Monday, February 9, 2009

Dia del cajero

I had the most fantastic Wal-Mart experience this afternoon.

So, I'd already spent more of this day driving around & doing errands, than I'd actually been able to spend working. It was a beautiful day - the windows were down, and the music was loud enough that I'd already missed 3 phone calls, so I'm not complaining. Driving around town, however, does make me more tired than actually working does though.

All that to say that around 2 or so this afternoon, I needed a pick-me-up, so I swung by my local neighborhood Wal-Mart for a twix bar & a Bolthouse fruit smoothie. At the check-out, my whole day changed.

I was standing in line behind somebody when I realized that check-out #2 was open, so I headed that way. This is when I encountered "James," with the flames on his lanyard. He was looking down when I arrived at his post, and I thought he was looking for something. Upon realizing that I was there, he straightened up and smiled at me. He wasn't looking for anything at all - he was actually amusing himself with some sort of cashier acrobatics and was not the least bit ashamed that I saw him doing it. I liked this guy already.

He began to ring up my Bolthouse Smoothie, my Twix bar, and a little Cherry Snack Pie I found on sale. (Don't judge me - I'm 6'3" & weigh 200 lbs...I need fuel). When I told him he could skip on the bag, he proceeded to make a little tower out of my items on the plastic bag lazy susan. After carefully topping the tower with the Cherry Pie, he exclaimed a quick "Woo Hoo," and went on to complete the transaction.

I was actually starting to chuckle to myself at this point, which is sort of uncommon. We got to that awkward part where I'd done my part, he'd done his part and we were waiting for the register to finish. He looked over and read the Cherry Pie package aloud, "No Sugar Added," to which he added, "Yeah Right! That's when they add ALL the sugar!" He looked at me and smiled, then looked with satisfaction back at his register knowing that he'd done his conspiracy-revealing duty for the day. I was at a loss for words, but mostly I was really starting to have to stifle my laughter. That statement and the manner in which it was presented was one of the funniest things I'd heard in years.

Finally the receipt printed and as he handed it to me he said, "I can stand a penny on top of a nickel. You know - on it's end."

Grinning ear-to-ear, I told him that I would definitely come back just to see that.

When I got to my car, I lost it. I could not stop laughing. I don't remember the last time I was by myself and had to try so hard to keep from laughing out loud. My favorite part is that I'm pretty sure James would have behaved exactly the same no matter who was at his register, or if there was no one there at all. So today, I salute you, "James S" at cashier station #2, for your overwhelmingly good spirit and sense of humor - and for sharing it with others.

Just for the record, I wasn't laughing AT James. I have an odd ability to adapt to the senses of humor of those who I'm around. It's great because I like to laugh...another reason my parents called me "Miller Time" when I was younger. What James was saying was only a little funny to him...just playful banter. If I'd have laughed out loud as hard as I was laughing on the inside, he might have thought that I was mocking him. It would be a terrible way to repay the guy who just made my day, to leave him with the thought that I might have been laughing AT him.

If you're ever at the Wal-Mart on the corner of Nolensville Rd. & Harding Pl. in Nashville, try to check out at the register of "James S." You won't regret it. I'm going to make sure I've got a nickel & a penny with me on my next trip.

1 comment:

  1. love this story... and you need to meet Greg at the Kroger near my house. He doesn't have a station because he bags groceries and collects carts. He has the quirkiest sense of humor and the best laugh. But the funny thing is - he never talks "to" you. Just to himself. Very audibly. Quite constantly. If you try to address him directly... he immediately gets busy... "yep yep yep...gotta collect the carts... lotta carts to collect" and he takes off. But he's always chipper and smiling. He makes me smile every time I encounter him.