Sarah Bigler was furious — we’ve all been there. We try to quickly check out of a store, but there’s a holdup. In this case it was an elderly woman paying for her entire purchase in change.
“I realized that the woman in front of me was taking quite a while, and I realized she was paying with change,” Bigler said. “I was at first frustrated and irritated thinking of my long day.”
Bigler noticed something, not the woman, but the Target cashier, Ishmael Gilbert. He wasn’t trying to rush the woman along, he was helping her, slowly and patiently.
“I watched the young employee with this woman. I watched him help her count her change, ever so tenderly taking it from her shaking hands. I listened to him repeatedly saying ‘yes, ma’am,’ to her,” she wrote on Facebook. “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. Never once did this employee huff, gruff or roll his eyes. He was nothing but patient and kind.”
The mother was floored by Gilbert’s manners because the young man was setting a better example for her kids than she was.
Gilbert says he was treating the woman the way he treats his own grandmother, with patience and respect.
“She kept telling me she’s sorry and I kept telling her ‘You’re fine,’” said Gilbert. “I treat everyone with the same respect and I get it back in return.”
After Bigler shared the story on Facebook it went viral. Since then she’s gotten Gilbert a job at the hospital where she works. Gilbert is now a patient care technician. The hospital is paying for his education so that the 20-year-old can earn his nursing degree. Incredible.