I must confess I was mildly surprised to read Paul Newman needed a Chimpanzee liver and a goat’s heart double transplant to save him. Lisa Marie Presley controlled the Colombian drug cartels. And the new Batman star Christian Bale only got the role because of his ability to hang upside for hours on end eat small rodents and use echolocation to find his way out of a dark cave.
All of a sudden as I was about to read 101 Ways To Drive Your Man Crazy In Bed I was jolted out of my trance like state. When I say 101 ways to drive your man crazy, I don’t actually mean your man. Although I don’t definitively know it wasn’t your man, I suppose it could have been, but I guess it wasn’t.
What jolted me rather rudely out of my reverie was overhearing the cashier say to the women she was serving something along the lines of:
“I’m sorry I don’t know, I’m only a cashier”
I looked quickly at the lady paying for her groceries to see what her response was going to be, and it drove me crazy (on the inside).
“Yeh I know, I suppose I should go a bit higher up the pecking order?”
The fact is, I have absolutely no idea what they were talking about. I guess the customer could have said:
“Can you tell me about Publix 5 year plan for growth. Whether their policy on environmental issues is going to impact shipping procedures to the extent where outsourcing for crucial long life products overseas becomes a serious consideration. The net result being an undermining of stockholder confidence because of fears that their ability to adapt rapidly to changes in market forces will be severely eroded?”
Or she could have said:
“Any idea whether they’ll be getting any of those raspberry M & M’s in again anytime soon?
It actually doesn’t matter what the conversation was about, that’s not the point.
What shocked me was that the cashier would say “I’m JUST a cashier” and the other person would respond with “I know” and then go onto to mention some mythical pecking order as the reason for concurring with her.
I’m not naïve enough to think that we live in a Utopian society where pecking orders, ladders and food chains don’t exist, of course they do. I also realize that people often think of themselves as “Just a nurse” “Only a waiter” and “Merely an ambulance chasing attorney” Well, maybe not the last one.
As the cashier greeted my with a cheery “Will plastic do?”
I said to her:
“You’re not JUST a cashier you know. You’re one of the people that keep this place running. Without any competent cashiers like you this store would have to close.
You’re usually the final person the customer sees or at least speaks to and you have the power to make their final impression of the store a good or a bad one.
That is REAL power the like of which Mr. Publix himself never gets to sample no matter how many board meetings he attends”
“Plastic’s ok then?” She responded.
People aren’t more or less worthy because of the job they do or the money they earn. Everybody has a role to play and everybody deserves an equal amount of respect for performing that role. When we start deciding on how important this person is or that person is based on what they do we risk losing site of the fact that we’re all equal.
Even more importantly, when we start to judge ourselves that way we’re in trouble, because it leads to a lack of self worth and a lowering of self-esteem. Your job is never your identity any more than the football team you support, the political party you vote for or the country you were born in.
Don’t let anybody, especially yourself, tell you you’re just anything, because you’re way more than that.