An interesting conundrum: this year I've experienced and understood anger as I never have before in my life.
I was told yesterday that the registers would cut off at 8, which I thought un-retail-giant-like, but since it was a co-manager who stated such, I thought he spoke truth. There was a woman with many items in her cart in electronics 9 minutes before 8, and I didn't want her to have shopped for so long for nothing.
I approached her to ask if she was finding everything all right, and first she was angry because someone hadn't given her good directions to find what she was looking for, and since she'd found it, I apologized and began to tell her the store was closing.
I was trying to get to the part about the registers and that I could ring her up back in electronics, but instead, she launched into a tirade about understanding, and how she worked in retail. I tried, once more, to speak so I could offer to ring her up at my goddamned register and she got irate and snapped at me for "harassing her." "Okay," I replied, turning away as my throat constricted and heat came to my face.
I was trying to help out of concern for her, and now, when I think about it, I either want to forgive her (she interpreted me as a threat, after all, when clearly (at least to me), I am not) or knock her entire cart over and scream in her face just to finish my sentence. I would never speak to another human being the way she spoke to me, no matter how awful a day I was having.
A woman told me yesterday that I wasn't sorry that we didn't have what she was looking for, when I actually was, and I took offense to that too. Why would you even say that? I couldn't tolerate this job if I didn't like helping people, especially when they're buying gifts.
Then I went to leave. I was scheduled until 8:30, had missed Christmas dinner and an evening with my family (we celebrate on Christmas Eve), and the co-manager was at the door giving my fellow other two out-at-8:30 associates a talking to for leaving when they were scheduled to. After a minute or so of listening to his misplaced speech, including his plans to have everyone scheduled next year until 9:30, I said, "Well, my mom is right there, so can I please leave now?" "Open the door," he replied immediately, and let us go.
I absolutely hate that I'm angry about any of it. I hate that I'm upset about anything, least of all how I'm treated. I believe I can handle a great deal of mistreatment. I've been able to handle emotionally controlling and demanding people in my personal life for years and years on end, after all. I have to steel myself and dull my heart to disappoint anyone I cared for and who I knew cared for me.
I've dealt with being insulted by people I loved, words that attacked the core of what I value as a person and forgiven even that. What is it? Am I worn down? Is it too high a concentration for me to process healthily?
And It would be so much worse if it was someone I cared about or worked with being mistreated, because then I have a much harder time keeping my mouth shut and I am far less caring about what the offending party feels. I often try to take over for someone when a customer is being difficult or if I notice a coworker is getting frazzled.
I apologize to everyone for everything. I really wish the world was instantly thought responsive and things could come easily to us. Yes, I really did wish we had those 60 dollar tablets so you didn't have to go away unsatisfied, ma'am. I don't think there's need for or value in difficulty and struggling. We can help each other out and do so pleasantly. We can value one another more than the stuff we accumulate.
I mean, really, are we so terrified by each other that we are horrible just to reinforce distance and separation? I must feel threatened too to get angry or sad about it, and it's absolutely ridiculous. All of this is meaningless. Do I really believe myself to be so small as to be subject to the interpretations and beliefs of an individual perceiving me through their own subjective filter for a flicker of time?
If so, that can change at this moment and I will never mourn its passing.
Wishing everyone peaceful, open hearts and minds. Everyone I've ever met is much grander and magnificent a being than they dare to believe themselves to be. That means you, and me too.