Tuesday, September 19, 2006

where everybody knows your name

Okay, maybe not everybody. But Sandy does.

Sandy is my favorite cashier at Publix (where shopping is a pleasure). She is at work every Sunday between the hours of 11 and 2, which is the same time that I go to the grocery store every week. We're becoming friends, Sandy and I. Even if her line is a bit longer, I always wait the few extra minutes so I can be greeted by her smiling face. She doesn't ask to see my credit card after I swipe it anymore. She doesn't need to see it - she knows me.

Sandy is a beautiful lady, probably in her late forties. Her hair is the same shade of white that I hope mine turns one day. Completely white without a hint of color. Tiny, black-rimmed glasses are perched on the end of her sharp nose. Her Publix-green vest covers her plump shape, and her lipstick is always the same shade of bright pink. But not the gross kind of bright pink.

Just this past week I learned that Sandy has been a speech pathologist in the school system for sixteen years, and she works twenty hours a week at Publix to help make her teenage daughter's car and insurance payment. Her first husband died when her daughter was only one year old, and she is now remarried and has stepchildren. What an amazing picture of love. This beautiful, college-educated woman is willing to take a position as a cashier in a grocery store so that her daughter, who will be leaving her soon to go to school at Penn State, can have a car to drive without having to give up playing softball to take a job to pay for it. And she does it with such grace, making everyone who comes through her line feel valued. No doubt there are times when she comes home, her feet aching from standing behind the counter all day, wanting to give up. But you would never know by her smile and enthusiastic conversation. A genuine smile spread across my face when I left, Sandy saying that she would see me next weekend.

6 comments:

jeff said...

thats beautiful

susan said...

I have a Publix friend, too. Her name is Precia and she reminds me of my sister.

Su

Rick said...

Good stuff...

G. Twilley said...

I've thought about the life of cashiers before and wondered how adults get by when they're working that sort of position. Thanks for sharing some of your insight.

Kathryn G. Lauritzen said...

I love Publix. For reasons like that. Even though they are often times i tiny bit more expensive. I still refuse to go anywhere else. Places don't have customer service like they used to. Yep, I love Publix.

David said...

I MISS Publix...that and Chick-fil-A would make the west coast practically Heaven on earth :)