I always used to loathe grocery shopping. But then at some unknowable point, I actually started kind of enjoying it. Finding it a bit of an adventure, even.
And I don’t know which was the cause of which but my grocery store’s manager regularly comments on how he loves seeing me in there with my list, crossing off items. How refreshing it is so see someone in there who’s happy as opposed to all the angry, stressed out shoppers they get.
Funny, because I always thought I was one of those angry, stressed out grocery shoppers. But clearly no more.
Now I’m really embarrassed to admit it, but if I’m truly honest with myself then I have to admit I’ve got some stereotypes around people who work at grocery stores.
So last night, when I run into the manager and he mentions that he’s currently reading 3 different books, I guess I probably already have an idea in my head of what types of books he’s reading. And so, when he tells me that one’s on Relativity, one’s on String Theory, and the 3rd is on Time Travel – I’m just kind of standing there, gawking.
And he goes “I know, I know, the time travel one is probably a little crazy.” But then he starts telling me about this amazing belief he has in humanity’s potential to do things. In fact, in college, he studied Human Behavior and he loves all things about witnessing people’s potential. That’s what he started off his career doing. He’d gone to work for the military, but when he saw what they wanted him to do around human behavior, he didn’t like it and left.
And I’m thinking “My God, who is this guy that spends his spare time reading about Relativity and String Theory and used to do Human Behavior work for the military and he’s working in a grocery store?!”
And I guess he notices my befuddlement because he says “Well, I didn’t always used to do this – working at a grocery store.” and I’m thinking “okay, here we go.” He’s going to tell me he used to be a rocket scientist at NASA but he got laid off when the economy tanked.
But no, he tells me before this he was a manager at Home Depot.
I love encounters like this that knock us out of our beliefs about the world around us and remind us just how incredible people are. And it’s quite possible that working at that grocery store, helping those of us with our lists to enjoy the chore of grocery shopping is exactly the right place for him.
But it also just makes me wonder…
Can you imagine a world where everyone was enabled to follow their passions and realize their true potential? What would such a world look like? Would our militaries find ways for humanity to win out over war? Would we all be time traveling?!?
I know, I know… it’s all probably a little crazy. But it just makes me wonder…