The receipt was $123.19 too much. There was a long
line in back of me so the cashier with a wicked bad
cold said Customer Service would help me with the
I pushed my cart to Customer Service. The woman
behind the counter didn’t look at me as I explained
what had happened. Instead she emptied all my cloth
bags and began returning every item through her register.
I said, “No. Please, wait. Let me explain again. I want
everything in the bags but there were two overcharges
totalling $123.19 that I would like credited to my card.”
She continued not looking at me as she returned the
items. I felt my body get hot. My breath was short and
I could tell my mind was churning up something to say
that I would later regret and have to make amends for.
It was then I remembered I had a choice on how to
respond. So I paused right there at Customer Service.
I closed my eyes taking ten deep inhales and exhales.
With each breath I could feel my body relax as my
mind began to settle. I was down-regulating.
When I opened my eyes the woman was looking at
me with a tiny smile. We saw each other.
I said, “Could we begin again? I think we could have
more fun doing this.” And so we began again.
Moral of the Story: To gift ourselves with pausing
helps us move through the world with more ease
and less suffering.