Clint and Michelle and I mucked into the post office again today. We unloaded and unloaded, then took our place in line, which was consistently long. Most people faced with a long line are going to roll their eyes and sighhhhhhhhhhh. People were visibly irritated with us again today. We tried smiling: "It's for the troops." heh.
Some couldn't care less. One older man morphed into Rumpelstiltskin, grumbling, and stomping until his wife pointed out that there were other windows open, and that they'd be up soon.
But most, irritated initially, relaxed, after reading our labels. Oh! It's for the troops. Is it all toys? Not this time. It is Christmas gifts, and cookies, and necessities.
One man told me about his being overseas 40 years ago. Oh! The mistake he made his first tour out!! He opened his gifts the day he received them on the ship. Christmas morning rolled around, and there was nothing for him, then. On his 2nd tour, he knew better: He stashed the gifts away. He joined his comrades on Christmas morning, for a nice holiday breakfast, and then he retired to his [room] to open gifts and read letters from loved ones. He learned the hard way, he told me.
Another older man waited his turn in line, and started talking to us. The boxes. The soldiers. The gifts.
Meanwhile, an anxious customer behind began pointing out "Next window! The next window is open!!" Still, the man kept talking until I had to politely point that the next window was open, and he realized that he was holding up the line.
He busted up the room by explaining loudly, "Well, I WAS VISITING!!!"
We laughed. The clerks laughed. I just happened to be facing the irritated customers in line...and I watched them laugh.
It was A moment. The expressions of 10 customers going from complete exasperation and irritation to unmitigated laughter in a split second was priceless.
And I wonder, about people, and personalities, and intentions. I wonder about one man that can smile to a room full of anxious, busy people, and on a dime, make them all laugh.
And I loved that most could laugh at themselves. That they can recognize: "It's nice to visit." And 3 more minutes isn't going to be the end of the world for them. Most of them, irritated initially, skirted off to their own windows, telling us "that's nice. That's nice what you're doing."
I wish that every man and woman serving out there understands that the very mention of their service, even in a midwestern post office, will bring most to a halt on a Tuesday morning, and "OH! Tell them Thank you, please, tell them thank you for us, can you?"
I'm working on it, babies. I'm passing it on and networking, and making sure every single one hears what you just asked me to tell them.
I'll be right back, I have more to do.
The rest of you guys?
It's sure to put a smile on someone's face.