Thursday, March 10, 2011

Touching Fortune

“You have the ability to touch the lives of many people.”
How true is this? I think that this is true of everyone. From the cashier at your local retail outlet to the President of the United States – everyone has the ability to touch the lives of many people.
How do we touch people? Do we make a minimal impact, barely remembered after the door closes? A negative impact – cringing and avoidance? A positive impact that makes people actually smile on the inside when they think of you? Do people put their guard up around you or do they look forward to being around you?
Ugh – really this one is so sappy that it is a tough one to write and dig deep about.
Honestly, I know I have the ability to touch the lives of many people. If I didn’t realize that what kind of bubble would I be living in?
I don’t have the same chance that the President, a CEO or priest has, but I have my own little corner of the world that I touch. I have my family, my friends, co-workers, random strangers that I come across on a daily basis. In all truth, the random strangers are probably the hardest to “touch.” Mainly because so many of them at this point irritate me to no end…Ouch, did I just type that? Yes, Yes I did.
There seems to be a thoughtless stream of totally selfish, self absorbed, self centered people that I come across constantly. I am going to guess that they haven’t given a whole lot of thought about how they touch the lives of people around them – or if they have I don’t register on any kind of scale that matters.
In all seriousness, what kind of consequence am I to a total stranger as they are driving down the road and cut me off as I try to merge on the highway, to the point I am going to run into a concrete barrier? What kind of consequence am I to a rude person who swears at me over a DOLLAR price mistake (really happened – in front of a lot of people!) – the answer? None! Did they touch my life? YES – especially the overweight, middle aged, obviously balding man in a baseball cap that was so frustrated over a dollar that he felt like he had to yell and swear at me in front of an audience.  (The driver might have made a little more impact if I had crashed into the concrete barrier, but eventually he flipped me the bird and gave a little.)
To that person driving down the road who really felt it necessary to give me a parting gesture and then tailgate me to show his irritation that he had to actually obey the laws of traffic and force me into a concrete wall, to that person who apparently is so frustrated with their own menial life that he feels it necessary to belittle a lowly retail clerk – congratulations!!!  You have touched my life!!
“You have the ability to touch the lives of many people.”
Did you even realize that? Wow – you touched me, heart and soul, and have made me strive to be nothing like you and to never treat anyone that way. My hope for you is that you don’t have to have someone treat you like that to have that particular wake up call. My response to both of these situations could have taken that moment in a totally different direction. I could have flipped off the driver in return and slammed on the brakes, letting him crash us both into the wall…ummm, not a great idea! I could have gotten hostile back at the aging, turkey-hiney of an excuse for a man and called him out then and there for being a rude person – but, I did hold my tongue in check. Yes, I am going off a little right now, but I don’t honestly think this person would ever check out a silly little blog called Vanilla Mama’s Stuff – and if he ever did, he has probably done it to SO many other lowly clerks in his quest to feel better about his life, he wouldn’t recognize me! I offered to take care of the problem – I offered to fix what was wrong, but that was not what was wanted…I couldn’t make him happy, unless I was crying…that might have helped him feel better?!
In both cases it came down to a choice - and, I'll continue to make the same choice (I hope!).
“You have the ability to touch the lives of many people.”
So, if I have touched your life in some way, shape or form – I really hope it is positive. I hope that when you think about me you smile a little. If not, if for some reason you cringe when you think of me or you avoid me at all costs – I am sorry. I know that I am not everybody’s cup of tea but I will treat you to a cup of coffee and we can chat.
Live, Laugh, Love ~
Vanilla Mama
Lucky Numbers (cause think of the lives you could touch with a million dollars!): 16, 19, 35, 38, 42, 46.
FYI – I do not have anything against retail clerks – I am one! I do however notice that many people seem to think we as a customer service profession, are human targets to vent at. Next time you check out at a store – smile J! Most of us do this job because we like people – we’ll smile back. (At least I will!)


  1. Whew! You are a thoughtful deep lady! If you're going to be reading pBd I'm going to have to up my game a little bit. Oh never mind, I think we both know I'm too lazy. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment on my oh-the-horror-of-high-school post. Hope to see you back at Casa de Dummies soon!

  2. I am loving reading your blog, you have an awesome attitude - I have my silly streak and it will come through :) Can't be all serious all the time! Thanks for stopping by, it means a lot!

  3. You must be a very generous person to wish well for the person tailgating you. You are absolutely right about all of us having the ability to touch people's lives. It is just that some of us choose not to and some of us like yourself choose to. Keep writing, you have certainly left a lasting impression on me and I am not a kid ---- shush I am an old timer.

  4. My husband is always the nicest to retail clerks...always finds some way to make them smile or laugh. He's my example in that realm of Do Good.


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