I was going to pick up a few items from a bakery, but the drive-thru wasn’t open. I still limit the trips in and out of businesses but decided it wasn’t a busy time of the day. I waited in line for less than a couple minutes, then the cashier cheerfully greeted me. She seemed confident, but I soon learned she wasn’t quite as focused as I thought. She miscounted, mispackaged, and generally seemed to be confused. Maybe I’d simply like to assume she was unfocused and confused instead of incompetent.
I patiently reiterated the instructions. I let a couple details go, because it wasn’t a battle worth fighting. I could be flexible. I realize many businesses are struggling to adequately staff right now. And the employees they are able to retain are often overworked and undertrained. Not always, but in some cases, it’s survival mode. And people get frustrated—management, employees, and customers.
We can be patient. We can encourage each other. That’s not to say we shouldn’t have standards. We can help others learn and hold them accountable. We can do so with respect. Let’s do this together.