Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lessons Learned


Sunday is grocery-shopping day. Every Sunday, almost immediately after church, I change clothes and head off to Publix. The shopping experience is a relaxing one, of sorts. I have a system. I have a list. I have a pattern. After I stop off at the deli to obtain a Mr. Pibb, I am off to the aisles and a typically complete my mission with little to no effort.

This week, however, something was different. Monday morning I searched and searched for items that I knew I had purchased, but they were nowhere in sight. In my head I thought, oh no, I must have left a bag on the counter and not brought it home. I was willing to let it slide considering the small significance of this missing item until I noticed something else: the four packs of chicken I bought were also missing!

OK, I made the decision, I was going to go back to Publix that afternoon and demand my missing items. I pulled the receipt out of the trashcan and circled everything that I had left without. In my head, I was rehearsing exactly what I was going to say. I was going to demand every single item for the exact same price that was paid. I was going to blame the bag boy when it came time to assign responsibility. I was going to use my consumer loyalty as an intimidation against their cooperation and threaten a Kroger alliance if necessary. Basically, I was ready for any kind of confrontation that may arise out of this mistake.

I marched into that shopping center with authority. I sought out the first manager that I saw (there was no time to deal with anyone of less significance). I whipped out my receipt and began my ramble of the irresponsible incident that caused me to not receive all that I had paid for. You would not believe the reaction…

The manager was apologetic. The manager was kind and helpful. He walked with me through the store as I picked out everything that I was missing. He benevolently bagged all the items with no waiting in line and apologized once again for my inconvenience. He was so kind that I didn’t even get to rant and rave like I had prepared for all afternoon.

I sat in my car for a while after leaving the store, bags of groceries at my side. His kindness has convicted me. I was so ready for a battle that I went in armed. It never even occurred to me that Publix would handle this situation in a non-confrontational manner, I mean; this wasn’t how things were typically dealt with in an economy like ours. This was unusual. This was extraordinary. This was Christ like.

Proverbs 15:1
“"A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare." – NIV

1 comment:

  1. What a perfet verse for your story Tara. That was a great connection and a blessed example of what can happen if we remember how God wishes we would handle all situations. Thanks for sharing.