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Express Checkout

A rainy day. A hyper toddler. I was at my wit’s end.

A cash register in a grocery store

All morning the weather forced my two-and-a-half-year-old, Daniel, to play inside. His nonstop chatter was giving me a headache. Maybe we need to get out of the house, I thought.

“How about a trip to the grocery store so we can make cookies?” Daniel smiled.

In the store I maneuvered the cart through the crowded aisles—trying my best to keep Daniel from grabbing cans and boxes of items we didn’t need—and then trudged up to the checkout. Amazingly, register number 12 had no line at all. I dashed over.

As I put the bags of flour, sugar and chocolate chips on the conveyor belt, the cashier focused all her attention on Daniel. “I bet you’re going to bake cookies today, young man,” she said, making him giggle.

When she handed me my change, she held my gaze for a moment. “You have a beautiful child. Enjoy his spirit,” she said. Startled, I mumbled a thanks and left the store.

We got home and started our cookie-making. Before I knew it, I got caught up in Daniel’s excitement. That afternoon I wrote a note to the store manager, praising the exceptional employee. A week later the manager called and asked if I could point out the cashier, since no one could remember talking to Daniel or me. I went down to the store, but the lady was not on duty. The manager got out the work schedule.

According to the records, register number 12 hadn’t been open that day…or any day that week.

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