Of such is retail

There’s nothing like working in retail to enable seeing the best in the worst and humility, often within five minutes of one another. From the woman on Christmas Eve who, with tears in her eyes, hugged me because I was able to find the toy her son had just written Santa to beg for, to the woman today who screamed at me because I couldn’t immediately identify which Pokémon card set her son was identifying by pointing to and saying “that one” instead of telling me its name; from the harried mom thanking me for giving her cause to laugh via a few well-timed wisecracks to the clump of women attempting to get away with shoplifting via shouted belligerence … yes, you experience it all, good and bad.

It’s difficult to remember the good sometimes when you’re in the midst of bad; difficult not to react when someone is using you as the whipping boy or girl for whatever frustrations life may have thrown their way. The woman angered by her unruly children she was left in primary or sole possession of because they had an in-person sperm donor in lieu of a father, venting against anyone with a Y chromosome, seeing you as guilty by association. The person automatically assuming racism when in fact none exists, your reaction connected solely to misbehavior that knows no connection to skin color. The parent or grandparent incapable of seeing any action of their offspring as inappropriate, beaming with pride as their little darling destroys store property. These are commonplace. You either learn how to deal without becoming Anger from Inside Out, or you get out.

Of such is retail.