The Good and The Bad

Lauren - Paris, Kentucky
Entered on April 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

“So you had a bad day…” popular lyrics to the song Bad Day by Daniel Powter, echo the sentiments of people at one point or another during their lifetime. I believe in bad days. Bad days make other days better. If there were only good days everything would appear bland. Even though no one likes experiencing a negative occurrence, life lessons are often learned through negative reinforcement. Personally I believe that when people are faced with a difficult situation their true character shows.

I believe in compassion. I believe in giving people respect, when they do not deserve it. I am empathic in my daily life to the concerns of other people. It is my job to make people happy. Every day I face the consequences of other people’s actions.

I work in a pharmacy. My boss is crazy. When I say crazy, I understand that everyone deals with annoying people, but my boss is beyond that. My boss drives me insane. She is constantly writing lists of endless tasks for me to complete for her, while she sits in her office and watches me on the security cameras. Although my boss has no social skills at all, she is not my only problem at work, people are. Some people drive me crazy. The type of people everyone knows, that give cashiers hell. There are multiple types of bad customers. There are the phone talkers. You know the type that they only pull out their phones when they walk up to the registers. They stand at the counter having a conversation with their buddy on the line. Ok. I am not a mean person, and I would completely understand if these people were talking on the phone because of an emergency. It’s completely understandable. Ok so your house is on fire, so you have to talk to your neighbor but you really need to purchase your anti-wrinkle cream. I get it, it’s an emergency. What I don’t comprehend is how people can talk on their phones about nothing….”what are you doing?”…”.no, what are you doing?”…”nothing”…it kills me, and then if I tell them something, like for example, their total they get mad at me. They roll their eyes and it infuriates me. Can you please wait five minutes for this to be over? Thank you very much.

There are also those customers that have to ask fifteen questions. Ok, yes you may not know the exact location of the toothpaste, but after I tell you the aisle you should be able to find it. But no, these people harass me. They say well what toothpaste do you use? What smells better? I have sensitive teeth. I don’t like this kind. Why do you price everything so expensive? The incessant questions make the person appear like they cannot process any type of cognitive thought. I understand a simple question, but these people go out of their way to ask random questions. My favorite question of all time is when people tell me they want their film to be placed in one hour photo, and then ask me how long it will take.

Then there are the coupon cutting price watchers. This people also annoy me. These are not the typical “oh, I have a coupon for my candy”…no they are extreme. These people must have fifteen newspapers delivered to their homes. They have to have at least fifteen copies apiece of one single coupon. Then they harass me. “What did that ring up?” “Are you sure?” “I really don’t think that was on the shelf.” “Well I think you are purposefully overcharging me.” People believe I am against them.

Once I had a customer come into the store and select a liter of cola. When he came to the register he stared at the price and asked me why the price was wrong. It was not wrong. When I began to explain to him that the price was correct he showed me a store ad for the cola. Unfortunately it was for the wrong store, and he had a very difficult time understanding this.

The main point is that even though these people have no respect for me, or annoy me, I still feel compassion towards them. I am thankful that I have a job, and that not all my experiences are difficult. I feel that the person in front of me may be engaged in a difficult situation. The negative situation could have misguided their actions towards me. Maybe they are in actuality just rude people, but it’s not my place to judge.

I know from personal experience that one bad situation can impact the remaining portion of someone’s day. It was about two days after my birthday. My grandma, who has never been very close to me called me and wished me a happy birthday. She then proceeded to tell me how I had failed at life and I needed to change. She told me that I could never live up to her expectations, which caused me to end the conversation abruptly. After my interesting phone call I spoke to my father who told me I needed to take my brother to soccer practice. Unfortunately my parents neglected to tell me earlier when I could have prepared. I also had to work. I jumped into my car with my collar astray on my uniform. I screamed at my brother to get in. As I flipped my key into the ignition my car would not start. My brother had been learning to drive and he had left my lights on the previous night. It had to be one of the worst days I had ever experienced. I called in for work and went to a local store. They did not have what I needed. I was having such a bad day that I cracked. I started crying in the middle of the store. I could not stop. People most likely thought I was mentally unstable. Then in the middle of my cry fest some random older woman came over to me and patted me on the back. As sad and pathetic as it sounds my day got a little better. She told me that she had just had a bad day herself, because she had just been diagnosed with cancer. I felt so insignificant, here I was crying about something so miniscule, and someone else had suffered a very bad day, and was comforting me. Me, who was crying because something was out of stock?

This entire situation has put my life into perspective. If I had not been blubbering in the store I would not have met this woman, and realized that no matter what I am going through, it’s not as bad as someone else. My bad day might actually be a good day for someone else. When I go to work and face problematic people I remember the little woman who gave me comfort when someone probably should have slapped me in my face. I am thankful that through humanity we can all help each other out. We can choose to make bad days better.

“So you had a bad day….”