Thursday, April 18, 2013

Communication Situation

Communication Situation

I'm writing about this to perhaps lighten or somehow ease thoughts of everyone regarding the awful pain and suffering so many folks are experiencing because of the horrible events that have happened this week. My thinking is that maybe your attention will be diverted for just a little bit and maybe my silly situational story will move your thoughts to a better place for a moment.

Usually, my husband and I travel about 30 miles about every two weeks to grocery shop. It's important to us that we also pick up our preferred soda and Walmart is the only place that sells it.

For about four times last year and then again last week when we went,  they were out of the soda - completely out. I made the mistake of not calling first to ensure that a supply existed.

This time I called first and the beverage manager said there was plenty on the shelves but she would also hold a case for me. When I asked how many were in a case she didn't know, but thought there was six. She asked when we were coming and I told her we'd be there in about an hour.

We arrived at the store, and went our usual ways - me with my cart to shop for groceries, he with his cart to shop for soda and other sundry items. The usual routine is for us to meet at the checkout nearest the door we entered. Whoever if finished first, just waits, sometimes by sitting on the provided bench.

He was finished first and after I checked out and we started to exit I noticed that his cart didn't hold very many bottles of soda so I asked him if there were more on the shelf. His reply was that the ones we buy were gone and there was no one to check on the case that was being held so he just checked out. My answer was that I'd go to Customer Relations and get someone to bring my case to me there. 

BIG Mistake: I could have suggested that he take his cart to the car, unload and then come back in because I'd stay in the Customer Relations area. I didn't suggest it. I assumed that is what he would do. 
SECOND BIG Mistake: Never assume.

The Customer Relations Manager contacted the person to whom I spoke on the phone that morning and she came to the area. She told me she'd be back with the soda for me and I asked her if there was more than one case available, would she bring back two and she said she would. I sat down and waited and waited. Finally she showed up and was looking like a wild woman. She told me she had brought back two cases on a gurney, left the gurney for just a moment to help another customer and when she returned the cases of soda had disappeared. She wondered if I had it. She couldn't believe someone had taken them right off her cart! WHAT? I just told her to never mind, I had waited long enough and was going home. She marched out of the area where I was waiting in search of who took her soda. I think you know what is coming............

As I was heading for the exit, I passed the checkout near the door and THERE HE WAS! CHECKING OUT TWO CASES OF SODA. All of this time, I thought he was waiting for me either by the door or by the car. Then....the woman who had brought it up from the back area spotted him and confronted him. She had NO idea he was a member of my family. I high-tailed it outta there!!!

I stood in the parking lot and he finally arrived. When he unlocked the door, I entered and just sat there. After unloading and taking the carts to the proper area, he entered the car and gave me heck for not helping him unload! (I usually do.) My mouth was sealed - TIGHT! I was so angry and so humiliated and so embarrassed that I was afraid of myself. I really wanted to rip him up and down with my words of contempt - but couldn't. 

All the way home I worked at getting myself under control and after arriving, helped unload and then put it all away, but still kept from saying anything about the incident or my feelings. It's my way to hold things in and I must say I did well, knowing I would cause more trouble. I'm usually a patient person and not angered easily, and he is impatient and flares up very easily. You know what I mean - oil and water. After 52 years, we haven't "killed" each other, so I guess this communication situation will prevail for a few more. 

I'm still waiting for an apology but those are rare. I truly believe that he doesn't even realize that he made a fool of himself, a fool of the store employee and embarrassed and humiliated me.  I'll get over it. In a while......

There! Did I make you forget real pain and suffering, even for a minute?

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