Ash Wednesday

I was initially going to start today by making a post expressing my frustration with a lot of customers that I see; on the one hand, we have a lot of really great customers, most of whom do love books and as a consequence are at least a little more empathetic towards people (otherwise, what is the point of doing anything if not to become a better person?), but on the other, there are a lot of not particularly nice people I might have to deal with on an average day–more so when cashiering (this is retail, after all).

And maybe that is a post I’ll make in the future, about how it does appear to be mostly Baby Boomers who will rush you through a transaction you’re all ready trying to go through at a quick pace while asking all the questions you’re required to, because they don’t seem to realize that the people who are in charge of your company (namely, people their age) want you to ask these questions, and then they get angry about emailed receipts because they didn’t listen when you asked if they would like a paper one instead and they make a fuss about, “What do you mean? I don’t use email. I get too many emails. Why can’t you just print me the receipt?” These people, as a group, don’t listen to anyone but themselves. (By the way, when cashiers ask for your email, they’re usually being given a grade on email capture, so if you’re that worried about spam, do what everyone else does and make a spam email account.)

But that’s a lot of negativity before 9AM, so instead here I am.

Instead, I’m thinking about the friends I have who, when they’re hurt–by the universe, sometimes it seems, and repeatedly–I feel an ache for them. It’s enough sometimes to say that you wish there was no suffering in the world (though it’s so broad and to a certain extent, I think we need to suffer to enjoy happiness, because a dog giving you kisses never feels as good as it does after a long day of work), but there might be certain people in your life who you see repeatedly getting the raw end of the deal. They’re people you care about and they keep getting put into shitty situations that are not their fault (that’s usually the difference–some suffering is of our own making, but it’s so much worse when it has nothing to do with the actions we’ve made). So I think about those friends, and I’m going to spend time trying to figure out ways to make them feel better because, despite what a book at work says, the universe does NOT always have your back. Sometimes, it’s a very cold and unforgiving place, and the only way to make it not so is to stop being cold and unforgiving yourself.

A friend of mine called me a good person, but I don’t know how true that is. I can’t remember who said it, but good isn’t something you are, it’s something you do. So instead of wasting my time getting frustrated at people who are, frankly, bad customers,  I’m going to think about how I can do better myself.

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Author: jillboger

Part time writer. Editor-in-Chief for the Bridge volume 13, former EIC for The Odyssey at BSU. My glasses protect my secret identity.

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