Saturday, September 27, 2008


CAN I HELP YOU FIND SOMETHING?

My Target is as torn up and turned around as my Safeway - and I've tried to be patient, but this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Yesterday I went to what used to be the store I knew like the back of my hand, and nothing was where it "should" be. Nothing. Maternity clothes were where my Goldfish belong. Menswear was where I buy my inkjets. Never did find the CD jewel cases I've come to rely on.

As I wandered around Health & Beauty looking for a flippin' toothbrush, I spot it, grab it, and toss it in my cart on top of the toilet paper.

A young employee crouched down, stocking shelves, chirpliy says, without looking up, "Can I help you find something?"

"No thanks," I answered, "I just found what I'm looking for."

Off to find saline for STM's contacts, I again appear in her peripheral vision.

"Can I help you find something?" she asks, again, not looking up.

"No thanks - it's still me. I'm good," I answer, slightly less patiently than the first time she asked.

We repeat this routine three more times as I locate Q-tips, shampoo and deodorant, all a split second before her mantra.

If she asks me one more time, I'm going to lose it, I think to myself.

Just about to make my escape and she says, "Can I help you find something?"

I look at her, ready to blow, but something comes over me and I think, God, how I'd hate her job and I say, instead, "It's me again. I appreciate your help."

She finally looks up, saying, "I'm just on autopilot. Everyone is so crabby around here with all the construction."

"You have a hard job," I say, meaning it, my two minutes in her department about doing me in, unable to fathom the 40 hours a week she spends in it. Finally getting out of my own self-involvement long enough to look at the bigger picture.

Turns out? She helped me find something.

9 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

That we all had the ability to get out of "self-focus" and into "bigger picture" focus more often. ;) Nice post.

Joanne said...

And you, in turn, helped us. Thanks.

Kathryn said...

GREAT post. Thanks.

Eileen said...

I get it. Painful when you don't SEE things.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Yeah, yeah, spiritual lesson, why do they always have to bleeping change everything?!

BTW...Can I help you find something?

Deb said...

I love this!!!! I love you!!!!

kario said...

You rock.

That's all.

She said...

My Target remodeled, and I had to stop going there! Seriously, I go to another one now!

I love how you are able to get to this place of true revelation in the midst of being "about to blow."

Your writing always gives me pause! I'm grateful for that.

meanie said...

that's so great. love it. and, as you quoted in one of last posts:

Conquer the angry man with love.
Conquer the ill-natured man with goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.

Buddha
"The Enlightened One"