Wednesday, May 22, 2013

holding awareness today

she works at my grocery store.
she's full of life, very friendly, and totally outspoken.

only not this time.

i asked her how she was doing.
she looked at me with an unhappy face and shook her head.

i've heard her struggles before. she's very open. she talks.

only not this time.
she quietly rang up the groceries.

putting the bags in my cart i commented 'you're awfully quiet.'

she whispered to me that they told her to stop talking.
that it was her last warning.
that she'd be fired.

oh man.
i nodded, gave her the 'i'm so sorry' face.
and kept putting bags in the cart.
i didn't want to get her in trouble.

i watched her quietly ringing the groceries up.

this is what they want? i thought.
this sucks.

i thought of the people who run the place.
and i thought 'yeah, this is what they want.'

and i thought of how she must be feeling.
how it must feel to have the people you work with tell you to be quiet
or you'd be fired. that you weren't right the way you naturally were.

i thought what it'd be like for her to go home.
i've heard of her struggles with an emotionally abusive husband.

i sighed.
talk about a world that says you're no good.

i shot her an 'i care' look and told her to hang in there.

and i sadly pushed my cart out to my car.

i thought of the boxes we make.
that we need to put people in.
that they need to fit in and adapt to or we'll humiliate them.

we put people in them all the time.
maybe not as obvious as this one.
maybe we don't outright humiliate someone.
but do we make them feel 'different' in some way?
don't we all do that to each other in small ways all the time?
we're not so innocent as we think.
how about a roll of the eyes? a sarcastic comment?
i know i do this even tho i try not to.
i know i do.

and i don't know.........i'm just feelin' like tryin' real hard never to do it again.

the world kicks so hard so often.
why add?

gonna hold my actions with awareness today.

and i'm thinking that here's something about that very awareness that has power in it.


Diane in AR said...

How awful for her - her previously joyous visiting with customers stilled-stopped-threatened... Maybe a letter or call to the manager that one of the MAIN reason you shop at their store is the caring cashier - that you always try to check out with her because of her innate friendliness - it might help. . .sending her stars and some for you too for appreciating her and being aware. . .

terri st. cloud said...

thanks, diane....i was thinking the same kinda thing..

Anonymous said...

I am so with Dianne! ~grin~ I can be a firebrand when people get me going, and people who diminish other people, get me going.
But in true southern style, I bless there little hearts right into the corner.
" bless your heart, did you think that I wanted to go to a automated check out machine like they have at wallmart? Bless your heart, one of the reasons I come here is because I like to chat with people. Now sweetie, You telling that girl to hush, was not only unkind, but silly to! I mean really? do you want us to go to wallmart and use there machines? Or shop here, where I get a smile and some good Old fashioned conversation? Hmmmm?

terri st. cloud said...

why is it i can picture the 'bless your heart' stuff??? grin.

thanks you guys.....later on i remembered that there's a timing thing when you get checked out. they have to scoot so many groceries thru in a cerain amount of time. no kidding. i can talk to someone....but i think that's gonna be my answer. we shall see.....

Diane Stefan said...

Though born a yankee (ny) I've lived in the south (nc, tx and ar) for almost 30 years and I finally 'got' the bless their heart thing and I love, love, love it. . .will be writing a poem about it for sure!!!