I’m normally a bit of a push-over. Actually, I’ll qualify that. I’m not at all a push-over at work. In fact, I’m pretty tough and bold, but kind of nice about it. I’ve been told that I’m one of those people who can tell you to “go to hell” in such a way that you look forward to the trip.
Where I AM a push-over is any time I need to represent myself. Restaurant meal sucks? That’s okay, I won’t make a fuss. Old lady cuts in front of me at the ATM? She probably didn’t realize, no biggie. Cable/phone/repair guy is 4 hours later than he said he would be? I greet him with a smile and thank him for coming at all. Seriously, I’m a wuss.
Apparently, though, I have a breaking point.
On Friday, I slipped out to Old Navy to pick up some sale items, as I had 4 birthday gifts to buy. I dodged all the rude shoppers who took up the whole aisle with their carts while they shopped in a different aisle. I waited patiently for my turn to rifle through the fleece sweaters to find the right size. I helped a grandma pick out a matching camouflage shirt and pants for her grandson.
I picked out my deals and chose one of the eight lines that was open. The line wasn’t too long, I was maybe fourth in line. The woman in front of me had clearly been doing a lot of shopping, as she had 3 giant bags of clothes that she was shuffling along the line. In her hand was one sweater. The woman gets to the front of the line, hauls up one of the giant bags and says, “I would like to return all of these.” Just my luck.
The cashier asks for the receipt and the woman pulls out, I kid you not, a wallet that is 3 inches thick with receipts. We’ve been standing in line for at least 10 minutes, and it didn’t occur to her to pull out the receipt. I share an eye-roll moment with the guy behind me and I patiently waited another 10 minutes for the cashier and the woman to get the whole return thing figured out. Fine, I was just happy that it was now my turn. Not so fast, Lori… not so fast, my friend.
The cashier says to me, “I’m sorry, this line is closing, you’ll have to join another line.”
That, was my breaking point.
“Oh no I will not”, I said. “You will NOT be closing until you ring my purchases and this gentleman’s purchases through.”
“I’m off now”, she protested.
“You’re off after you ring us both through.” Who was this speaking?
“Okay,” she cowered. “Thank you for your patience.”
The guy behind me gave me an approving nod and a thumbs up.
And I felt really good. And powerful. And I just wanted someone else to cross me, because I was on.a.roll.