A WORD FOR TODAY, July 13, 2021

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Peggy Hoppes

Jul 13, 2021, 10:48:32 AMJul 13
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Blessings. Peg

A WORD FOR TODAY, July 13, 2021

“Finally, all of you be like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’” 1 Peter 3:8-12, WEB

Our local big box store has a reputation for not having enough cashiers on during the day. It is surprising to me how often the only register, out of twenty-five, that is open is the express lane. The express lane exists for a reason: so that people who only need one or two items can get through quickly. I rarely use it because I usually have close to the limit. Sometimes I have the right amount, but I still go to the regular check out so that those who are in a rush can get through quickly. I hate when I have a cart full of merchandise and it is the only choice. I am always so apologetic because I know I don’t belong in that line, even though it is not my fault that I’m there. Sometimes I’ll let someone in front of me that has only one or two items, but I can’t do that for every customer or I would never get my turn.

I understand that it is a waste of manpower to have cashiers standing around with nothing to do when it is slow, but as soon as someone with a cart full of food approaches the express lane, the line grows very long. The express lane is not designed for large orders. They don’t have as much space for so many items or a conveyer belt to move it along. There is not enough room for the customer to place all their items, and the filled bags can’t be put back into the shopping cart. This makes everything go slower and the express lane is not express.

They are never quick to open another register to take care of the rush. On one occasion I stepped out of line to find a front end supervisor to ask for more cashiers. She hadn’t noticed that there were ten people waiting and then she had to find someone who could work the cash register. Unfortunately, she became upset with me because she couldn’t believe that a customer would try to tell her how to do her job. I hope I was kind, but you never know how someone will interpret your words and actions, especially when they are struggling with a problem. It is likely that the lack of cashiers had nothing to do with her. If management doesn’t plan well then she has to take the brunt of the customer complaints. 

I worked in retail management, so I know how difficult it can be. You base your scheduling on past experience, but you can’t foresee circumstances that will prove those plans to be incorrect. I also know that if you waste your money on cashiers that have no work today, then you won’t have enough capital to schedule them tomorrow. It would seem like a game if it weren’t so essential to make the right decisions for the sake of the customers, employees, and the overall success of the business. 

I confess that I get very frustrated when I’m in that store and there is only one register open. I confess, too, that I probably am not as kind as I hope to be when I get stuck in a line. I complain with the other customers who are stuck there, too. It is easy to get angry when you are inconvenienced by the lack of foresight by others, but can we really justify the anger? Wouldn’t the time go more quickly if we were kind to those who are trying their best? God calls us to be the best we can be in all our circumstances, to do good in even the most ordinary moments. Even when we are standing in a very long line.

A WORD FOR TODAY is posted five days a week – Monday through Friday.  The devotional on Wednesday takes a look at the scripture from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday.  A WORD FOR TODAY is posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Word-for-Today-Devotional/339428839418276. Like the page to receive the devotion through Facebook. For information and to access our archives, visit http://www.awordfortoday.org.

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