“I treat everyone with the same respect, and I get it back in return.”
This is the attitude Sarah Owen Bigler did not let go unnoticed when she witnessed a cashier at Target serving an elderly customer. The photo she took of the exchange, and hopefully, the character of this young man as well, has gone viral on Facebook.
She started paying with coins.
The Indianapolis target employee was Ishmael Gilbert, and he began the transaction with a friendly smile at the check-out counter as the woman started paying for her items with coins. He even helped count it all out. Bigler was very impressed with the man’s kindness and patience.
“I watched him help her count her change, ever so tenderly taking it from her shaking hands,” she wrote. “I listened to him repeatedly saying ‘yes, mam’ to her.”
That wasn’t all.
Bigler had many, many more complimentary words to say about the encounter.
“When she asked if she had enough to buy a reusable bag, he told her she did and went two lines over to get one for her and then repackaged her items,” Bigler continued.
“Never once did this employee huff, gruff or roll his eyes.”
Bigler also couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t the sole witness of this kindness. Her daughter, Eloise, was watching this man’s every move, and she was learning all about respect, courtesy, as well as great customer service.
Was she inconvenienced by having to wait a little longer? Not a chance. This was a teachable moment. “I thought, this stranger is teaching something I could never teach her,” Bigler also noted.
“I realized that I too needed a refresher on this lesson.”
By making the extra effort of taking a photo and posting it with her comments, Bigler went above and beyond what most people would do to get that lesson shared with as many people as possible.
“My Facebook page doesn’t do it justice, had I known it was going to go viral I would have tried to give it more justice,” Bigler told WXIN. After just a few days, the post had been shared by thousands.
He learned it from his mom.
Gilbert offered some humbling comments when interviewed—kind of what you might expect from a man with his kind of character, who said he learned how to treat others from his mom.
In response to his patience in helping the woman count out her coins, he said, “She kept telling me she’s sorry, and I kept telling her, ‘You’re fine.'”
The virality of Bigler’s post is a well-deserved reward for Gilbert, giving a fine example of just who he is.
You can read Bigler’s full Facebook post here.