@#$%^!!! Thatâ€™s how I felt this morning, and knew I would have to work hard to move past the negative emotions. Why work to reframe my feelings? I prefer to be an optimistic person. I prefer to see the good in even not-so-good situations. And, each week I write about some little thing that brought me happiness and then share it with you as â€œthe best part of my day. Usually that is an easy assignment.
However, this morning tested the sunshine in my heart. I had a particularly chubby, photograph filled, card to mail and had no idea how much postage to affix. (Yes. I still snail mail cards, and Iâ€™m proud of it.) I tend to go to the post office when I need to get something weighed and stamped, but I was in a rush and went instead to our grocery store, which has a postal area.
A lovely young woman asked how she could help me, so I handed her the envelope. She started punching something or other into the computer.
â€œUm, I believe you have the wrong zip code,â€ she said.
I looked at my envelope and realized she was right. Since she was standing at the computer I asked if she could look up the correct zip code.
â€œNo. I canâ€™t.â€ Her face was expressionless.
â€œWell, can you tell me how much postage I will need so I can affix it at home?â€
â€œNo. I canâ€™t without the right zip code.â€ She stood and stared at me as though it was my move in a verbal chess game.
I wanted to commandeer her computer and find the zip code myself. Seriously, how hard could it be for her to look up the zip code I needed? It was the postal area of the store, for heavenâ€™s sake. Shouldnâ€™t they do postal things? Shouldnâ€™t they know postal things? Besides, I was the only person at the counter so it wasnâ€™t like she was busy. Grrr.
Suddenly I realized I have a smart phone! I started Googling zip codes. Another store clerk walk up. â€œHave you been helped?â€ I wanted to say something snarky like, â€œThat would be a nice change of paceâ€¦â€ but didnâ€™t. Instead I said I was looking up a zip code. The clerk said, â€œOh. I canâ€™t help you with that.â€
What?? Is there some law that says you canâ€™t give a customer a zip code? A regular customer? A good customer?
Meanwhile the other worker continued to stand at the computer looking bored. I quickly found the zip code I needed and let her know what it was. It turns out I had been one number off. She punched in the numbers and said I was correct, as though I had passed an IQ test of some sort. As I paid my fee she said, â€œHave a nice day!â€ My thoughts were dark as I forced a smile through gritted teeth.
Walking to my car I realized the irony of the situation. That chubby card I was sending? It was a thank you note to someone who had brightened my day. Oh yeah. Someone had been thoughtful and kind to me. Someone had gone out of his way to give great service. Maybe not this morning, and maybe not on this occasion, but I had a lot more to be grateful for than not.
Remembering the reason I was getting postage turned out to be the best part of my day.