Dear Linda and Etta,
This morning, after we met, I went home and immediately sat down to write. I wrote your store manager and I wrote the corporate customer service supervisor for Walmart. I really hope that gets back to you, because that is the reason I did it. What you might not have known when you good naturedly shrugged off my apologies and deflected my thanks, is how deeply I meant them.
Of course, I didn’t mean for the entire bottle of V-8 juice to slip through my hands as I walked to the check-out lane. I couldn’t believe it when it landed directly on the cap to the bottle, and pumped out, like an angrily cut artery in a war movie. It spun away from me, clearly possessed and rolled under the jewelry counter, which I briefly contemplated jumping before I thought about how that might complicate matters further.
For a split second I felt cemented to the ground, before I flagged you down Linda, just as you were about to stock the hot case with ready-made pizzas and rotisserie chickens. You didn’t have to stop what you were doing to help me, but you did readily and like a forgiving parent, soothed my alarm by explaining that it was not a big deal and maintenance would clean it up in moments. Then she enlisted you Etta and you took a moment to come and stand by me while the cleaning crew came over so that no one would step in the juice or get hurt. You too were incredibly kind to me and stayed so calm, easily telling me I wasn’t the first and I wouldn’t be the last person to spill something in the store and urging me to get another bottle and get on with my day.
I am sure you encounter tons of people at work. I am pretty confident they, like me, can make more work for you. But I hope that you know that it matters. You graciousness mattered to me today when I felt totally incompetent. Thank you for that.