Monday, January 2, 2012


After a heavy week last week, time for something a little light-hearted. Today, My Favorite Wal-Mart Customers:

The Price is Right! I have one customer, an elderly gentleman, who can guess the total cost of his shopping order to within 20 cents. Doesn't matter if it's a big order with a belt-load of items, or a small order at the express check-out. We have a game we play: He sets everything on the counter/belt while I wait. Then I ask, "What's your number?" He gives me an amount, say fifty-seven dollars and forty-two cents. So far, his closest guess was only five cents off. His biggest miss? A mere twenty cents. That particular shopping trip (when he was off by 20 cents), he accused me of doing some kind of voodoo to him to throw him off his game. This guy always makes me smile!

The Cat Lady: This elderly lady comes through my line with an entire buggy full of cat food. She usually has a second buggy full of people food as well. Having endured several back surgeries, she walks stooped over, very slowly. I have no idea how on earth she manages her regular shopping trips to Wally World, dragging those heavy carts through our miles and miles of aisles. But I do know that she has the sweetest smile and kindest disposition, and it always brightens my day to have her come through my line. No, I don't mind hauling all that heavy cat food out of her cart, scanning it, and then reloading it into another buggy for her, not one bit!

Mr. Miami: I met "Mr. Miami" over the Thanksgiving holidays. He was in town from Miami, Florida, visiting his country relatives. "What kind of night life is there in Obion County? Any great clubs here?" he asked. "Uh, No," I answered flatly. "Then what do people do for entertainment in this God-forsaken place?" "They come to Wal-Mart and look for their friends and neighbors," I explained. After a few days of life here in the Boondocks, he figured out I'd been telling the truth. He came through my line almost every single day for two weeks. His last night in town, he stopped to say Goodbye, and I thought that would be the end of our visits. Then last week, he popped through my line again. "Hi! I'm back for Christmas!" Night life in the big city - gotta love it!

Red-headed Reporter: "What's your name?" "Camille." "Camille What?" "Kendall." "Do you live here in Union City?" "No, I live in Troy." "What color car do you drive?" This red-headed eight-year-old peppers me non-stop with questions when she comes grocery shopping with her mother. "I want to be an investigative reporter when I grow up," she explained on her first time through my line. "I think you're off to a good start!" I laughed. Her mom rolled her eyes and groaned, "This is so embarrassing." Last week, she came through my line again, and picked up right where she had left off: "Okay, where were we? Right - you're Camille Kendall. How long have you worked here at Wal-Mart?" "You must be a very good student at school, with a memory like that," I laughed. "Yes, I am," she answered matter-of-factly. Love. This. Kid.

There are the white-haired ladies who call me "Dear," and the balding gentlemen who call me "Sweetheart," and the black women who call me "Sugar" and "Baby." And the babies, perched in their seats on the shopping carts, who stare at me with owl-eyes, daring a shy smile and a tiny, timid wave Good-bye when their moms are finished checking out. And the very earnest men and women - there are a few of them - who never complete a transaction without asking, "Are you saved? Do you know Jesus?"

Yes, these are some of my favorite customers, too. So many, many beautiful, fascinating people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the people. Why not a book about them. Oh right, you need something extra to do. Love you. Dad