Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Attitude check in Aisle 9

I love to grocery shop. Scratch that. I love to shop for food. That's better. However, going to the grocery store has been getting more and more unpleasant. Is it me or the overall experience?

Personally, I take a day and make the list of meals we will eat for the week. Then I make a list and write down all the ingredients I need for those meals. I even put them in order of how I shop through my grocery store. (Me? Meticulous? yes. yes I am.) And when I put my groceries on the conveyor belt I put them in sections of how they should be bagged...no joke.

My ideal shopping trip includes remembering my reusable bags, getting to shop from the right to the left of the store in order of my list, and getting into a line without a bagger, so that I can bag myself. (Ok, maybe I'm overly meticulous. I've accepted it.)

  • I really like when the store has all of the items on my list in stock.(today they did not.)
  • I really like when all of the produce looks fresh and clean. (today most looked waxed over and radiating pesticides).
  • I really like when people shop on their side of the aisle (it's not rocket science. Push your cart like you drive, on the right side. Don't stop in the middle of the aisle to answer your cell phone. If you want to look at an item, then push your cart aside and look at it, don't block ALL of the items for a 7 foot span with your body and your cart.)
  • I really like when I get to bag my items myself.
As I felt myself getting more and more aggravated by the situations occurring around and at me, it seemed like every person I saw around me was rude and incompetent. I actually thought, "Grocery shopping is proof that the theory of natural selection is wrong."

So I stopped in aisle 9, and gave myself a attitude check. I thought,
  1. I can afford my groceries and that is good.
  2. Even with some items out of stock I could still make 4 of the 7 meals I had planned for the week.
  3. That although some people were rude, I could allow it to make me angry and then be rude to other people or I could accept it and not let it ruin my day.

While, nothing magical happened and things did not improve instantly, I felt better. I smiled at the check out clerk and she made a nice conversation with me. And even though she insisted on bagging my items I did not get upset about it, but instead I enjoyed our chatting. She even bagged everything up very nicely.

I like to think that, while the world does not rotate around any one individual, the way we, as one person treat one other person can affect the world. So, when I'm having a grouchy day or moment, I picture the effect that a grouchy look can have on one person and then instead I picture the affect that a genuine smile can have on that same person in that same moment.

In the end, I would rather be remembered as the person that smiled. How about you?

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