Saturday, November 21, 2009


Having an urge for ribs all week, I hopped down to the nearest supermarket yesterday to take advantage of the deli's Friday special on ribs.

Placing the ribs in my cart, I rolled it to the back of the store to see what was available on the other hot table before proceeding to pick up toothpaste, margarine, and raisin bread.

Not seeing my favorite cashier, I looked for the shortest check-out line, unloaded my groceries on the conveyor belt, and swiped my card while Becky, the cashier, scanned my purchases.

Bagging my bread and toothpaste in one bag, she put the ribs into a second bag and the hot vegetables into a third.

"That bag is ripped," I said indicating the bag holding the ribs.

Becky turned the bag to see the split and put the margarine into the bag with the container of hot vegetables.

"Please don't do that!"

Her hand froze and she looked at me.

"You're putting cold food next to hot," I explained. Unreal. Doesn't she know any better than that? The vegetables will have the margarine melted before I get home.

She moved the margarine to the bag with the bread and toothpaste. Then, she put the ribs into a new bag.

"$23.22," she said after totaling my bill.

I waited.

She waited.

"$23.22," she repeated.

"My screen says it's waiting on you," I replied, not used to having a cashier who doesn't pay attention to her screen.

"Did you swipe your card?" Becky asked.


She looked at her screen and pressed a button. "Debit or credit?"

"I pressed the credit button," I said, thinking she obviously wasn't paying attention to her screen again as I began picking up my bags.

As Becky handed me my receipt, the previous customer returned saying that she didn't get her change.

"I remember you handing me the receipt, but not the money and I can't find it anywhere," she said.

I did that a few months ago at Wal-Mart and had to wait until the next day for the cashier to finish her shift, close out her drawer and do her count before I was able to receive my money. I worried that it might be only my word against hers if the cashier decided to pocket my money for herself, but the Customer Service representative said they could also check the video tape to see if I was handed my cash back or not. I don't know if this supermarket has cameras everywhere like Wal-Mart does, so it might be more of a mess to fix.

I was glad it wasn't me.

I left the store, still incredulous that Becky put my margarine in with the hot vegetables. What was she thinking?

Was she thinking?

Upon reflection, remembering how she wasn't paying attention to her screen and that she may not have given the previous customer her change, I decided that Becky was distracted by something else going on in her life and is more in need of my prayers than my criticism.

I invite you to pray for her, too.

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