Friday, February 29, 2008

At the supermarket- can you pack your bags?

If yes, you lucky fella.

Two nights ago, I was a the checkout counter at the local supermart. I had a friend coming over, and wanted to buy some stuff, before picking him up from the station. My time was a bit tight.

I went to the shortest queue. 2 persons in front of me. I saw another customer left the queue, and I was the next customer.

The man had trouble packing his grocery. It took him a few attempts to get each item into his plastic bag. And after filling 1 bag, he struggled to open the next plastic bag. He had tremors, and poor coordination.

No wonder the guy in front of me left!!! It took him a long time to fill up the bags, and the cashier did not help at all! He would rather stare into space.

My first instinct was to help the man, but then I thought.. no, maybe not. This guy is really really young. Younger than me, perhaps. Twenties? Early thirties?

Whatever his problem, give him a chance to complete a simple task without help. Poor guy. I feel for him. I have been in his position. "Clogging up" people.

He is putting in a lot of effort, and conscious that customers behind him had been leaving the queue. He kept on looking at me from the corner of his eyes. Wondering if I was getting impatient? Wondering if I minded? Wondering why I did not help? I did not know. I am not sure if i did teh right thing? I actually took out my phone to try to look busy. What it the thing to do? I had no idea.

I only remember how happy I felt when i could bring back a few bags of groceries without help. Yes, it was a lot of effort, but I could do it on my own without help. I did it.

What would have made his day? getting help to pack groceries? Or buying, packing and carrying home the groceries to feed his family, all by himself?


excentric said...

I think I would have asked him if he would like some help. He may have been hoping that someone would lend a hand. Maybe not, but you'd know for sure.

Woman said...

yeah, i felt bad about it afterwards. Really unsure. help or not?

excentric said...

Ask. This is one thing I learned working in the group home. Ask if someone needs or would like some help. Also, never touch anyone or their pets without asking first. Just so you know. :-)