You know sometimes you can be educated when you least expect it. This story is about one of those times – and can be attributed to a wonderful lady named Mamie……who works at a local general discount store. I was recently in the store looking at some tricycles to buy my grandson, who was turning two years old. While in the store I briefly spoke to my daughter by phone who was telling me about a similar tricycle at another retail store that was already assembled. The tricycle I was looking at was in a box, and needed assembly. According to my daughter’s description the two bikes were identical and basically cost the same. So my daughter suggested that I wait and buy the one already assembled…..and I agreed.
After hanging up from speaking to my daughter I decided to purchase a couple of other items before leaving the general store. And while at the checkout register I had a brief conversation with Mamie (cashier) about the tricycle, and told her that I had considered buying the one at her store but my daughter had told me about an identical bike already assembled at another store. And then she said something that caught my attention. She said yes it would be easier for me to buy the bike that was already assembled…….but that I as a grandparent would be missing out on an awesome opportunity to sit down with my grandson, bond with him and show him how that bike is put together. And then we briefly spoke about how so many of our U.S. citizens don’t know how to build things anymore……because no one is teaching them. And consequently we (the U.S.) have to recruit persons from overseas to make our products for us. I agreed and she rung up my purchase and wished me a good day.
As I walked to my car, I could not stop thinking about what Mamie had said. I was so touched and inspired by her words that I turned around and went back into the store…..got the box with the tricycle and took it to Mamie’s checkout line and told her that I was an educator, and that I was compelled to purchase the bike that needed assembly and sit down with my grandson and have him help me assemble it. What an education. Mamie this article is for you. Thank you.
*Originally published in April 2012 in the now defunct Examiner.com.