Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Unfiltered Story #18526

Unfiltered | August 12, 2016

[This happened in early December 2015. It was a rare quiet moment in our store, and I was taking the time to tidy up the till area. An elderly man approached me]

Customer: Hello. I’m looking for a [specific tog] duvet. Where are they?

Me: They’re just straight down there at the back of the store. Actually, it isn’t busy, I’ll walk you down there instead.

[The customer has a walking stick and is slow. I keep pace with him]

Customer: It’s just so cold in my house. I can’t afford heating so I try to get thick duvets this time of year.

Me: We sell plug-in heaters as well if they’re useful?

Customer: Oh no. The electricity costs too much. Just the duvet for today, thank you.

[I get a stool from the warehouse to reach the higher tog duvets on the higher shelves]

Customer: Thank you. I also need some new socks and some underwear. Where are they?

[I walk him a few aisles down to where our clothing is. I’m a young female and have to ask him which specific type of underwear he’s after. I manage to find him the right size and find him a nice thick pair of socks. I offer to carry all of them down to the till forbhim. So far it has taken at least ten minutes to sort him out, and we make our slow way back towards the front of the store. In this time he starts to talk to me]

Customer: It makes a difference being comfortable at this time of year.

Me: Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Customer: No, not really. My brother doesn’t even remember me. My other brother wouldn’t care if I walked out under a bus. But still I think about them. I remember the old days when we used to spend Christmas together as a family, and now I’m just alone. But I keep trying. Sometimes I get cards through. Mostly I’m just happy watching television. I wish they’d come around one in a while though, just to give me a bit of company. It is hard. I miss all of my family, and all I have is my dog. He gives me something to care for, something to distract myself.

[He talks about his family and his past for the entire walk down to the till. A few times he looks like he’s about to cry, but I don’t say much – I can tell he hasn’t spoken to anyone for so long. He chose to confide in a complete stranger – a simple cashier. I felt honoured. He came back recently to buy a new rug and said his old dog died on his last one. I was sympathetic, and I could tell it made a little bit of a difference. Since then I’ve thought a lot more about serving elderly customers – we may be one of a handful of people they see per week. It is worth making those meetings memorable if we can. Just give them a listening ear or a smile. You never know what a difference you might make to their lives!]

Question of the Week

Tell us your most amazing work-related story!

I have a story to share!