From Baby Yoda to Waiting in Line

My Christmas shopping is nearly done, but after watching The Mandalorian, I was keen to buy some Baby Yoda T-shirts for my nerdy family, from my husband to my daughters to my son-in-law to my nephew.  (I was even going to sneak one in for myself.)

Is it any wonder that we all wanted a shirt with this adorable child?

I had read the T-shirts were available at our local Kohl’s, and that’s  where I went.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful. Although there were many Star Wars shirts available, there was nary a one with Baby Yoda.

Another woman was looking carefully through the stacks of folded T-shirts, and I asked, “Have you seen any with Baby Yoda?”

She shook her head. “No. That’s what I’m looking for, too.”

“Bet they sold out,” I said sagely.

“Yeah,” she agreed with a sigh. “Probably on black Friday.”

We continued to look through the folded shirts and then shrugging philosophically, we conceded defeat.

I did find other goodies, and I had to wait to pay in a line that really wasn’t too long. However, with only three registers open, the line moved slowly. Being a mother, I am used to waiting, and it takes more than standing in line for fifteen or twenty minutes to fluster me.

This was not the case for the woman behind me. I could hear her complaints before she even reached the line.

“In the old days, it wasn’t like this. Service has gone downhill. I’m not patient. I hate waiting. You’d think at this time of year they would have more cashiers. This is awful. What’s the matter with them?”

Her companion, a man, agreed placidly, “Yup.”

On and on the complaints went, and the man was either a saint or a fool.  His unruffled good humor never waned as he agreed with her.

Finally, she said to me, “Don’t you hate waiting in line?”

“No,” I said in a tone that brooked no further discussion. “It doesn’t bother me.”

I could have said more. If the woman hadn’t been so busy grousing, she might have noticed that one of the cashiers, a young man, had a luminous personality that on a scale of one to ten was fifteen. His goodwill flowed from customer to customer, even though he pretty much had to say the same things over and over. It didn’t matter. He greeted each customer afresh, as though it were the first time that he had ever done this.

One register over, there was an elderly lady in a wheel chair, and she  was buying lots of glassware that had to be wrapped. The manager came over to help the cashier, and I was struck by their patience and kindness. As they wrapped, they chatted and smiled, and the elderly lady went away smiling, too. I can only hope that I will be treated with such care if I am ever in a wheel chair.

Eventually the complaining woman took her complaining self to the register with the charismatic young man, who thanked her for letting him know that she was upset.

Now, I am aware that there are times when we should complain, but having to wait in line for twenty minutes is not one of them.

In all fairness, I must admit that in the past, I have complained about trivial things. But the next time I’m tempted to do this, I will keep that griping woman in mind and remember how much she missed.





30 thoughts on “From Baby Yoda to Waiting in Line”

  1. I had to smile Laurie as so many staff in our local shops take their take talking to every customer that I don’t mind waiting either. So many customers are elderly and live alone and the friendly banter brightens their day. Those of us waiting in line often join in the conversation and a little bit of patience and kindness goes a long way. It’s a joy to see such a lovely attitude by the staff you encountered 🤗💖 xxx

  2. I often think folks like that might be in a lot of pain (and they are sharing it!) and that they are paying big time for sharing and perpetuating it. It helps me not get sucked into it, ha!

    1. No doubt there is an explanation for why that woman is the way she is. But holy cats! Sure made me think of my own complaining about trivial things—we all do it. And also appreciate the staff at Kohl’s.

  3. It is so easy to fall into the trap of complaining about everything! Sometimes it is worth complaining (like my recent event of my name in my passport) but sometimes, like a queue in a busy shop at this time of year when you can see staff are working hard, you just have to relax and maybe take out your phone and read a blog post or two!

    1. Very true, and I have to watch myself as I can easily fall into the same trap. Somehow hearing someone else do it was illuminating. Yes, the name in your passport was certainly worth complaining about. Also, seeing the two lovely cashiers with the elderly woman in the wheelchair was a sight I wouldn’t have missed for anything. Straight out of Christmas commercial.

  4. I loved this post, from the idea you were good at waiting because you’d been a mother, on through your other observations. Twenty minutes is a quite a long time to wait and you’d have thought that the shop must lose some customers who simply haven’t allowed that long for queueing.

    You reminded me of working on a checkout in my youth and noticing that the odd person who was most judgemental of how other shoppers looked (it was the punk era – starched hair, torn clothing, etc) were far less pleasant than the punks, who were usually very gentle. I hope your Baby Yoda shirts materialise one way or another.

    1. Thanks, Susan! Looks don’t always tell the whole story. The complaining woman looked perfectly normal. As for Baby Yoda…probably not this year. 😉

  5. I went in one store today to get one item, took one look at the line, put it down, and walked out. I wasn’t grumpy, I just didn’t want to stand there. I truly think most of the stores can’t find workers which adds to the issue, and a lot of folks do all their shopping on line. I went in a LLBean store today, went up to pay for one item, and the cashier was probably my age. She was very pleasant, but it’s pretty obvious younger folks are not looking for work in retail.

    1. Often we don’t have the time, but when we do and have to wait in line, there’s no point in being grumpy about it. Especially when the staff is so wonderful. The cashiers waiting on the elderly lady in the wheel chair could have come straight out of a Christmas commercial. It really was that lovely.

    1. Remember, we’re a family of nerds. Clif has T-shirt with an astronaut landing on the moon, and in the background is…the Tardis. One of his favorite shirts. 😉

  6. Baby Yoda! Who would have known? I don’t mind lines too much. There’s always something to think about and sometimes a conversation to get into. But I have been known to leave when I didn’t have time. Somehow, though, grocery stores on a weekend, Kohls in the holiday season, and other places we could name simply aren’t meant to be visited in a hurry.

    1. So true! When time is an issue, sometimes leaving is the best option. As for complaining nonstop…Here I will quote Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice”: Of some pleasures, I believe, a little goes a long ways. 😉

  7. I like your take on queuing. Us Brits are very good at it of course and as long as the staff are being nice to customers and not just chatting amongst themselves I don’t mind being patient. Here in France, queuing is not such an art form unless, bizarrely, you are in a boulangerie where certain rules seem to apply.
    Having said all that, I tend to do most of my Christmas shopping online mostly because the sort of things my family like are not available locally.

    1. Yes, we have to tailor our shopping to what our family likes. Luckily, Kohl’s has a nice variety as well as wonderful staff. But, alas, no Baby Yoda shirts. 😉

  8. I never mind waiting in a queue as I am a people-watcher, like you. I often find I am next to someone only too willing to tell me their life story which is enjoyable and satisfying to both of us! 😀 How sad you couldn’t get a baby Yoda T-shirt!

  9. Not that I wish this on anybody, but I think it would be a good lesson for us to have to stand in line for hours, if not days, just to buy the basic necessities, such as bread, or water. It would quickly change the prevailing sense of entitlement.

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