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Karma, The Old Woman, And Me

Old Woman Shopping

Yesterday I was at Target and the lines were horrifically long at checkout for some reason. No. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating. They were so bad you’d think I was at Walmart on Christmas Eve. Or at Disneyland trying to get into Splash Mountain. Or at the mall trying to get my autograph cause I’m, like, so hot right now (somebody please recognize me, someday, please!).

I had hardly anything in my cart. A carton of milk. Toaster Strudels. Rockstar Recoveries. Beard dye. You know, bachelor stuff. The average load in each of the 46 carts in front of me was about 392 items, and by how things were going, at least half of those items weren’t ringing up properly or needed manager assistance.

I wanted to go put all my man-stuff away and come back when the impending-apocalypse wasn’t going on, but my beard roots were growing by the second and they were screaming at me to stick with it.

Then behind me hobbles up this old woman and chooses my line to get in. Judging by her meticulously stacked cart, she had gone through a Tetris addiction in the eighties, which probably was during her eighties. Her skills were obviously slacking though because the stack was towering dangerously high.

I looked at her cart. It’d probably take the cashier a good 20 minutes just to beep her stuff through. I looked at my cart. It’d take the cashier a good 50 seconds to beep my stuff through. I looked at the woman. She was old. And she was hobbling. And my brain said, “dude, it’s only a 50 second difference for her.” And my heart said, “dude, it’d make a 50 second difference for her,” which, by the looks of her might be a significant percentage of the life she had left.

I had quite a while to think about whether or not I wanted to be a good person that day, and finally I gritted my teeth and offered to let her go in front of me. She graciously accepted and I let her hobble past, hoping that others would follow suit. No one else did, though (the weenies), and we all moved grudgingly closer to the checkout. I prepared myself to catch her should she drop dead before we got there.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE.

151 comments
Lynn
Lynn

I thought you were gonna say the old lady paid for your beard dye.  Oh well, sometimes karma IS a biotch.


RoxanneFlores
RoxanneFlores

bwahahaha that was the funniest post i've read in a while... dat karma...

DarleneM
DarleneM

I work for Target and them not getting additional cashiers for that kind of wait is TOTALLY against company policy.  I am so sorry you weren't at my store, you would have had 5% off that purchase and 5% off your next at the very least.  Guest service is a huge deal for us.

Mandi Gianadda
Mandi Gianadda

I really thought i do not have time to read this... But curiosity got me, i am so glad it did. Cant stop laughing!!! Thanks...

JE
JE

Look at it from another angle. If you hadn't let the old woman pass, she'd have to wait even longer for her turn!

AsaTaylor
AsaTaylor

Keep up the good work and soon good karma will catch up with you. it ALWAYS come back around=)

Laura Leigh O'Neal Hall
Laura Leigh O'Neal Hall

LOL, dude that is how Karma works on my husband too. Me, I would have done that and trumpets would have gone off and I would have won a prize, my husband would have had like the lights go out for 20 minutes in the entire store. karma's a b^%}#

Docdar58
Docdar58

I have the WORST line karma.  If you ever see me in line at the store, do not get behind me.  I'm the one who is checking out whenever the receipt paper is running out, or the person in front of me has 359 coupons, or is paying the entire bill in pennies.  I'm surprised I wasn't behind you in that line!

DeeDee

www.KidNeedsAKidney.blogspot.com

MeFiftyToo
MeFiftyToo

Most Karma isn't instant. The good will return to you sometime when you *really* need it. 

Plus, on the totally serious Hindu Philosophy tip: Karma is about learning life lessons. Maybe in a past life you were totally impatient and steamrolled people all the time. This time, you were generous, and tried your best to keep your irritation in check. This means you're learning your lesson. Once it's fully learned, you won't need to practice anymore. :)

Rich Brammeier
Rich Brammeier

Thats suck.. but look at what you saved her from..

foxngigsmom
foxngigsmom

OMG - I just left Target, (with hellaciously long lines, and a cashier who needed to repeat the same joke to EVERY person in line) my teeth are still gritted! Now, reading this? I have to laugh. That you'd want to take over writing her check for her AND the notation in the register?! Crap that's funny!!!!

CrissyLance
CrissyLance

Two words stood out at me from this post.... Monkey poop. Made me laugh, you're a good human today. Karma points achieved.

hgubisch
hgubisch

Dude! The worst! But you did the right thing and in the end, it didn't kill you, right? But I get your disdain...just reading this made my chest clench, lol!

erinmorales
erinmorales

By letting that lady go before you, you saved her a lot of grief.  Had you not let her go first the machine would have cut out on her instead.  Can you imagine her having to take all those groceries and load them back into her cart, take them to another checkout and start the process all over?  She will never know just how big that favor was that you did for her, but you can walk away knowing you you did the right thing and helped her day go a lot smoother even if yours did not.  Good job!  :)

ValerieBarlowHorton
ValerieBarlowHorton

No bad karma in that, dude! You treated that lady like you would want someone to treat your granny (don't know how close you are to your granny but...) I treat old folks like I want someone to treat my granny cause I can't be there for her. :)

momtotwo
momtotwo

What I don't understand is why the manager didn't at that point take you up to the service counter, check you out and get you on your way?  I think how you handled everything was great! And you focused on the good part, not the part I probably would have focused on, which is the cruddy customer service.

Nicole Spence
Nicole Spence

LOL....just read it...you did such a good job holding your patience, the karma king decided to give you a little more practice.

leahgraves14
leahgraves14

I no longer go to the Target in my town. Here are a few reasons why: mean people in the parking lot; mean cashiers; mean customers; and risking my life driving into that lot. For the past 3 years I've gone to the Target near work. The cashiers are REALLY nice. They make small talk and jokes and they are fast. There's a Starbucks in there that wafts its Starbucky-ness into the register area when it's lunchtime and there's only 2 registers open. There's no risking your life in the parking lot. It's a good use of a lunch break and I don't miss the other one 2 miles from my house. I understand what was going through your head. You may need to travel further away from the house to find a better Target. My blood pressure is lower as a result.

Cindy
Cindy

You never know what would have happened to you if you had not let that lady go before you. You may have been hit by a car as you crossed the parking lot (maybe by that lady's husband as he circled the parking lot waiting for her!) :) 

Alicia Escobar Bond
Alicia Escobar Bond

I used to post comments regularly to your blog, but OMG... it's just too complicated now. I'll just post here... I'm not sure what lesson life was trying to teach you, but you ROCK!

Nelson Tan
Nelson Tan

You did the right thing. It could have been the old lady having to re-queue after the machine jammed on her last item. Life works in strange ways... You might see where this leads to when you're 80 years old queuing up at Target! :)

Elka Romero
Elka Romero

It's just a training of patience and kindness. ;)

EliseLoomis
EliseLoomis

My perspective is YAY you saved the little old lady from having the machine give out during HER checkout!  ^-^  So I see it as you did a good thing and the machine dying was just another sign you did the right thing, not a punishment for you.  :-P

Barbie Bastida
Barbie Bastida

Just keep smiling and breathing through it all. You may not receive your reward for letting the old lady go ahead of you down here on earth, or on the day you did it, but you do know you will be repaid. :)

Brenda Pineo
Brenda Pineo

OMG that is too funny and so like something that would happen to me UGH lol

mjtfineart
mjtfineart

I bet now EVERY SINGLE other line you will EVER be in will seem short. I'm sure some time in the near future your mind will suddenly think, "This isn't so bad- at least it's not like that apocalyptic day at Target." Just wait-it'll happen! ...Have a wonderful Aloha Monday! *:)

Karilee Schmeckpeper
Karilee Schmeckpeper

MUCH better on the eyes now! I love the color blue and all, but reading black print on a white template really is best.

L
L

Hahahaha....  I love your stories...  good, bad and indeferent.  I always come away with something to think about..  :o)

patcii
patcii

Karma had nothing to do with it ... had you gone first, the register would have died in the middle of them processing the items for that woman you let get ahead of you.  Consider that you have made a huge down-payment to the universe, and it will come back to you in time.   :)

Carli Garrett
Carli Garrett

you were just making some points up, so something fabulous can happen tomorrow! ( :

AliciaSpring
AliciaSpring

That made me giggle! Sorry about the long line though :)

Pat Smith Cleveland
Pat Smith Cleveland

I prefer to think of it in terms of, your guardian angel kept you detained so you wouldn't be hurt ot killed. Now so bad now huh? After all it is a short amount of time compared to a lengthy recovery or death so it wasn't really that bad right? It's all how you look at it. If it looks bad change your angle of the view.

Mary Child Nielsen
Mary Child Nielsen

Haha!!! No good dead goes unpunished!!! Thanks for the laugh!!!!!

GingerMannPierce
GingerMannPierce

I'm glad to see that the Cosmic Good Deed Penalty strikes others and not just me. Take heart, Dan. That old lady walked all the way to her car thinking about that nice young man and how maybe there is hope for the younger generation after all. Good story. :-)

going4fit
going4fit

@Docdar58 or the woman at the fabric store 3 days before Christmas (and two people ahead of me) with TWO cartfuls totaling about $250.00, and who insisted that the LONE cashier verify that every.single.item on the receipt tape was indeed actually on sale, even if it was just 50c. SRSLY.

LauraPVegas
LauraPVegas

@Docdar58 LOL check out lanes and shopping carts...... I make my daughter pick out carts or we get the drunken stubborn cart that only rolls on 3 wheels and drags you to the left or right so hard you're glad you've been the gym regularly! and Check out lanes we've given up the fight..... no matter WHAT lane I get in, it's the lane that the cashier's Mom and dad are 1st cousins and simple swipe and scan is far from simple or the people in front of me whip out that "We'll beat any add price" paper and I'm STUCK while that penny wise paragon of cheapness argues for EVERY single item!