You Meet the Nicest People Waiting in Line

(This post can be found as an audio podcast at this link.)

I stopped by Tecalitlan Restaurant to pick up some tacos to bring home to Scott, and met some really cool people while I waited there:

A lady of about my age approached the restaurant – she was covered in mud and dirt and looked like she’d just come out of battle – but she was beautiful, too – she had an open face and a beautiful smile and long silver hair. I smiled and asked her how she was doing and she laughed and said she’d just spent the day burning slash on her property and now all she wanted was dinner and a hot shower. I learned she was a gardener and we talked a bit about gardening and how healthy it is for people to work the earth and walk barefoot on the ground. She was very wise.

A young man in glasses approached the order window and we exchanged smiles. I’d already ordered so I moved aside so he could get in front of me. After a while I became aware that I was moving from side to side on my feet – putting my weight on one foot and then the other – and I realized I was making a tune in my head – that there was a rhythmn passing through my thoughts that was making me move back-and-forth. And then I became aware that the young man in front of me was moving from foot-to-foot, too, in the exact same rhythmn. I asked him if he had a song going on his head and he laughed and said no, but he just has a hard time staying still. He asked me if I had a song in my head and I told him I did, but I was not going to sing it out loud. He laughed with me and we both continued with our foot-leaning.

And then this man came out of the restaurant with a little gray puppy in his arms. He set the pup down on the patch of grass in front of the restaurant so the puppy could stretch his legs and pee if he needed to. The puppy’s tail was wagging and his little body was rolling over itself and he was just so cute and friendly and the urge to pet him was irresistible. So I asked the pup’s human if I could pet him, and he smiled and gave the okay. And awww….

The silver-haired lady had collapsed in a chair, by this time, as she waited for her take-out. I told her she was almost there. Soon she’d have a meal and a hot shower. She laughed and nodded her head, and just about that time her take-out order appeared at the window. We rejoiced together in the magic of a warm meal.

My own take-out came soon after. The young man in the glasses wished me a good night and I took my bag of tacos to my car – which I found was blocked in on every side. There was no way I was getting out of that parking lot as things stood. I went back to the restaurant and explained my situation to the people waiting there and very soon a young man detached himself from the crowd, grinning, and pointed to his car and told me he’d parked in the spot in front of me – he couldn’t find anywhere else to park – and he’d go move his car for me. I was so grateful to him. “Thank you so much!” I said. I found an empty parking space for him while he got in his car and asked him if I should stand in it to reserve it for him. He said that would be great.

He moved his car for me and parked it in the empty space. I thanked him again and he smiled and said “No problem.”

You meet the nicest people just waiting in line at Tecalitlan’s.

The End.

A Pup Named Blue

Meeting Cool People in the Customer Service Line

I had the best time waiting in the customer service line yesterday.

Earlier in the week I’d bought a DVD that looked to be on sale for $7.99 from its original price of $16.99. When I got home I’d discovered I’d been charged $16.99. At the time I’d just shrugged it off as one of those things and went about life.But yesterday, when I’d been back in the store, I’d seen that movie was STILL on sale for $7.99 and I wondered if I could get reimbursed for the extra I’d paid for it earlier. I didn’t have my receipt with me or anything, but I had my customer ID number in my head and I thought the customer service folks might be able to see my purchasing history in their computers. So I got at the end of the customer service line to find out.

The nicest people were in line with me. The line was pretty long when I got in the back of it, and when a young man wearing a WSU jacket got behind me I suggesed maybe we should shift the line so we didn’t block people from getting past us. He agreed and we started forming the line to the right – but now we were blocking the path to the restroom. The woman in front of me smiled and said that, in her experience, she found it was best to make the line go the other way. So the young man said, “Here, let’s go this way” and stepped aside so I could get in front of him going the other direction. Team work!

There was a lady in front of us who had the coolest hat – it was a panda face hat with ears and a smile. And a gentleman ahead of me, who’d patiently waited in line a really long time, smiled and laughed and thanked the customer service rep. when she was finally able to help him. I gave him a thumbs up as he walked past me on his way out, and he smiled over his mask and gave me a thumbs up back.

When I got to the customer service representative she was so helpful! She told me what I needed to do to take care of my problem – it involved going back into the store to find another copy of the movie and then getting at the end of the customer service line again. I thanked her and went to get the DVD I needed.

When I’d gotten the DVD I needed, I got back at the end of the line. I had a choice at this point – let myself feel frustrated or let myself enjoy the moment. I chose to enjoy the moment. There was, honestly, no place else I would rather have been at that moment than waiting in line with all the other cool customers, watching people and laughing with them. I was safe and comfortable and had everything I needed right there.

There was a young mom in front of me in the line with her son – a little boy of about two with his hands in his pockets – he looked like a little man – so cute! I smiled and waved at him and he smiled and waved back at me – which totally made my day.

When I got back to the customer service rep. she was very efficient and helpful and I ended up getting $9 back, and an apology for being overcharged for the DVD I’d bought on sale earlier in the week.

$9 for standing in line 15 minutes and making new friends seems like a pretty good deal to me.

P.S. The woman with the cool panda hat was Asian; the man who gave me the thumbs up was Black; the woman standing in front of me was White; and the man standing behind me was Latino, I think. I’ll let the little boy with his hands in his pockets represent any little boy anywhere with his hands in his pockets.