Peopled asked me frequently what I intended to do once social distancing lifted. Only one thing ever came to mind: visit Goodwill. I missed Goodwill so much during quarantine! I’ve taken advantage of it being open now by visiting at least 5 different Goodwill stores during the last few weeks.
But today probably wins for Goodwill stories.
I was taking my time, leisurely shopping in the afternoon and going through each aisle, saving the best for last (aka the books), when over the loudspeakers someone announced:
“It is 4:30. Goodwill closes at 5. Please proceed to the check out.”
Panic! I had not looked at books yet!
I hurried over to the well-stocked shelves. Books, books, books. So much stress. I’m a rule follower generally, and the voice over the intercom did say to check out. And here I was…not checking out!
An employee walked over. I braced to be politely told the store was closing and politely bum rushed out the door.
Instead, the employee pointed to one of the books in front of me, “That’s my favorite. I’ve read it three times.”
“Oh,” I responded in surprise. “Okay, I’ll buy it.” (It was 99 cents.)
The employee looked shocked. “Really???”
“Yes,” I said, tossing it into my cart. The employee wandered off.
“It is 4:40,” said the voice over the intecom. “Goodwill is closing. Please check out.”
I could picture my retail working sisters—not present—glaring at me for my tardiness. I hurriedly tossed more books in my cart, desperately trying to glance over everything in the limited amount of time left.
The employee returned. I once again braced.
“I hope you like the book.”
“Oh, I’m looking forward to it!” I assured her.
She looked stunned again. “Really?!“
“I like book recommendations!” I said. But the guilt of not checking out ate me inside. Sure, there were still people around. But the store was closing. I needed to check out. I couldn’t be that customer. And also I didn’t think I could stand to shock the Goodwill employee any longer with my willingness to read the book she likes.
Goodwill—quite thoughtfully—has another bookshelf right outside the check out. So I grabbed a few more while waiting for the long line. Probably more than I normally would if I stopped to think about it. But…the store was closing in ten minutes. No time to think!
I left with ten books. I don’t know if that is a success story or a failure. But at least I wasn’t the last person out the door.
(Switching gears, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the Dads who read this blog, particularly my own! <3)