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Last Christmas, I Gave You My Water Bottle

, , , , , | Right | December 25, 2019

I am assigned to the Christmas aisle one day; it is the end of November so the aisle constantly looks like a herd of wild animals tore through it and needs a lot of attention. I have a cart with me since, while I’m cleaning up, I also collect damaged products and returns — things people decide they don’t want anymore and set down wherever. I have my beat-up metal water bottle in the child seat.

I get called up to cash to help ring up the big flow of customers, and when it’s died down I go back to the aisle. I notice my water bottle’s gone a little later on, and, having horrendous short term memory, I convince myself that I set it down on a shelf or at the cash during my shift at some point. I scan the aisle top to bottom and I look all around cash and in the break-room with no sign of it. I have a brief thought that a customer moved or took it, but I quickly banish it because what weirdo would take an old metal water bottle with paint peeling off it from a cart full of broken Christmas ornaments and garbage? 

I have to get back to work, so I let my coworkers know to keep an eye out, hoping it will turn up, like most things I lose do, and get back to my duties.

The store closes, and after a half-hour of cleaning and putting returns back, it’s time for me to clock out. For some reason, I cross through the toy aisle, one aisle over from where I had been the whole day, and I see it.

My water bottle is sitting on a shelf, in this aisle that I have not stepped foot in the whole day, with less water in it and a missing lid. 

I obviously throw out since it is useless without the lid, and I tell the story to everyone. I still don’t understand what would possess a person to do that. Were they dying of thirst and didn’t think to either ask to use our bathroom tap or to purchase our 50 cent bottle of water?

I don’t know, man. I spent a good amount of that night convincing myself that I’d done something odd because people don’t take random water bottles they see. 

So, I guess what I’m learning as I come up to six months working in customer service is… don’t give people that much credit.

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