Monday, September 26, 2011

Grace from the Fairy Grandmother

Bacon at the Bacon-Fest...yummy,
I am an employee at the local Hallmark store and was asked to work Saturday.  I was called in to help in the afternoon while the other two ladies took turns going for their hour lunch breaks.  One had gone and returned so the second left as it got really busy.  The First Annual Bacon Fest was the event of the day so the town square was busy with folks wanting their free BLT sandwich.  Events had slowed down; Miss Sizzle and Little Miss Bacon-bits were sporting their crowns as traffic in the store picked up with customers wandering in.

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile & Princess.
I’m a seasonal employee…I used to work part-time, then full time when the manager had a accident and was out for 3 months.  I decided seasonal was the better choice for me so I could visit family and have days off when my husband took vacation days.  Down side of that is I have forgotten so much of how to do things, they also have changed how they do things so I’m not up to speed on some procedures.

Free BLT sandwich...loooong line for these.
“Fairy Grandmother” came in with her husband and granddaughter.  I call her that because that’s what the t-shirt she was wearing had written across it.  Now that I’m going to be a grandmother myself I am tuned in to all things grandmother.  She was probably in her 60’s, wore glasses, jeans and t-shirt and had gray and white shoulder length hair.  Nothing that would make her stand out in a crowd, just your average grandmother.  I asked her about her t-shirt and chatted about being a grandmother myself come January.  Her husband (aka Fairy Grandfather) informed me that it is the right of all grandparents to spoil their grandchildren.   They did their shopping and I worked the register ringing up sales. 

Little Miss Bacon-Bits
Fairy Grandmother and her granddaughter returned with their purchases at the same time several customers were ready to pay and leave.  My co-worker was asked to help a customer with some jewelry so I was the only one available at the register.  Fairy Grandmother gave me her Gold Crown card and it had been so long since she had used it that Hallmark had purged it from the system.  I got her another card and asked if she had the time to have the information entered into the register.  She did so I started the process.  This is one of those areas that procedures had changed over time and I’m not used to the new way of doing things so I’m slower than it would normally take.
Behind Fairy Grandmother was another lady waiting her turn; I’ll call her Ms. Impatient.  She most defiantly did not have time for me to enter information for a new card and made sure I and everyone else knew it.  I don’t know this woman personally but I know her…I’ve been her.  Huffing at the inconvenience, commenting on having only one register going when there were 3 ladies working..been there, done that.  I explained that we were down to two employees while the third was at lunch, but it fell on deaf ears and a less than patient mindset.  The more she fussed the more flustered I became and the more of a mess I made of the process of trying to get Fairy Grandmother’s Gold Crown card updated.  My face was red, I was hot, my fingers didn’t seem to know how to type, and in general I was a mess.  My co-worker finished with her customer at the jewelry display and came and helped me with my card entry that was going haywire and asked if she could help the next person.  Fairy Grandmother told her she was fine but the next lady was in a hurry.  So Ms. Impatient jumped in line ahead of the woman my co-worker had been helping with the jewelry.  By now I had given her the credit slip to sign and was bagging up Fairy Grandmothers purchase, apologizing for it taking so long.  She assured me it was fine she was in no hurry.  I thanked her for her patience and turned to help the next customer.  As she walked out the door I couldn’t remember getting the signed credit card slip from her so I finished with the customers in line and checked my register for the credit card slip.  I had forgotten it. 
Candy at the store I work favorite are the peaches, 3rd on the top row

Have you ever had one of those days that you think to yourself why did I think I could do this job?  I turned to my coworker and told her I had to go run after Fairy Grandmother.  Fairy Grandfather had stayed behind to secretly purchase something for his wife and told me she was in the store next door.  So off I went…thankful for the cool autumn breeze as I rushed out the door because I was now in full blown hot flash mode.  All I could think was how glad I was that I didn’t have to chase after Ms. Impatient and how terrible I was at my job. 

I found Fairy Grandmother and told her what the problem was, she was as sweet as she could be as she looked through her purse for the signed credit card slip.  Not finding it she said it must be in the bag that was now in her car…so off we went.  All the way I apologized and she was told me it was ok, but I knew it was my incompetence that had us walking down the street to her car together. 

She got the bag, found the slip and gave it to me with a smile.  I told her how much I appreciated her understanding and was so sorry at the inconvenience to her.  Smiling she told me that we all have those things happen and Ms. Impatient hadn’t helped matters.  As I turned to walk off she said “Wait a minute.” and smiling she walked up to me and gave me a big hug.  As I hugged the woman I was relieved to know that she really was being honest when she told me it was alright.

Later that evening I was sharing the story with my husband and I told him that Fairy Grandmother had every reason to be annoyed, put out, and angry with me but she had offered nothing but grace.  How often have I been Ms. Impatient instead of Fairy Grandmother when dealing with people in my own life?  How often have I been so focused on myself and my agenda that I gave no thought to how my attitude was hurting the person I was interacting with?   How often have people dealt with me a “Ms. Impatient” and not even seen a glimpse of Jesus in me?  How that must grieve my Lord to see one of His children act so unloving towards other.  

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

Can you relate?  We really need each other as we walk this road called life.  We need to love one another, encourage one another, and be kind, understanding and patient with one another.  Pray for me, and I will pray for you.  Pray that we will be known by our love.  I want to be like Fairy Grandmother instead of Ms. Impatient no matter how crazy things get as the holidays approach.

Walk in Love,