An Indianapolis mom was waiting in line at Target, when she saw something that stopped her in her tracks and forced her to call the store manager.
When Sarah Owen Bigler and her two kids began to unload their merchandise onto the conveyor belt. To her growing frustration, the old lady ahead was paying for each item separately — with change. Her annoyance only grew.
“Part of me — the part that had a long day at work, the part of me who had a 1-1/2 year old having a meltdown in the cart, the part that had set an unnecessary timeline for Target and getting home — was frustrated with this woman and the inconvenience she had placed on me,” Bigler wrote in a Facebook post.
But then, she noticed the care the cashier was taking in helping the lady out.
“I watched him help her count her change, ever so tenderly taking it from her shaking hands,” she added. “I listened to him repeatedly saying ‘yes, mam’ to her.”
“When she asked if she had enough to buy a reusable bag, he told her she did and went two lines over to get one for her and then repackaged her items,” she wrote. “Never once did this employee huff, gruff or roll his eyes. He was nothing but patient and kind.”
What began as an irritating moment with her kids became a teachable moment, she said.
“As I was watching him, I saw that [my daughter] was too,” she added. “She was standing next to the woman, watching the employee count the change. I realized I hadn’t been inconvenienced at all. That my daughter was instead witnessing kindness and patience and being taught this valuable lesson by a complete stranger; furthermore, I realized that I too needed a refresher on this lesson.”
Bigler made sure to find the manager to compliment Ishmael Gilbert’s treatment of the woman and its impact on her daughter.
“It just feels good to be recognized for good work,” he told The Indianapolis Star. “But this isn’t something new. I treat all customers the same, the way I want to be treated.”
Gilbert’s kindness prompted a message on Facebook from his proud mother, who also thanked Bigler for recognizing his actions.
“As I looked at my son I was proud to be his mother and know that my hard work and effort was worth it,” she wrote. “I have always tried my best to raise my children to respect everyone — no matter their race, age or gender. Keep encouraging our youth and they will inspire others to do and be their best.”