Can I Hold You, Sir?

This is an embarrassing story with an upbeat and positive ending.  The other day at work, we were again subjected to my boss’s one man chorus line.  His song of choice for the day? “Leaving on a Jetplane”.  He sings that song a lot.  And every time he starts singing it, I always want to join in, partly because he has a habit to get the words wrong, but mostly because I’m rather fond of the song.  Especially since the Jules and Lassie Psych-Out involving that song.

Now, I know everyone has had this moment.  You’re thinking about one thing, you’re trying to talk about something else, and somewhere along the line the two things become conflated and what you’re thinking ends up slipping into what you’re saying.  So, while my manager believed he was serenading us and I was singing along in my head, I approached the sole customer at the counter and asked “Can I hold you, sir?” which I quickly corrected.  Unfortunately, he had already caught my slip.  Luckily for me, he had a sense of humor and simply laughed about it, never mentioning it again during the entire time I was waiting on him.

Quite frankly, it was embarrassing.  At the moment, I was glad he was the only customer standing up there, and that none of the other employees had been paying attention.  Not that I didn’t gleefully share the story with them later, claiming it was all my manager’s fault.  I feel we all need to be able to laugh at our own silly mistakes.  And it made an interesting story.  Would have made a more interesting story had he actually been within my eligibility range, but that’s irrelevant.

The more I told the story, the more I thought about the implications of what I had said.  Personally, I think some of my customers could use a hug.  Not that this man in particular was unpleasant, but some of them, if they got regular hugs, might just be a little more pleasant in their treatment of us deli workers.  After all, Walmart hires greeters who stand at the door to make customers feel welcome.  The store I work at is all about family and caring.  So why not employ professional huggers to make the customers feel like they are part of the family?  If an individual is against getting hugs from strangers (and really, most of our customers shop there often enough that I would hardly call them strangers) well, then, they can stay away from the professional Hugger.  I would even volunteer for the position.  There’s nothing wrong with a hug every once in a while.  We all need one to lift our spirits, and since I’m already the bubbly unofficial mascot of the deli, I might as well be the one to hand out the hugs as well.

In that spirit, hugs to all my readers.  You’re all great.