by Catherine Granger Glover
North Carolina, USA
My mother was coming to visit, so although I’d just gotten off a 12-hour on-your-feet workday, I had to shop for groceries. I felt really rotten. Every part of my body ached — though I didn’t know it at the time, I was running a high fever. Still, I packed my own grocery bags, to get out of the store faster and to be sure that the items needing refrigeration were in separate bags.
Outside was the type of cold rain that sinks into your bones. Then I realized that this store didn’t allow you to take the cart to the car. I trudged to the car through the pouring rain, dreading getting back out to load the groceries after driving back to the loading area. I just wanted to get home and to bed and hoped I would feel better in the morning.
I drove up to where my cart sat, stepped into the pouring rain, and headed to the cart. I brought the cart to my vehicle, opened the back door, and turned to load the bags into the vehicle.
Then the “bag boy” came up. He began taking bags from my cart to put them into the vehicle. I told him I really needed to arrange them myself, for I was only going to unpack things that must be refrigerated that night. He smiled and said he would make sure those bags were most accessible, that I should go and sit down in the car.
I felt so sick that I did just that, thinking that I would have to unload all the bags to be sure that nothing that needed refrigeration was left behind.
When the young man finished loading the car, he stepped up to the driver’s side and knocked on the window. I rolled it down and offered him a couple of dollars which he promptly refused. He said he just wanted to let me know that all the bags with items needing refrigeration were closest to the door and the rest were placed further back.
At home I discovered that he had carefully placed all the bags I needed to unload close to the back door. There was even a box dividing them from other bags that didn’t need unloading that night.
Every time I feel ‘under the weather’ and have errands that have to be done I think of how that young man made a dreaded chore a bit easier. It may have been part of his job, but basking in the car’s warmth while my groceries were loaded was a treat I’ll always remember with a smile and a sigh of gratitude.