Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Little Help Please

It happened again today!

I work in a retail establishment. I do my best to be fair and honest with my customers while fulfilling the goals and so forth that make my employers happy. In the course of it all, I have heard this phrase, or something close to it, many times... and it is occuring with increasing frequency. People will ask, "If you don't mind....", or "Can I ask a favor....?", or "If it isn't too much trouble..." But this is my job. This is what I'm here for. Why do people seem to think they're putting me out just for doing what I'm getting paid for?

I've asked about this. People assure me that it is very difficult to get help in many stores these days. I'm afraid I must concur. It isn't always that way, but I've had my share of exprience with it as well on the customer side.

A smile, a cheerful greeting, focused attention, honest effort at helping the customer- are these all out of vogue now? I certainly hope not. I don't believe it is true. But to hear some customers you would think it is.

Now I have also had my share of customers who have the misguided notion that slavery has not been repealed and that I am one of theirs simply because I wear a name badge. That's wrong as well.

As Christians, we have the obligation of looking at everyone else around us as if they were Jesus. We need to serve them as we would Him. It is only by showing such love to people around us that we can truly demonstrate our love for God. As John says, we cannot love God whom we have not seen if we cannot love our brothers whom we have seen. Mother Teresa looked on the poorest of the poor as Jesus Himself and she treated them that way. None of us will become Mother Teresas until we can treat the common people around us in this way.

If you're reading this post and you work in the public, let me encourage you to take this to heart. You may already know it, and you may succeed in this endeavor much better than I do. But if we will all commit to it then I believe there will be a lot less people going without the help they've come to find.


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