You Don't Do Half The Work I Do, So Shut Your Howling Screamer
Awkward Acronyms: This Doesn't Look Child Friendly

Retail Memories: Unexpected Inspiration From an Uncomfortable Interaction


Jason 021

From p00pasaurusx, Tales From Retail:

I used to work for a big-box store in their computer repair department. This happened roughly a few days after Fallout 4 came out. I was hyped up for the game and was listening to a playlist of all the in-game songs in the back room. I had the volume up pretty loud, so that I could hear it while working with customers.

One of my co-workers walks into the back to let me know that there's a customer, so I walk out to the desk. An older lady, probably around late 60's, early 70's walks up and I begin to assist her with her computer. For the most part, it was a pretty standard interaction. Queue Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World" coming on.

The woman started to get an odd look on her face, and began to cry.

Me: "Oh, are you alright ma'am? Can I get you anything?"

Woman: "Is this Skeeter Davis playing in the back there?"

Me: "Yes! I've got a playlist from a new game playing back there."

Brief pause.

Me: "If you don't mind my asking, what's the matter?"

Woman: "Oh... I... It's just..."

Brief pause.

Woman: Wiping tears away, "This song reminds me of my late husband."

Me: "Oh, uhm, my deepest condolences, miss."

Woman: "We danced together for the first time at prom to this song. He recently passed away from a degenerative brain disease. I haven't heard this song in years. It will always make me think of him."

Me: Not sure what to say in the moment, "Oh, my God. I'm so sorry ma'am."

Woman: "No, no, it's quite alright. I'm glad I heard this song today."

We stood in silence for a moment, and I continued the work on her device.
About 3 minutes later I had fixed the issue, and I didn't charge her for the work I'd done. As she walked away she turned back and just said

"Thank you so much, sir."

I've always been a pretty big cynic, and in the moment I was kind of weirded out by the interaction, but I thought about it more and more as time went on and I realized that you never really know the path that someone's walked before meeting you for this short interaction. I gained a lot of respect for people that day, and try to remember that story whenever I get annoyed with people at work.





The comments to this entry are closed.