Ski pants and respecting yourself

What do ski pants and self respect have to do with each other?  I’ll tell you what happened today and then you’ll know!

My son told me last week that his high school is having a ski trip. A $60 trip, which isn’t cheap.  I really don’t like all the extracurricular expenses – after all, I’m already paying for private school tuition.  Anyway, the principal called him over to speak to him and told him that because he’s made such a great transition to high school from homeschooling, academically as well as socially, the school is going to pay for his ski trip as a way to acknowledge his effort.  My son was really appreciative and it was nice for him to know that the administration has noticed his effort. 

So he’s going skiing tomorrow. And my eleven year old daughter has a snow tubing trip planned for this Sunday, with her Girl Scout troop.  That’s being paid for by funds from cookie sales, which is nice, since the girls worked really hard to sell cookies as a troop. Their hard work built this fund that will now pay for some fun troop outings.  Anyway, both of them have grown out of their snow pants/snowbibs (you’d be amazed how someone is always growing out of something here – it could be a part time job just keeping everyone appropriately clothed).  So off I went to the thrift store today to see if I would have any luck finding a couple of pairs.

While I was there, I bought some other things, and finally got to the checkout.  While the cashier was ringing up my order, I had been holding the store credit I was planning to use for part of the costs, and when she told me the total, handed it to her along with my debit card.  Instead of taking it, she angrily turned around, grabbed her head, and started muttering unpleasantly before turning back to me and angrily telling me that I can only use store credit if it’s given before the order is rung up.

I smiled at her and said, “You know, you can tell me nicely if there’s something different I need to do.  I shop here all the time so it’s no problem for me to use the credit next time I come in. There’s nothing posted about how to use store credit, and the only way I can know is if you tell me.  But yelling at me isn’t going to help.” 

Then the woman looked at me and when she realized that I wasn’t being nasty, that I was being nice to her even though she overreacted, she quieted down really fast.  And then she apologized sincerely, and told me she shouldn’t have gotten so upset and she was really sorry about it.  Then she explained that she thought she was going to have to cancel my entire order and re-ring it up.  

There have been plenty of times when I’ve encountered irate people, like all of us have.  And some of the time, I take it personally.  Most of the time, I don’t respond to the negativity but try my best to be respectful of the person I’m interacting with regardless.  But I’ve come to realize that I need to respect myself as much as I try to respect others to create.  And respecting myself  means appropriately letting others what standards I find acceptable to interact with me, including cashiers! 


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