The other day, I was in my local post office sending a package. I LOVE my local post office. They are family. Sometimes, I look for excuses to go there, because they always brighten my day. Waiting in line, my heart was breaking. These hard working men and women were getting ripped apart and yelled at because of delayed mail. Delayed because they are short staffed because some employees are home, as they tested positive for COVID. It hurt my heart so much to stand and watch this happen. I was grateful my children were not with me because these are not the behaviors I want them to be taught. The only thing I could do was just try to be a small light and my normal self when it was my turn at the counter, and pray others did the same and followed my lead.
Fast forward to Monday night. We ordered Olive Garden take-out from the Central Park location for my friend’s birthday. When we got home, I realized our soup was missing. I called just to let them know, if they saw it, we were already home, and they didn’t need to worry about it. Now, here it is Wednesday, and the manager calls me saying they didn’t get a chance to refund the soup that night, and they wanted to do it today. ‘Could you please re-tell me your card number?’
I sort of paused for a minute and thought about the anger and disrespect I’d seen this past week. I asked the manager, ‘Have things been hard in there? Are people (customers) arguing about everything?’ She said yes. I told her about what happened at the post office and said, ‘Here’s what we are going to do about the soup. Nothing. I’ve memorized my card number (sorry Michael), and I don’t want to give it to you, because things happen. You guys are working your butts off, even during a pandemic with numbers rising, and barely get a thank you. No refund will be accepted. I just want you to know how grateful I am you even had the kindness to call, and we will still eat at Olive Garden, no matter how many times you guys forget soup or entrees or whatever.’
Hearing her laugh and say thank you was worth way more than the price of that soup, and it made me so grateful it was forgotten, for this opportunity to say thank you.
This world is INSANE right now. Every time I think I am dumbfounded by people’s behavior, I am proven wrong and something even crazier happens. I’m never going to forget this pandemic. I’ll never forget the stress of it, the sadness, the challenges; BUT, I’m confident my kids will. I’m confident they will only remember the fun times we had together — all the PJ days and staying up late, all the creative things we come up with when we’re bored in the house. Our children are our only hope for coming out of this strong, happy, and unscarred from this ANGER flooding people every single time we step out of our house.
You know what’s really sad? When we do have to go places now, I’m more scared of my kids seeing poor behavior than I am of getting coronavirus. I can do things to prevent corona, but I can only do so much to prevent hate.
Even though I am stressed about the pandemic and everything else going on in the world (where to even begin?), I am trying so hard to make sure my children are educated about what’s happening, but are NOT bringing hate and anger away from this. I’ll take that burden, not them.
Be kind. It’s that simple.
Oh, and Olive Garden, I’ll be back. It’s going to take way more than forgetting my soup to stop me from ordering. And USPS. I think I’ll survive without mail for a few days. I know the phone numbers to pay bills, if it gets to that. Just be well and stay safe, because seeing you behind the counter makes our days brighter than you know.