I needed to run a few errands this morning on my way out of town.
Errands! On the day before Thanksgiving! On a hectic, busy, people-are-already-stressed-to-the-max- day-before- Thanksgiving! On the busiest travel day of the year!
I must admit, I had a bit of an edge about me as I walked into Home Depot. “This is going to be bad,” I muttered as a way of preparation so I could protect myself from the rudeness, apathy, or lack of civility surely I would encounter.
My mission was simple: procure new white lights and extension cords to replace the ones that surely would cause a fire should I dare to test fate just one more year. But somewhere on the path toward good and focused intentions, I happened upon the recent holiday flower shipment, seducing me to stray from the course. White poinsettias, white Christmas cactus, and white orchids beckoned me further into the aisle as if Serendipity already knew that my chosen holiday theme this year was White Christmas. Before long, with arms laden with treasures, I found myself in desperate need of a cart.
An employee stood close by. As our eyes met, he smiled and said, “may I get you a cart?” Before long we were admiring my purchases and discussing the proper care of orchids. I shared my confession that I’ve long adored orchids and yet had never owned one of these deliciously graceful and romantic beauties. He smiled and wished me well.
With my cart now overflowing, I navigated my way to Checkout, only to find that the only counters available were self-serve. Having only used a self-serve occasionally (why would you choose to when you could interact with a live person and collect great speech material?) I hesitated, knowing that my inexperience would likely cause a major backup on one of the busiest days of the year. I knew I would be the cause of additional stress for those unfortunate enough to come behind me. Ironically, I both hate and love that about myself….the fact that I actually care whether I’m inconveniencing other people!
Another employee voluntarily approach me and offered to help. She swiftly and expertly handled my sale and with a smile, handed me the receipt. She pointed to the required “interested in giving us feedback?” email notation at the bottom of my receipt should I care to respond from the comfort of my home. As I turned to leave, she made eye contact with me (on a busy-stressful-chaotic-day-before-a-holiday) and quietly said, “I’m Grace.”
And some days, all we need is a little grace.
May this Thanksgiving season find you filled with grace, kindness, and gratitude.