Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Calmer Gentler World

I used to be a Type A personality with a CAPITAL A! I lived my life in CAPITAL LETTERS. EXCLAMATION MARK! But over the years I calmed down quite a bit. And even more so recently when I resolved to try to take 5 minutes - just 5 minutes a day - to breathe and relax. It's been a struggle to remember to integrate it into my life. But, when I'm in the car waiting at a red light and have nothing better to do, I somehow manage to do it.

I believe there's been a reaction to my action. I see a kinder, calmer, gentler world out there. Take last night. I went to Whole Foods to satisfy my craving for fresh oysters. Felix, the man behind the counter stepped up to serve me, with a smile. I told him what I wanted. As he reached into the tank to retrieve the mollusks, he accidentally squirted me with water - all over. Rather than getting mad, I laughed and thanked him for cooling me off. He was a bit horrified, asked if I was OK, and offered me a towel. But it was nothing. As he was shucking those little guys, he was explaining the difference among oysters, and how to tell if they are fresh. [Tap the shell. If it sounds like a rock, it's OK. If it sounds a little hollow, it is not OK.] By the time he was done, he'd filled my order, given me two samples, and sneaked in two extra oysters to make up for the soaking.

It's a small thing, but rich or poor, we all like to get a little something for nothing every now and again. I knew I'd be coming back many more times to buy oysters from Felix. Felix's act of kindness made me feel gentler as I moved on to the checkout. There, the cashier rang up my produce incorrectly four times. She was getting more and more flustered even though I told her not to worry, I was in no hurry, it was OK. I didn't have the heart to call her attention to another error. So, I headed over to customer service to correct the error.

The customer service manager confirmed I'd been overcharged. She cheerly refunded the entire amount for the produce in crisp dollars bills. I smiled and waited expectantly for her to weigh the red trevesino and tell me what I owed. But, she just smiled back, thanked me for my patience with the cashier, said it was their error, and apologized for my inconvenience. She said, "No charge." For the second time that night I felt calm begets calm. A smile begets a smile. In my Type A world, there would only have been misery. In my calmer, gentler world there is only peace.

1 comment:

The Flirty Girl said...

Ahhhhhh! Exactly!