I went to Walmart this morning to grab a few things. Not my favorite place but sometimes I need convenience.

I walked up to a register to check out; the line was long (just like all the other ones), but this one was moving slower. I was writing a few emails so I didn’t mind, but the person in front of me was very agitated. Huffing and puffing, shifting from foot to foot, her body language conveyed it all.

Instead of moving to a faster moving line, she just continued to be exasperated. I looked ahead and realized the cashier was quite elderly…maybe late 70s. As the person in front of me got to the cashier, she made a few nasty comments. “I have never had to wait so long to check out, even at Walmart. Have you ever considered retiring?”

I stood there, absolutely stunned. In an effort to clock this nasty woman in a civilized way I said “ma’am, whatever is wrong in your life, it’s probably better to address your problems directly instead of taking your frustration out on people who don’t deserve it.” She said “excuse me?” before she scoffed and walked away. The cashier thanked me at least three times; the man behind me apologized to the cashier, too. This was rudeness on another level.

Why did this make me sad? This cashier was genuinely so sweet. When she was ringing me up we talked a little, she said her husband had passed away in October and she has had a hard time. Her hands shook as she scanned my items, it was clear the previous customer’s words had impacted her. This poor woman was trying her best and was chastised for her physical inability to go faster. I find it incredibly cruel and heartbreaking to see someone that gives such little regard or respect for the elderly, especially one working in customer service. I find it highly unlikely that someone her age is working at Walmart because she wants to.

You shouldn’t have to work until you are physically incapacitated, and elderly people deserve respect and compassion.

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Angela

Credit to Angela Johnson (Quora)