While on another trip, we stopped at another pawn shop in west Texas. As we mentioned before, we have an affinity for such places. We parked and walked toward the entrance, walking past the outside displays of weed eaters, lawn mowers, outdoor equipment, etc. As I often do, I opened the door for my wife, just in time to be waylaid by a clerk who was rushing out. She appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties. She was very upset and crying. And she was very pregnant. She barely missed a collision with my wife. We stood there for a moment and watched the clerk. She leaned against the side of the building and began wiping her nose with a tissue. No other clerk came out to check on her. We looked at each other. Sarah said, “Go on in. I’ll see what I can do.” I closed the door and went in.
Sarah walked over to the girl who had her arms crossed and her head down. Sarah asked the girl if she was okay. She said, “My boss is so mean!” Sarah said, “Oh!” The girl continued, “He is going to be really mad at me for coming out here like this.” Sarah straightened up and said, “Well, show me some weed eaters then. He won’t get on to you for helping a customer.” That made her laugh. As they walked around looking at various outdoor tools, she relayed that her new boss was really hard on her, and she was already emotional due to her pregnancy. She feared that she may be fired. We had never met the new boss and didn’t know this girl, either, but we did know several of the other employees there. She said she had been there three weeks and the new boss had been there only five days.
Sarah spent approximately 30 minutes with the girl while she calmed down. In the scope of things, it wasn’t all that much time or effort, but to this girl, someone cared enough to stop and ask her how she was. In the years that ensued, many conversations with this young woman followed. She would share with us important life events, such as getting married to the father of her baby, buying their first house, enrolling in college courses, and many other important life events. They now have three children. The “mean” boss didn’t last there long. And this girl worked her way up to become the head manager.
We still periodically stop in the store that she manages. She always greets us with a bright smile and a kind comment.
Neither of us have spoken in depth regarding the events of the day we met. Something as simple as listening to her in a moment of distress and letting her talk about her problems quite possibly changed the course of her life. She has said as much and feels gratitude for the words of encouragement that Sarah gave her and the half hour that she spent with her that day.