When a woman got especially talkative while checking out at a Dollar General, her cashier, Emily Duncan didn’t think much of it.
As usual, Emily made sure to stay attentive as the 85-year-old woman told her all about herself, like how she used to be in the Navy when she was young. But a man right behind her in line couldn’t help but take notice of what was happening, too.
The man, Gerald Swindle, is a pro bass angler with quite the following. But on that particular day, he was in a hurry to go hunting. So much so, in fact, that he was admittedly a bit frustrated with how long their conversation was going.
But as Gerald waited for his turn, his perspective began to shift. Not only did he come to the conclusion that hunting wasn’t more important than their conversation, but he also found himself captivated by what the elderly woman had to say once he actually stopped to listen.
“You were super patient with this lady,” Swindle later said in a video recapping what had happened. “You did nothing but engage with her conversation. You welcomed her conversation. You listened to every word she said, and you never rushed her.”
He added, “You showed me what people ought to be. You should always embrace that and not want to rush people out of a conversation. Sometimes it might be the only person they talk to this week … You inspired me and sometimes I need that, so I appreciate it.”
Since posting the video online, it’s gone viral with nearly 2 million views!
“This is all kind of surreal,” Emily said. “I never expected this to all come about because to me, it was just a regular day. I just went to work and was doing my job.”
As the comment section quickly filled with others sharing how inspired they felt by Emily’s kindness, higher-ups at Dollar General caught wind of the story, too.
Proud and impressed by Emily’s behavior, they decided to acknowledge her for her excellent customer service. One day, members from the corporation’s leadership team showed up to her store and presented her with a plaque, flowers, and a $1,000 donation to a local elementary school.
Best of all, that elderly woman has since come back to the store several times, and the two of them are becoming quite close.
“What I’ve learned is so amazing – the impact you can have on people just by being yourself, working at the Dollar General,” she said. “This is awesome.”
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