So, I’m sitting there at work doing some paperwork and an older gentleman comes up…
“Do you work here?”, he asked.
“No, sir, but what can I help you with. I’m a vendor.”
“I’ve been having trouble with my phone. It will vibrate but not ring. I don’t know what’s wrong with it.,” he says, clearly annoyed. Perhaps a little embarrassed.
I can understand this. I am somewhere in the middle of all this technology growth that we’ve had over the last few decades. I am in there where I’m old enough to have used the first Apple computers and still remember doing flow charts at school and floppy disks as big as dinner plates. (Yes, that old.) And now I sit with the power of the computers that calculated the first moonshot in my hand. People say that, but you have to have the power of the minds that made that moonshot happen, otherwise you just have a really expensive phone and bill, but that’s off track for this story.
So I check the volume first and it’s turned down. I turn that up and so as not to embarrass him further, I go into settings and have a look around and we find him a little louder, more noticeable ringtone and I ask him for his number so I can call his phone and test it out.
“It’s on the back. I can never remember my number.”
“I have dementia.”
And right there my heart sinks a little.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I say.
“It is what it is, son,” he says. “You just deal with things and make the best of life.”
I call his phone and it rings and vibrates and he smiles. Problem fixed.
“There you go, sir.”
“My name isn’t sir, it’s George,” he says, extending his hand. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Scott,” I say as I shake his hand. “Anytime, you need help on things like this and I’m here, I’ll be glad to help.”
One of the girls that works at that Walmart came to me and and thanked me for keeping one more customer off of them while they tried to get their work done. I know they have a time of it, servicing customers and getting their daily activities completed. You have to keep the shelves full.
The story doesn’t end there.
This is the third time this has happened. The second time I thought it was déjà vu. This time I could follow the story almost repeating it word for word as it happened.
I don’t think he has dementia. I’ve discussed this with my wife and she thinks the same thing I do. He may have Alzheimer’s, and I hate that. He seems like such a nice guy. The wife reminded me that he has probably locked onto me, in his mind, as someone who will help. And I guess that makes me feel good, but I still hate it for George. I hope that I don’t leave this world not knowing where and who I am. But who knows?
Be kind to each person you meet.
One day, hopefully, you will be on the receiving end of that kindness.
The name has been changed to protect George. But I had to write this down. It has been eating at me to get out and now it has. – S