My daughter has high expectations for how people should act. She has been raised right, but she is quickly learning that not everyone has been.
She has begun her summer job as a cashier and she has already had to face the fact that there are hateful, lazy, bitter people out there, and they too need groceries.
Not everyone is as giddy as I am when you ask them for their ID when they are buying wine. They are buying wine to forget their already crappy day, so a young perky cashier with no wrinkles forcing them to dig in their wallet doesn't exactly sit well with them.
Grocery stores are particularly stressful for young mothers as they have been trapped between the gum and the candy is that narrow little aisle with screaming toddlers. It's hard to be congenial while having a nervous breakdown.
Excuses for bad behavior aside I am enjoying the fact that she is acutely aware that what I have been telling her for years rings true, being nice matters.
I always tried to teach my kids to be helpful and kind. More importantly I have aspired to help them develop the skill of "seeing a need". If someone needs help, you help them. You hang your clothes back on the rack and don't leave the dressing room looking like your bedroom. Carts are meant to placed in their cart corral. When you ask for help in any situation you always get better results with courtesy and kindness.
Teaching my kids to be good people was easy. Watching them learn that courtesy and kindness are in short supply in the real world is much harder.
The only advice I have for my sweet daughter is that you should always try to remember that you don't know what the person you are dealing with is going through. Giving away kindness is easy and you will always feel better taking the high road. But when all else fails you can always put their milk on top of their bread.