This story is kind of long & I have no pictures to interrupt it with, but please bear with me because I was honestly astonished by what was said to me!
I went to JoAnn & Hobby Lobby yesterday for fabric – I had received two custom orders for roses on Tuesday but didn’t have fabric in the colours requested. I ended up with 51 different cuts – 32 from JoAnn & 19 from Hobby Lobby. At JoAnn they had two girls at the cutting counter so when one wasn’t busy she’d help the other with my ever growing pile….
At Hobby Lobby there is only one associate. She’s a lovely older lady who has helped me every time I’ve gone in for almost a year now – I do not know her name, but we’re friendly & she recognizes me even with my ever changing hair colour. I came up with 9 bolts of fabric, needing a half yard of each. I told her I’d be back & wandered around for another minute, bringing a few more bolts back with me.
There was a teenage girl & her mom with two bolts waiting in line, so I said “Go ahead & cut theirs, I see another one I’d like – I’ll be right back.” When I came back ((with four)) she was still cutting my fabric! I was surprised & this is what followed:
“No, really, you can cut theirs!”
“Oh no, she wants 28 yard of each. It would take just as long to cut hers as to finish yours.”
“I brought you more & I really don’t mind waiting – I have zero plans this afternoon. You can cut hers first!”
So the associate switched, the girl thanked me, and I laughed it off. I really didn’t mind waiting….
She was redecoarting her room & asked for the fabric to be cut in three sections 7 yards each. Hobby Lobby policy is to cut the entire length & you cut the rest at home. The assocaite phrased it this way – “Normally we’re not allowed to cut it in sections, but if you don’t mind waiting….? ((Nope, I still don’t. I’m good.)) Okay! If this was the holiday season or if there were more people waiting you’d be out of luck, but I can do it for you today!”
Another customer with two bolts came up while the associate had just started the second bolt. “Do you just need a short cut for that? Or do you need a lot?”
“A yard each.”
The associate looked at me with an eyebrow raised.
“Oh yeah, she can hop in!”
The lady looked surprised and goes “Oh no, no I can wait. You were here first.”
“I’ve got a bunch, I really don’t mind waiting. You can go next.”
The mom with the teenager was silent & staring at me during this. After a moment she spoke up – & this is what shocked me – “This is almost as good as buying Starbucks for the people behind you. That can get pretty expensive, too. You might only be giving up a little of your time, but thank you miss, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity. If this is what it’s like in stores today, people going ‘oh no, you go first,’ ‘No you first!’ then there is hope for a future after all.”
I had no response.
….Honestly I really just wanted to ask the associate a question & didn’t want to make them wait while she helped me, since I knew it’d take an extra three minutes or so.
My reward for waiting, being polite, and laughing with the other customers waiting in line was that unexpected response …. & free advertising.
The associate let the mom, the customer with the two yards, and the next customer who came up just as we were finished cutting everything know that I have an Etsy shop, I make roses & they are gorgeous. They all asked me for a business card before they left the line.
How awesome is that?
But yet, how sad is it that I stepped aside for maybe five minutes & that changed her entire viewpoint on where the world is headed….