $5.50 for doubles in two days."
"How much is it for ten rolls?"
I blinked my eyes in horror, "For the sendout service or the one hour service?"
"It's about $50 for singles for two days and $65 for one hour."
"What about for one hour for half singles and half doubles?"
"I don't know, ma'am. It's about $7o, I think." Math has never been my strong point.
"How do you get THAT!"
"Oh, never mind, I'll go somewhere else."
Click. Bye.

Lesson Three: Share

We have a drawer. Anything candy that is meant to be shared goes in the drawer. Heather and I contribute gum to the drawer on a regular basis. I buy at least once a week and Heather does the same. Every month or so, Torie contributes, and when Hans worked with us, he tossed in the occasional pack of gum with a piece or two that he didn't want.

Yesterday, I was popping cough drops like they were candy, and the occasional peppermint to rid myself of the taste. Cough drops went in the drawer. Peppermints were hoarded. I didn't want to share them. Yes, I know that's mean. I don't care.

Anyway, Rachel peered in the drawer, makes a face, and says, "There's no gum. Why isn't there gum? Robin, you've only put cough drops in here. Why haven't you put in your peppermints? You can get gum, I'll let you go even though it's not your break."

This lesson is more directed at me than anyone else. Should I have shared my peppermints? Probably. Did I? No. Do I regret that? Not in the slightest.

1 comment:

Melody said...

Whatever, Rachel's an asshole.