After reading through some of the other beautiful stories from those who are making an impact in this world with their work, (which filled my heart to the brim by the way, you guys rock!!) I must admit I was a bit intimidated.
How does MY job have an impact on anyone? Sure, delivering groceries offers convenience, but am I really contributing to the creation of a better world or am I actually promoting laziness?
I decided to quiet my doubts & dive deeper into my reflection process.
Upon more consideration, allowing my disempowering thoughts to boil down to a light simmer, I began to notice a few key aspects floating to the surface on just how, in fact, I do leave this world changed for the better through my Instacart employment.
I boost people’s confidence
Although my job doesn’t have as many interactions as usual, one face I can always count on seeing is that of the person at the cash register who will ring up my order for me. I can’t help but notice the dry, surface level conversations unfolding in front of me as the other customers make their way through the line. “How are you today?” “I’m good, how are you?” “Great thanks! Did you find everything okay today?” “Yes I did, thank you.” Cue the remainder of empty silence while the customer avoids eye contact, staring expectantly at the payment device waiting to insert her card while the woman continues to ring up the groceries. This whole interacting seems painfully robotic, & my heart goes out to the woman who must have this same repetitive interaction countless times throughout her day. It’s my turn now, & I approach with a different tactic.
“Hi, how are you today?”
I flash her a big smile & look at her name tag. Using someone’s name makes them feel more important.
“Sarah, what’s something you love about yourself?”
I can tell this question has caught her off guard. She blushes, & says she doesn’t know with downcast eyes. I do not give up so easily.
“There must be something! What would your best friend say your greatest quality is?” She still looks slightly embarrassed by her absence of an answer, picking her brain for something. Suddenly her face lights up.
“I’m a great mother! I do my best to make sure my kids know right from wrong. I make sure they know they are loved.”
My heart expands for this woman in front of me as I watch her stand a little taller, straightened by pride. She has transitioned from a stature of disempowerment to one of confidence.
“See! I knew you were special. Thank you for the role that you play in your children’s lives. We need great mothers out there, especially in these times we’re in. You are literally raising a future generation of leaders! They are lucky to have a mom like you. Thank you for your efforts Sarah, you are appreciated.”
Her face is beaming as I take my receipt, giving myself a mental pat on the back. I know this intimate interaction will color the rest of her day, making up for the lack of connection with most of the other customers.
I make people feel seen & appreciated
Spending so much time at the grocery store, I begin to recognize many of the employees. There is one in particular who has caught my attention on this morning. His name is Tim, & he is slower in his cognitive function than most. He throws my groceries into the cart, rough & disorganized, & I notice the woman at the register giving him a dirty look.
“Tim! You need to be more careful! How many times do I have to tell you? The fruits & vegetables are delicate!”
Keeping his eyes looking down, he apologies with a shadow across his face. I lean forward & say something that makes him laugh. I tell him that the food actually has feelings, & if we aren’t gentle with it when we put it in the cart it may get upset & turn sour. He seemed to like that explanation. I spend the remainder of my check out engaging with Tim, a big smile on my face which mirrors his own. He waves goodbye, & I tell him “See you soon friend, you did a great job today!”
Working in customer service is hard enough as it is. Throw in a learning impairment, & I can’t imagine the difficulties that are added on. I try my best to make sure I say hello & smile at Tim every time I’m in the store now. One smile could make all the difference in the course of an otherwise tough day.
Another woman, Mary, floats into my awareness. She holds a loving, grandmotherly presence, always super enthusiastic & kind while she checks people out. I look forward to my short engagements with this elderly woman, who I’ve come to learn lives alone with her dog & loves to read a good book on a Saturday night. She is equally if not more excited to see my face in her line.
“Hello my dear friend! How are you today? It’s lovely to see you! Tell me what you are celebrating in your life presently.”
Over the course of my time in this job, I have been able to develop a sense of deep appreciation for those who show up with a heart of service regardless of their external circumstances. I always try my best to leave them feeling better than before our interactions.
I raise the vibration of the food
As someone who is relatively healthy & hyper aware of the ingredients list on the foods I consume, I can’t help but feel slightly heartbroken at the orders I receive for 3 12 packs of coke, 4 tubs of ice cream, & a plethora of canned or frozen meals. I know the impact this has on one’s health, both physical & mental. What can I do? Write a letter that says “hey, I don’t know you but I care about your health-you shouldn’t eat this stuff it’s really bad for you!” & stick it in the grocery bag? Somehow, I don’t think my good intentions would be recognized as such, so I opt for a second option: praying over the food. I connect to the Divine, & ask for anyone who consumes this sugary drink to be properly aware of what they are consuming. I ask for blessings & miracles to unfold in their health. I ask for them to be nourished in their emotional lives, so that the sugary cravings are satisfied through emotional sweetness rather than a need for ice cream. I ask for protection of their nervous systems, their kidneys, their liver, their digestive systems. I show gratitude to my creator for hearing my prayer, & suddenly I do not feel quite as guilty for delivering these unhealthy packages to my customers. I like to think the impact is felt on some level, regardless of awareness.
What started out as a simple grocery delivery job in my mind has now alchemized into something of more significance & lasting impact. I now realize that, regardless of the position we hold, there is always the opportunity to make an impact on the world. Whether we are saving the planet or reminding someone of why they are loved, I believe both are equally important.
I am grateful to this challenge for helping me come to these conclusions & recognize that through my authentic presence alone I leave this world a little better every day. You can too.
About the Creator
Story teller. Spiritual warrior. Dancer. Singer. Sensory energetic healer. Sister. Witch. Teacher. Empath. T1 diabetic. Awakening serpent priestess. Sound meditation practitioner. Energetic doula. Artist.
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