I needed a haircut.
And, our dog needed new food and water bowls.
But, after nearly 30 years of the same routine.
Knowing, roughly, how long it would take to get from here to there
Having now moved, finding everything “new” takes some time and searching.
So, after driving by a couple hair salons relatively close to where we live which advertised haircuts for both men and women, but looking in the windows and only seeing women getting their hair done, I tracked down a barber shop which was about 30 minutes away and open when I needed it to be. Before I left home, I made my list of other things we needed while I was out, including new dog food bowls. I typed the address of the barber shop into my phone and was on my way. I found the barber shop, parked in the parking lot across the street and went in to get my haircut. It was just the type of barber shop I had been looking for.
After getting my haircut, I walked back to the car ready to find my way to the next stop on my list. Dog food bowls.
When I had arrived I was focused only on finding the barber shop and so had not paid much attention to anything else. Now that I had accomplished that without getting lost, I was able to notice where I was and what was around me.
And, there, in front of me, was a Walmart.
I don’t usually shop at Walmart.
But it was there.
And, if they had dog food bowls, it would save me an extra stop on the way home.
Two things struck me as I went into and walked through the store.
The first, was the very visible reminder that not everyone has the financial resources to shop at Target or Macy’s or you name the store you most often shop at. The second was the three staff members with whom I interacted as I found my way to the pet section caught me off guard as they smiled at me, asked how they could help (and did help) and, when our interaction was over and I had said Thank you, looked me in the eye and said they were glad they could.
Two takeaways from my 15 minutes in that Walmart.
First, based on my interaction with those three employees, I would shop there again just because of how I was treated. Graciousness and simple kindness made a difference. (I know every employee is probably not like the three with whom I interacted, and I have other, larger ethical concerns about Walmart, but I was treated better at that Walmart than I have been treated at many other stores at which I have shopped.) Second, despite my “knowing” it and wanting and working on it to be different, I was reminded again of how quickly and how easy I/we project images and expectations on those whom we perceived to be different. Lesson learned…again. I walked out of the store not only with my dog bowls, but as a better person.
Dog food bowls. Check.
Two more stops then on my way home.