I love going to Wal-mart. Everytime I am there I have such weird and random experiences.
Last night, as I was heading to the checkout register, a nice young man named Ryan told me that he could check me out. Fantastic, I thought, I am going to have an all to rare excellent customer service experience at Wal-mart all because of good Ryan. Bless his heart.
I noticed that he was a little nervous because he wouldn’t look me in the eyes, but he was really trying to be friendly and engaged me in conversation. I usually try to get my groceries and get the flip out of Wal-mart, but I felt like I would give him some slack seeing how he was trying so hard to be friendly.
He told me how his friend and he had tried to get into Denny’s to get their free Grand Slam breakfast. We laughed about those crazy people who waited in line for hours for that. I thought, “ Ya’ know this Ryan is alright. I am going to tell his Supervisor what a great job he is doing.
Then Ryan, feeling perhaps overly confident about his conversation skills, started in on another topic. I will now take you on the journey that I had as I stood there.
What you are about to read is not an exaggeration but is pretty much verbatim what Ryan said. What would you have done in this situation?
“So the same friend that said we should go to Denny’s said that we should break into his dad’s gun safe and take out some guns and explosives. So we went out to blow up some stuff. My friend accidentally blew up his keys. (Awkward chuckling) Oh, and then when I fired his Dad’s shot gun it knocked me back into his dad's new truck and I dented the side door. So my friend put a note on the door saying that his little brother dented it. So that night when we were in our tent (I’m sorry it begs the question why was Ryan and his friend in a tent in the middle of January?) we heard my friends dad beating up his little brother. (Another awkward chuckle.)”
I wish I would have said, “What in the…What? You did what? Oh, son what were you thinking?”
What I actually said was, “Oh boy…that’s interesting. Well I hope you don’t get into too much trouble. (awkward chuckle)”
I could tell his supervisor had probably been riding him about being friendier and talking to his customers. So on the way to work he said to himself, “Ok, here is what I will do. I will open with my Denny’s experience with my friend. And then that is a natural lead in to my friend and the break in into his dad’s guns safe, and then I will wrap up with the beating of my friends brother. Yeah, that is good stuff!”
Should I have given him a hug? Because as weird as this situation was, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for good Ryan. He had no idea that this line of conversation was so socially "out there". I am sure out in Herriman, or wherever he lives this is normal everyday communiqué around the dinner table, but at work . . . not so much.
The funny thing is, as I was briskly walking away from Ryan, I heard him start the same conversation with the next person in line.