Ponder this:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I have just returned from a supermarket run. I went to the new store (that is now a year or more old) that I can reach by traveling northward, more or less along the top of the ridge instead of having to go all the way down the valley and back up. The views during the drive are beautiful and I love the store. Everybody loves this store. The employees are all . . . not just professionally helpful, but genuinely friendly. Whenever I leave after finishing the shopping I feel as if I've spent time with friends. It's a nice feeling.

One hot day last summer I said to the young man who was checking out my order, and with whom, during our interaction, I'd exchanged opinions of the brand of gelato I'd bought, "Now, if only I had trained the dogs to help me carry all of this into the house!"
"For fifty bucks, I'll do it," he said. I looked at him and he looked back, his blue eyes unusually direct and penetrating for a kid still in high school. He was perfectly serious, and had I been feeling flush, I might have taken him up on his proposal, if only to encourage his ambition. I came home and told Husband about this young man, who reminded me of the way young males were when I was in my teens. It seemed like everybody (except The Rich Kids and The Protected Kids) had part-time jobs after school and on weekends, and everybody was eager to do any kind of work for a few dollars. 
I know this sounds like those "five miles to school every day and uphill both ways" stories, but it's true. As soon as we looked responsible enough to be paid for doing something we all had paper routes or regular babysitting jobs.

Today, a different young man (sporting a hopeful yet skimpy soul patch on his lower lip) was checking out my order and upholding the store's Friendly Employee reputation when Serious Blue Eyes came by, a big hank of keys in his hand. 
"Hey, how's it goin'," he said to his fellow red shirt. "How'd you like to cash out and do a bottle drop for me?"
"Love to," said Soul Patch.
"Great. And then you can go on break."
"Okay!" said Soul Patch.
Serious Blue Eyes has been promoted from checkout clerk to shift supervisor or whatever title this store's system gives the lackeys who rank just above the clerks. I am so pleased. I am pleased that there are still young people who take an interest in doing well at their jobs. I am pleased that those young people are recognized and given more responsibility.
I feel so good.
I am so glad I went to that store today.
Sometimes I find the greatest pleasures in the most commonplace activities.


georgia little pea said...

Those are the best kind of pleasures and not common enough! Unplanned, unlocked for and that don't cost a penny or 50 bucks.

That ridge and valley of yours sound rather lovely. Have you ever posted pictures of your windswept home that I might have missed being Somewhat New?

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm pleased you have a store that nurtures responsible youngsters. How nice the youngsters interact with the older generation!

DJan said...

They are indeed the best kind of picker-uppers. From places you don't expect. I have a store like that here, and I always feel like I've spent time with friends when I leave there. Actually, some of them ARE Facebook friends now! :-)

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi June, Haven't heard from you in a long time --so stopped by to say hi and make sure you are doing okay...

Sounds like you are fine--and enjoying that new store.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Commonplace activities are precisely where the greatest pleasures are found. How nice to have such a great place to shop.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

I agree, as common place is all I seem to get these days! and probably all I want to.
pleased to hear of your nice day anyway, or is that 'you're', oh well now you have one of each.

Friko said...

Is fifty bucks a reasonable amount to ask for to carry groceries indoors? It sounds like a huge sum for a small service. Or am I not getting this right?

Still, he's obviously ambitious enough to get on. And if the whole thing is done with a smile, it does make shopping so much nicer. Glad you have a store that pleases customers; so many of them (particularly those that are cheap and pay pitiful wages round here) are like sheds you are rushed through.

Tom said...

Good to see a kid with some ambition and a good attitude -- I hope he's also going to school while workin' the store.

(Regarding Friko's comment -- I thought you meant he would train the DOGS to bring in your groceries ... now THAT's worth fifty bucks!)

June said...

At the time I took it to mean that he would carry in the groceries for fifty bucks.
And no: that is not a reasonable fee for such a service.
And no: I would not trust him to train my dogs to carry in the groceries for fifty bucks either.
I didn't give his offer serious enough consideration to figure out what the service would be, since I didn't plan to part with fifty bucks for it, no matter what it was.

Barb said...

Ordinary moments are the best! I hope my grandkids grow to be helpful and personable like those young people at your store.

Grandmother Mary said...

This is a great story to share with my grands. We really can make another's day better.

June said...

Georgia, if you go back to the December 31 post and click on the "photos" label down below, bottom left, after the post itself's end, all the "photo" posts will come up and you can see what it looks like here. Pretty.
Thanks for asking.

Morning Bray Farm said...

Aww... June. :)

georgia little pea said...

Ahem, pardon my either stupidity or bad eyesight. I checked all the end Dec posts from the blog's beginning and still can't seem to find the label. Poo? : (

#1Nana said...

Isn't it great when you have one of those positive encounters with teens? It gives me hope for the future. Last week i was subbing in an AP Literature class and the kids were debating gay marriage. I was so proud of their maturity and caring. Even the few kids who had religious beliefs that didn't support gay marriage were tolerant...not what I expected. Yeah, there's hope for the future.

June said...

Georgia . . . I am sorry.
But thank you. You have provided for me a mission: Views.
Next trip to the store I'll have to remember my camera. I think of it every time, but always forget.