After shopping for about an hour, we made our way up to the cash register to pay for our carefully selected materials.
On our way up, I remembered I had a poster to laminate. Lakeshore lets you laminate your own purchases.
It's super convenient.
You set the 'counter' to zero and turn it on. You slide your paper through and do all the laminating yourself. The 'counter' keeps track of how many yards of lamination that you've use. When you go up to pay for your purchases, you just let them know how many yards you used.
Here's where the problem is:
They only have to laminating machines.
On any other day, it wouldn't be a big deal. But on Labor Day weekend (read: all teachers scrambling for last-minute supplies), Lakeshore is jam-packed with eager teachers feeling rushed and overwhelmed.
So, on one machine, there were 5 Boy and Girl's Club employees laminating AT LEAST 100 posters. No joke. And they weren't even cool posters either (trust me, I had a looooong time to analyze their posters). But who am I to judge anyway?
The other machine was occupied by one woman who was laminating EVERYTHING! She was a laminating crazy lady!
Note cards, pocket charts, name tags, alphabet posters, dye cuts, etc. You name it ... she was laminating it.
I waited for quite some time before realizing that the Crazy Laminating Woman had a whole stack of papers/posters/name tag at her feet to laminate too.
So, while she was opening another bag of things to laminate (insert eye-rolling and 'looks' of "are you kidding me?" to Veronica), I politely said to CLW, "Do you mind if I quickly jump in while you open your bag?" (and tear apart all the dye-cut pieces).
And NO JOKE ... CLW looks at me and says (use annoying, high-pitched voice), "Well ... I'm using the counter. And if I let you in, I have to set my counter to zero. Then when you're done I have to start my counter again and then add those two numbers together when I'm done."
What I said in my head: Are you serious lady? Of course you're gonna add those two numbers together. That's like the easiest thing in the entire world to do. You have about 30 minutes of laminating left to do and I'm asking you for 30 seconds. How many times have I politely let someone in the grocery line go in front of me when I have a cart-full of groceries and they have 4 items? How many times have a alerted someone that they dropped something but didn't know it? Can't you just extent me this one favor? Can ya? Do you have to be so stubborn? Can you be a bit more flexible and extend me this one nicety?
What I said out loud to CLW: Right
CLW: (silence, just looking at me, waiting for more of a response)
Annoyed me: Um, yah, I just didn't think that was such a big deal.
CLW: (silence, turns back to rip apart more dye-cut pieces)
When V and I got into the car, I put my seat belt on, put both my hands on my steering wheel, took a deep breath, turned to V, and said, "I can't believe that woman wouldn't let me in because she had to add two numbers together."
And V said, "Yah, you'd think she could do that. She IS a teacher!"
And then I said, "This is so blog-worthy!
Looking back on it now, I realize that CLW wanted to get her stuff done. I'm sure she was feeling overwhelmed (shoot, I would if I had 45 hours of laminating to do). But I'll think about her next time I do something nice for someone. I'll say, "Why don't you go in front of me?" and I'll think, "because I don't want to be like the CLW!"
Practice Random Acts of Kindness!