‘Can I help you?’

It might be just me. Or does anyone else think they’d be really good at whatever job it is that someone else is doing? Take today’s sales assistant, for instance. If I worked in the bedding department of a large department store and a customer came in and asked which was best out of the goose down, goose feather, duck down, duck feather, down/feather combination of 85/15 or 50/50, wool or polyester, I would not start taking down large clear zippered bags from the shelves and turning them over to read the information on the back. With a whole wall full of doona types, she was going to turn around at some point to let me know what she came up with and find me curled up asleep in one of the cute short little single beds they have made up with expensive sheet sets and 16 cushions (just as an aside, why all the cushions?).

I looked at my wrist and gasped (maybe she didn’t see that I don’t wear a watch). Then I excused myself because I just realised what time it was and I was going to be late for an appointment (that I didn’t have). That was nicer than touching her gently on the forearm and telling her that given she was 60, I hoped she’d had 40 years experience in selling doonas and would be able to tell me off the top of her head which one I needed to buy so that neither of us had to read the packets.

Anthony and I used to think the same about nurses when Elsie was in hospital. We’d have the best bedside manner of anyone if we were nurses.

And if I was taking the money in a bakery and handing over the sausage roll, I’d smile and offer sauce. ‘Cos that’s not hard to do.

Part of me says, ‘It’s your job. Know your product. Serve your customers. Smile.’

But the nicer part of me says leave them alone, they’re doing their best and you’re no better than them or anyone else.

And now I’m reminded that judging others serves no purpose other than making me feel superior and right. And that was only for an instant, because it was replaced with frustration and suffering because I came away with no doona. And then spent longer Googling and reading which doona to buy than it would have taken for the lady to read the entire wall full of doona packages. Karma.

Oh, by the way, I’ve added these navy linen blend pants to my shop. I do love linen. And round bellies (on two-year-olds, that is): 

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