The Day that Walmart Didn’t Suck

Last week my son and I headed to Walmart like we do every week for our grocery shopping. I was dreading it because well it’s Walmart and the place has a way of ruining your day. Either you get cashier a that’s been treated rudely or cursed out because of how there are only 4 cashiers working and a customer had to wait in line for more than 10 minutes, so that in return just makes them upset and not friendly. Or you run into bunch other shoppers that are just pissed because they are shopping at Walmart or maybe they’ve had a bad day. And some days if you’re really lucky you get to deal with both of these things.

After working for the Walmart Corporation (Sam’s Club)  and other retail jobs, I can tell you this: treating your cashier like poo because there aren’t more cashiers or other mundane things is uncalled for. It’s not their fault. They don’t make the schedule, a computer usually does that. If you want more cashiers, pick up the phone and give the manager of the store a call or call the corporate office. The cashiers are seriously just doing their job. Because of being a cashier and a consumer I always try to keep in mind that everyone has a bad day and sometimes that effects us in other aspects of our lives but we shouldn’t take it out on innocent people. Anyway that little rant has nothing really do with he story I’m trying to tell. So where was I…Oh yeah….

My son and I walk into Walmart. As soon as we get in there he sees the little ridding toys and video games, like always he ask if he can play. (This is usually where I lie and tell him no because they are broken. Seriously, I hope the man/woman that decided to put those things at the entrance, stubs their pinky toe and then steps on a pile of legos every day. I’ve tried telling him the truth, that results in a meltdown but if I tell him they are broken he’s like okay and I don’t have to deal with a meltdown. I know it’s bad Mommying but grocery shopping with a curious 3 year old is tough.So judge all you want.) For whatever reason this day I decided to let him ride one of the little riding toys. I even played the vending machine  and won two little toy balls. I let my son pick out the he wanted and I gave the other to another little boy.  When my son was finished with his little riding thing, we grabbed a buggy and did our shopping without hassle.

I was almost to checkout when I remembered that I needed olive oil. So we ran back down to the oil aisle. While there my son began asking me for ice-cream. I told him no because he had popsicles at home. He then started with the pretty, pretty please bit and batting those beautiful baby blue eyes at me but this Mama stayed strong.  Then this older gentleman who was probably in his late 70’s early 80’s turns to me and say’s  “You should get that young man some ice-cream, Mom.” (If you’re a parent in the South then I’m pretty sure you’ve heard some variation of that line before.) I smiled politely and explained that he had popsicles at home. Then the man started to reach for his wallet and I quickly stopped him. I tell him “You don’t need to that. He’ll be fine.” Then the older gentleman looks at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen in my life and says “Please, I don’t have a wife or a family. It’s just me and it would make my day to buy this handsome young fella some ice-cream”. I could feel the lump gathering in my throat, the tears swell  in my eyes and I knew I had lost a battle I won so many times before “Okay Sir, but you really don’t have too.” He smiled real big, opened his wallet and gave my son a dollar. My son thanked the man and he was so excited about his dollar. Then I thanked the man and he just smiled real big  and replied “Your Welcome”. Then he walked away in the opposite direction. I immediately walked my son over to the ice-cream aisle and let him pick the kind that he wanted.  On our way back to check out we ran into the gentleman again. I made sure he knew that we had gotten ice-cream and I thanked him again.  He smile still hadn’t faded.

Then while I was searching for a checkout lane, the cashier working the 20 items or less aisle motioned me over. To which I responded “Are you sure? I have way more than 20 items”. She said” Yes, honey it’s fine.” She let my son help her bag the groceries and turn to the wheel of bags thing. That kind of stuff is just the coolest thing to a 3 year old. She was so friendly and kind. After she rang us up, I told my son to give her his dollar for his ice-cream. He dug in his little pocket and handed her the dollar. She had another dollar sitting beside the register. She then takes her dollar and puts in the register and gives him his dollar back.  She tells him “Save your dollar for something else, sweetheart.” He thanks her and I thanked the lady and offered to give her, her dollar back to which responded “No, honey. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t want to”. We told her goodbye and to have a great day.

As I was loading the groceries into my car, I couldn’t help but to smile. I kept thinking this is the BEST DAY I’ve ever had a Walmart. It wasn’t because people gave my kid money either, it was because they were kind when they didn’t have to be. It was very eye opening, to what the world could look like if we were just a little kinder to each other.

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