A teenage cashier at Target became an internet sensation only a few days into his job at the store. An elderly woman walked up to his till, with another, much younger woman standing in line behind her.
Sarah went on social media and shared her experience, “Yesterday Matt was sick. I picked up Archie from the sitter and Eloise from school and decided to run to Target for a few things. I had hoped to be in and out quickly. I found a line with just one person ahead of me and began organizing my items on the conveyor.”
After organizing her things, she looked up to see the old woman ahead of her paying for her items in change, with each item paid for separately. “Part of me, the part that had a long day at work, the part of me who had a one-and-a-half-year old having a meltdown in the cart, the part that had set an unnecessary timeline for Target and getting home, was frustrated with this woman and the inconvenience she had placed on me,” she wrote. “But then I watched the young employee with this woman. I watched him help her count her change, ever so gently taking it from her shaking hands. I listened to him repeatedly saying ‘yes, mam’ to her.”
She wrote that the cashier never rolled his eyes or showed any signs of being annoyed or inconvenienced. “He was nothing but patient and kind,” she wrote. Then, Sarah noticed that her daughter Eloise was watching, and she realized that “I hadn’t been inconvenienced at all.” Instead, she was watching a stranger teach her and her daughter an important lesson.
“Furthermore, I realized that I too needed a refresher on this lesson,” she added. After completing the transaction, the cashier, Ishmael, rang her through and thanked her for waiting patiently. She thanked him for his patience, and instead of rushing out of the store, pushed her cart back in the store to find a manager and describe what she witnessed. She concluded her post: “If you are ever in the Target, give Ishmael a smile and a nod. The world could use more people like him.” The post garnered over 22,000 shares in five days.
Ishmael, a young father of a one-year-old daughter, woke up the next day to discover that he was an internet star. He said: “I was asleep at home and everyone was texting me, ‘Check Facebook, check Facebook.’” He explained that the lady was getting “all worked up” as the line got longer behind her, to the point that she was shaking. “It just feels good to be recognized for good work. But this isn’t something new. I treat all customers the same way, the way I want to be treated. It felt good because that’s the kind of example I want to be for my daughter,” he said.