Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Human Connection With A Cashier

--by fsmall52, posted Mar 2, 2015
The cashier was tall, slender, and dark-skinned. His name tag identified him as "Mataye."

After he rang up my purchase, I asked, "Is that pronounced Muh-TAH-yeh?"

"Yes!" he exclaimed with apparent delight. "You pronounced it right!" I gathered most people don't. His accent sounded African, though I couldn't be sure.

"That's what it looks like," I replied. "Where are you from?" I asked, smiling. (The smile was important. My question might be interpreted as a challenge or even a threat. I wanted to be sure he understood that my intention was friendly.)

"Ethiopia," he answered.

"How long have you been here?" I asked, still smiling.

"A year," he answered.

"Your English is excellent," I said. He smiled. "Do you miss Ethiopia?"

Between his accent and the noise in the store, I couldn't make out his answer. Another customer was waiting, so I just smiled again, looked him in the eye, and said, "Thanks, Mataye."

It wasn't a big deal, of course. But I had taken the time to treat Mataye like a human being, not just a cashier, which is something I don't always do. I hope he felt a human connection, as I did. I hope this becomes a habit for me.
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Readers Comments

Mitakpa wrote: :) nice, i hope this become a habit for me as well
wavingatyou wrote: Lovely encounter :)
jomartin87112 wrote: bless you for this - and one step, one encounter at a time, you can dod it!
Naazie wrote: wonderful :)
debbe530 wrote: Well done! I try to call folks by name if they have a nametag on.
Mish wrote: Beautiful. All are one.
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: That is great! Thanks for treating him with kindness like you did. What a great habit to develop!

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