Friday, December 17, 2010
A Touch of Humanity
My solution: Buy her a simple, black nondescript sweater for Christmas.
My plan: Head to TJ Maxx to hunt.
Now, I don't like to hunt. I prefer to shop. Hunting requires that I remain focused and search for something specific. Shopping allows me to wander and take in the view, flitting from one rack to the next, destination unknown. I like random. Random is good. But ten days before Christmas there's no time for random. I'm forced out into the cold cruel world—to hunt.
I entered the store, glad to be in the warmth, and began to prowl through the racks. Focused. But I kept getting interrupted.
"Cashier Number Two will assist you now," said the computerized feminine voice.
Moments later: "Cashier Number Five will assist you now."
The voice was interrupting my hunt. I wonder if those employees hear that voice over and over in their heads when their trying to sleep at night. I thought. Poor things. And the annoying voice continued. And the hunt continued.
And the annoying voice continued. "Cashier Number One . . . , Cashier Number Three . . . , Cashier Number Two, . . ."
By the time I nabbed the prize sweater (yes, TJ Maxx had one, love it when that happens!), I was programmed.
I stood in the checkout line, oblivious to those around me and progressed forward, one annoying cashier number at a time. "Cashier Number Three will assist you now. Cashier Number Five will assist you now." And so on.
Finally, I made it to the front of the line. And I waited, and waited, lost in my Christmas to-do list thoughts. I peered out the window, staring at nothing. Eventually, my eyes drifted back to the line of cashiers.
Then it was if someone said, "Earth to Carolyn. Earth to Carolyn. Come in Carolyn," as my eyes landed on Cashier Number Two. Is she looking at me. I thought.
I pointed to my chest and mouthed, "Me?"
She smiled and nodded yes.
I took the simple, black nondescript sweater and made a beeline to Cashier Number two.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I wasn't paying attention. I didn't hear the voice say your number."
She grinned. "Sometimes a little eye contact works better, don't you think?"
I couldn't have agreed more.
"Happy Holidays!" she said as she handed me my bagged prized sweater.
My eyes met hers. "And Merry Christmas to you too."
Wishing you many touches of humanity during these final countdown days toward Christmas. Happy hunting!