The Angry Shopper

the angry shopper 1

A little baby stopped breathing at a superstore a few weeks ago. I arrived just as the medics placed the baby and a distraught woman into an ambulance outside the front doors. Inside, a visibly emotional, shaken employee was kindly directing a shopper to an open checkout lane. The shopper was evidently upset too… but not out of a sensitivity to the events that had just occurred.

The shopper, with annoyance on his face, raised his voice towards the employee:

“I don’t want a checkout lane. I want to complain. Tell me, what is this?!”

The angry shopper, jutting a box of toothpaste 12 inches from the face of the employee, had a first-world problem:

“Do you mean to tell me that you no longer carry my brand of toothpaste?! What am I supposed to do with this?!”

Disgusted by his behavior, I moved to within a couple of feet of the man’s self-consuming diatribe and stood next to the employee. I looked at the eyes of the angry shopper until his attention was distracted and thereby diffused a bit. I pray he noticed my disdained expression, but i doubt so.

Collecting his own breath, the employee gently responded, “Sir, you could ask the pharmacist about our toothpaste products.”

“Ah, never-mind! I’m never shopping here again.”

The calloused self-consumer huffed into the checkout lane, purchased his undesired toothpaste, and with it, I suspect, later white-washed his mouth out with some sick, narcissistic irony.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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