Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bag It.

Has it become standard procedure for the cashier/check out person at the store to NOT hand you your bags when you complete a purchase? Seriously... this seems to be happening more and more often lately.

I first noticed it a while back, on one of our rare trips to WalMart. We went through the checkout, paid for our purchases, and the cashier didn't bother to hand us our bags. We had to spin the little bag thingy around and get them ourselves. I just figured, "Well, that's what I get for shopping at WalMart." (Have I told y'all how much I hate WalMart?? We'll occasionally venture into the new one near us, but mostly only because they carry the brand and flavor of yogurt Mr. RM likes.)

Then it happened at Publix once or twice. On one such occasion, there was even a cashier AND a bagboy, and neither bothered to hand me my bags. They just stood there jibber jabbering with one another while I had to reach over the bag stand to get my bags.

Yesterday, it happened at Target. And not only did the young man not hand me my bags, he proceeded to start ringing up the customer behind me before I could finish gathering my bags myself! What kind of freakin' customer service is THAT?? I'm generally friendly and nice to store staff members, so it's not like they're doing it because I've pissed 'em off. What's the deal?

I know... it sounds like a trivial point. Yes, I'm perfectly capable of picking up my own bags, but it's often a bit awkward trying to wrangle them from the customer side of the checkout counter. Plus, I just think it's kind of rude for the cashier not to at least assist with the bags. It's just plain poor customer service. Or maybe it's just me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Bodhi Day

Image borrowed from the internet.
Today, Buddhists around the world are celebrating Bodhi Day. For many Buddhists, December 8th is recognized as the day that Siddhartha Guatama, after fasting and meditating beneath the Bodhi tree for 49 days, attained enlightenment and became the Buddha.

I'm not Buddhist, I'm more of a confused Taoist with Buddhist leanings, but I really like (and try to follow) a lot of the principles that Buddhism teaches. That's why I enjoy recognizing Bodhi Day as a way to honor those principles. And so I had a breakfast of rice and milk this morning, which legend says is the first meal the Buddha had upon his awakening. (Although I put a little cinnamon and sugar in mine.)

I'll also decorate my "Bodhi" tree tonight. Sure, it's really just a silk ficus tree, but it happily holds a string of colored lights (to represent the many pathways to enlightenment), a few strands of colored beads (to represent how all things are connected) and three shiny ornaments (to represent the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha). I'll also string some colored lights around my front door. And I'll try to remember to turn on the lights, and light a candle as well, for the next 30 days.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
I'll also try to remember to practice the kind of mindfulness that Buddhism teaches. Hopefully, I can keep carrying that throughout the year.

By the way, did you know that the Dalai Lama has his own Facebook page? I don't know if it's REALLY his page, but it wouldn't surprise me. He's such a cool guy! No, seriously... this dude is made of awesome. He's funny, smart, well grounded and has some solid ideas on how people should live and behave. Who wouldn't want to friend him? His page ALMOST makes me want to reconsider my steadfast avoidance of Facebook.

If you'd like to learn more about how to celebrate Bodhi Day, you can find some info here, and here, and even here. Or you can Google for yourself!

Whatever your personal beliefs, I wish you all an enlightened Bodhi Day.