It’s blueberry season in IL and I’ve never been more excited about the local crop than I am this year because I eat them for breakfast daily. It’s been part of my “eating the rainbow” habit this summer.
Blueberries in a smoothie – check!
Blueberries in oats – check!
Blueberries with sausage – check!
As you can imagine, I was excited to see local blueberries on sale at the store. I stocked up. I checked out and started walking away when some of my blueberries fell out of a bag and onto the floor in a crowded grocery store near the exit.
Yep! By the time I was able to signal that I needed some help with the mess, people had already walked on the blueberries. They rolled their carts over the blueberries. They kicked the blueberries. They stepped on the blueberries. THE FLOOR WAS A BLUE STREAKY MESS!
I didn’t know what to do besides apologize and move out of the way, but social distancing rules meant that the only way I could get out of the way was to enter a vacant check out lane. So, I stood there facing the wrong direction in a closed check out lane watching the scene unfold. It looked like someone spilled blue paint on the floor.
What should I do next? Should I buy more blueberries? Should I apologize again? Should I try to help clean up? Maybe I should apologize one more time.
I mean, I made the mess, but my efforts to clean up the mess created more of a mess. I was in the way of the customers trying to exit the store.
I realized that the best thing that I could do for the person cleaning my mess and for the other customers was to exit the store with the (still) large amount of blueberries still in my bag. I got out of the way – my way and everyone’s way.
I saw the mess. It was an accident. It was handled. Any effort by me to intervene would prolong the disturbance. It wouldn’t help to think about all the grocery cart wheels that might still have blueberry goo on them. I wouldn’t reverse the spill if I blamed myself for placing the berries in the top of the cart. Lamenting about the lost blueberries wouldn’t bring them back (and remember, I still had lots of blueberries).
So, I left the store.
I got out of my own way.
I know that I will place the blueberries in the bottom of the cart next time.