Yesterday, I was in the dreaded WalMart… I really prefer Target but I needed WalMart at the time. Anyway, my first stop was Customer Service for a return. There was a lady going off about a $50 gift card she bought that she never used that is showing up as used already and she just wants to buy groceries and go home. She had expected to pay for the groceries with the gift card. She spoke to a grand total of four different managers over about 10 or 15 minutes and she gradually got louder and more frustrated as time went on. There was no good solution to her problem. The receipt was clear and her story made sense… but not really… At the end of the day they had to make a decision to believe her or not to believe her. Can you imagine how many stories and lies they hear in a day? I bet they hear more fairy tales than truths. The lady’s three girls were waiting near the cart behind her, looking very tired (it was late), and a little embarrassed. By the time my transaction was done, I was 100% mentally involved in this lady’s situation and even I could not find a solution. If the store takes the blame, again
st all of the evidence presented, then they are out $50 and just got hustled. If they defend themselves, they will practically bring this lady to tears and destroy any previous positive memories of WalMart forever. Not to mention, she wouldn’t be able to buy the groceries she needs for her kids.
Although my body language was completely dedicated to my own transaction and the minor issues my cashier was having with trying to finalize my refund, I was paying attention. I decided to turn my operations mind off and tune in to the real issue. The emotionally charged conversation was going nowhere fast. This customer was a mom first, right now. I could imagine her thoughts:
“How will I feed them tonight. What about dinner? And breakfast during the week? Oh no! My budget is shot! When is my next paycheck? There is nothing left from that. Are my girls watching? I can’t cry. Don’t cry. Whatever you do, do not cry.” [That is my version of the narrative in her head. Thank you… thank you.]
I chose to believe her. I thought about who I am and Who I represent. What would I need if the roles were reversed. What could I do? So I asked my cashier if she had any gift cards and the rest is history. The details aren’t important. Here’s what is important:
I subtly slid the gift card to my right and into her hand. I leaned in to her and quietly said, “This is all I can afford but I think it will help. I know it is hard right now but God sees you.” She looked back at me and with tears welled up in her eyes, all she could quietly mutter was a broken, “Thank you.” To which I responded, “My pleasure.” and I walked away quickly. I wanted to hug her until she got it all out but I felt like I was supposed to drop off and go. As I walked away, one of the managers who had been trying to sort out the mess rushed over to me and said, “Wow. You’ve restored my faith in the world. There are good people. That was really amazing what you did. Thank you so much. She really needed that.” He went on to explain that they are going to try to figure it out but it may take a while. I just smiled and the Christian in me blurted out, “Yes, there is good because there is God. Please try to help her.”
I don’t tell friends this story because we don’t always need to broadcast the good we do. In fact, I think it kind of takes away from it. But I write it here because writing here is therapeutic for me. Also, no one reads my Blog so I know it’s safe. LOL! The point is, I couldn't solve the problem but I did what I could do contribute positively to the situation. Yes, she may have cussed a few times (towards the end) but haven’t we all? Who knows what her story is and how long her journey has been? We get tired! And when we are tired, we aren’t ourselves sometimes.
I wonder what would have happened had I ignored her cries for help? Or thought she wasn’t my problem? Or left it up to WalMart? Who knows! But I do know that the feeling I got from helping was worth it all. That was my reward. If I could feel that way every day, I would be in Heaven here on earth. That is why I work so hard for my family, and for my clients.
Yesterday, in the Customer Service Department at WalMart, I rediscovered myself. And I liked who I saw.
When was the last time you rediscovered your true self… and loved it?