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Friday, December 13, 2013

Peace on earth, goodwill to all...but manners are right out the door!

Good morning!

It's been a wild wooly couple of months here, and I'm in the throes of final edits for the long promised second Elsie book, BUT I have to take a moment to share this delightful little bit with you because, IT'S CHRISTMAS and hey, let's all celebrate the season of giving, peace on earth, Baby Jesus...all that.

So I did what I don't generally like to do this time of the year:  I went to the post office to ship packages.  I got there when the lobby was open but the main post office was not so that I could just use the self serve kiosk in peace.  I'm a pro at the post office, thanks to the years I worked for the Evil Bossman, so I knew I'd spent about ten minutes at the self serve thing and get my four boxes labeled, addressed, and shipped.
Sarah plus the self service
kiosk:  WIN

Ten minutes.  That's all I needed.

However, you and I both know that waiting behind someone for ten minutes can seem like a lifetime.  So, after getting the first package done, I noted there was a woman behind me looking non too excited, given the stack of boxes I had with me.  I said, "I'm so sorry, this is going to take me a few minutes."

She started to say what we all say, "Oh, that's okay."

But I thought, hey, it's the season of giving.  And someone opened the doors for me to get into this building, so now it's my turn to pay it forward.  I said, "Do you have a lot to do?"

But not more polite.

She said, "Well, could I just buy some stamps?"

"Sure,"  I said and I removed all my stuff, my purse, address book, boxes, everything from the area so she could move forward and buy her stamps.

While she was buying stamps a guy got in line behind us.  Now, I was really full of the holiday spirit and there was not another soul in the lobby so I said, "Are you just buying stamps?"

He nodded, and I said, "Well, go ahead of me then."

At this point the woman was done with her transaction, and she walked away.

So you see what's missing here?

SHE WALKED AWAY?

She didn't say please at the front of me letting her go ahead of me and she didn't say thank you when she walked away.  And meanwhile, the guy was almost done with his transaction...having not said please or thank you or anything when I asked him if he was buying stamps.  Remember, he just nodded and then got right behind the woman like it was his God-given right to bump ahead of me in line because he was well dressed and in a hurry.

So he finished up and walked away...again without saying one single word to me.  No please, No thank you.  No nothing. 

 I realize we aren't supposed to expect anything when we do something nice for strangers, or when we're paying a good deed forward.  But friends, I'm SHOCKED at just how rude people are.  It wasn't like saying thank you to me would have cost money.  It wasn't going to take any time.  And it could have changed my attitude about those two people immensely.

As it is right now, as far as I'm concerned, that fifty something woman with the short blond hair who was in the Waukesha post office at 8 AM this morning and that skinny hipster guy with the sweater vest and the glasses and the curl-ish chestnut hair are ungrateful meanies.  Forget the meaning of Christmas...they don't get how to be a human being and if I see them again I'll tell them that...as I'm letting them cut in front of me again, because I am a firm believer in killing people with kindness.

So friends, it's Christmas.  It's also a lot of other holidays, and if you celebrate something other than Christmas, then Happy Holidays to you.  But this is a holiday season, a time of year when we're supposed to be a little kinder, a little gentler to our fellow man.  So please, do those little things that will make someone else's day easier.  Sure, you might have to wait a couple minutes, you might have to stand outside a minute longer, you might have to bend down and get your fingers dirty picking someone up for someone.  But it's okay because the feeling you'll get from helping someone is super worth it.

Even if they don't say please or thank you!

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