I work in retail, at a home improvement store. This time of year, actually starting in March and going through the end of July, it’s very hectic. Everyone comes in for their flowers, new grills, outdoor projects, painting projects, and remodeling projects. They also come in to return dead flowers, grills that didn’t fit their space, leftover items from outdoor and remodeling projects… it gets crazy.
What is also crazy, and very taxing on the employees of the store, is the way many of the customers treat those who work there. It is very commonplace for a customer to be rude, disrespectful and downright nasty. When a store gets busy it can take time to get help, or get through the checkout line. It may take time for an employee to get a vanity down from a top shelf because you need a forklift for that and you have to block off the aisle for the safety of customers and employees and you need a spotter so there is someone else you need to find and you may have to wait for them to get done with a customer… it can be very involved. Tempers flare, mouths open and rudeness spills out.
What is also common is hot, tired, and stressed employees who are doing their best to work through situations like the one described above. Unfortunately that means that sometimes they aren’t as polite as maybe they should be, to customers or each other.
The knee-jerk reaction in situations under which we have little or no control tends toward the negative. Frustration, irritation, impatience, anger, sarcasm and rudeness. It happens to all of us, customers and employees alike. When it happens we lash out at the person in closest proximity to us, regardless of whether they had anything to do with the situation at hand or not.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could embrace the uncommon?
The word “uncommon”, as defined by Merriam-Webster is: 1) not ordinarily encountered; unusual. 2) remarkable, exceptional
Let us be uncommonly respectful – and realize we are all on this planet together. Just because someone isn’t moving as fast as we would like it doesn’t give us the right to be rude.
Let us be uncommonly kind – and go outside the box to help someone, go the extra step even if it may put us a few minutes behind our carefully planned out schedule for the day.
Let us be uncommonly understanding – of situations we find ourselves in and put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Maybe they’ve been working for eight hours already that day and haven’t had a break or eaten anything since before they came in.
Let us be uncommonly forgiving – when we have to wait longer than anticipated, or when something is wrong on our order. Everyone makes mistakes.
Let us be uncommonly generous – in showing grace to others who have made those mistakes. You will inevitably find yourself on the other side of that coin and wish for the same grace to be shown to you.
And finally, let us show uncommon love. Love others for who they are; flawed human beings, because we ALL fit that description. Not one of us is above anyone else, not one of us is without blemish, not one of us is perfect.
Regardless of where you work, where you live, who you are –
This post was inspired by the book Uncommon: Living a Life of Purpose and Pursuit by Carey Scott. You can learn more about the book and order at http://careyscott.org/uncommon/.