This morning I was at a department store making a return. It was just a few minutes after the store had opened, but I could tell something wasn't right. There was a thick tension in the air. I had a return, and no one was at any of the many registers lined against the wall. An anxious staff member approached me, "Do you have a return? You'll have to do it in the cosmetic department because all of our registers are down in the store; except for the 2 in there. I apologize for the inconvenience." 'Well, that's annoying', I thought selfishly to myself. Not because I had to walk a few feet from the registers, but because I don't care for the energy of that department. Nothing personal to them or the store; I just don't like it in there. Not my kind of vibes.
I walked into cosmetics, (bubbled up with white light energy) and joined the small line at the two registers. The teenagers running one of the registers (there were two of them) were extremely chipper. Maybe a little too chipper for me this morning (truth be told); but I could tell that they were trying to make the most of it. They added samples for each purchase, "That's right; you get a sample just for checking out in this department, even though your items aren't even from in here!"
The lady helping me was a little older, and I think she was a manager. She and another manager tried to do my tricky return. I could feel the tension mounting in the moment, from the ladies. The managers were simply consumed with stress.
After about 5 minutes of this, I finally said, 'I feel SO sorry for you guys. And it's only 10AM! At least it's not Saturday?" They looked at me in gratitude and one of them said, 'Well thank you for saying that! It's so nice of you to consider us.'
I said, 'I bet those registers will be up by noon." And they said, 'That would be great!' A customer commented that they have a huge sale today...and only 2 registers in the entire store...
Then I was inspired. I kept getting this feeling to do something, but I continued to let my fear of rejection get the best of me. Finally, after one of the ladies left to manage something else, I said, "I never do this, but you look like you will really need this after today. I am a massage therapist (as I took out a card and wrote a coupon on it), and I'll give you $20 off if you come and see me'. I guess I figured she'd appreciate the gesture-and she seemed like a nice lady. Well, to my surprise, the teenagers and all of the other ladies (4 total) cheered and gasped, 'WOW! That's so incredibly nice of you!' and so on. Who knew such a little gesture would make such a big reaction? She said to me, 'I have back and disc problems and I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. Thank you!" I felt really good at that moment; like I did what I could do to shift the energy; with every tool I had.
As I was leaving, another sales person came from the back smiling, "Another register is up in the back of the store-we have 3 now!" There was optimism and hope within the staff-I could feel it. They were going to be OK.
I have to laugh because it's so small, and yet it's so big. Most times, we are so consumed by how we are feeling, that we don't stop to consider how others are feeling, in the very same moment.
I hope this post inspires you to do a nice gesture when there is an opportunity to do so. Even if it means stating the obvious; like, "This situation is really hard, and I feel badly for you." Sometimes, a little compassion is all you need to offer.