Betty was looking for a dress for her upcoming wedding at a luxury bridal shop. After being ostracized by one of the employees because of how she was dressed, Betty used her generosity as an instrument for karma, teaching the employee an important lesson in the process.
Mike worked for a luxury bridal shop and prided himself in all things luxury. He was rather materialistic, which made him a little judgemental.
One day, an elderly woman, Betty, walked into the store. The store was quieter than usual, and it was just Mike and his colleague Cassey working that day.
Betty was definitely not the usual customer the store was accustomed to. Her fashion sense was far from what you would call ‘classy,’ with outdated clothes and an unkempt hairstyle.
Betty had never been one to worry much about her looks. She believed her inner beauty was of more value and was never the materialistic type. Also, her job didn’t really allow her to shop in places like she was that day.
Betty was due to get married in the coming summer, and she had decided that she would go all out on this particular occasion. As she walked into the store, Mike clocked her with a disapproving grimace as he texted on his phone.
“Oh, wow! I think someone got lost on their way to bingo night. I mean, look at that hair. Just awful,” Mike muttered to his colleague, Cassey.
“Look, grandma. Let me make things a little easier for you, okay?”
“That’s not fair, Mike. She’s a customer and deserves the same treatment any other customer would get. Now, please help her. I need to get some of the new stock from the back,” Cassey said, leaving to the backroom storage.
Mike rolled his eyes, ignoring Cassey as he continued texting. Betty approached Mike hoping to get attention, but Mike wouldn’t give her the time of day.
“Sorry, young man, could you please help me?” Betty asked with a warm smile.
“What do you want?” Mike rudely retorted, his focus still on his phone.
“No need to be rude. I just need assistance finding a wedding dress. I’m due to get married this—” Betty started before being rudely interrupted by an annoyed Mike.
“Look, grandma. Let me make things a little easier for you, okay? Looking at your outfit, I can already tell you can’t afford anything here. There’s a thrift store with second-hand dresses a couple blocks from here. I’m sure they’ll be able to help you,” Mike said.
“Oh. And you can tell all that just from a first look, huh?” Betty asked, disappointed.
“Don’t take it to heart, darling. I’m doing us both a favor. This way, we save the both of us from wasting each other’s time,” Mike retorted, still not even looking at Betty.
“Hmm. Okay. Well, all I can say is if you won’t respect me as a customer, at least have the decency to respect me as an elder,” Betty said.
Another customer walked in who seemed to better fit the description of the type of customer Mike was used to. She had a chic outfit, a fresh manicure, and the strut of a rich housewife. She was much younger and flashier than Betty.
Mike instantly leaped up to help her, a large smile on his face as he enthusiastically approached her. Betty was left speechless as she saw his sudden change in attitude.
“Hi, there!! Oh, you look absolutely stunning, darling! What can we help you with today?” Mike asked the other customer.
At that moment, Cassey returned from the backroom carrying a box with some of their new stock. Noting Betty’s displeased countenance, Cassey immediately put the boxes aside to help her.
“Hi, ma’am! Have you been helped yet?” Cassey asked with a warm smile.
“No, your colleague here seems to think I’m not worth the time. Could you help me?” Betty said, looking over at Mike sharing a synthetic laugh with the other customer.
“Oh, don’t mind him. So, what are you looking for?” Cassey said.
“I’m looking for a wedding dress. Getting married this summer, and I want to go all out,” Betty said cheerfully.
“Congratulations! A summer wedding?! Sounds beautiful. I think I might have exactly what you need. Follow me,” Cassey said, beckoning Betty to follow her.
“You’ve heard what they say about assumptions, right?”
Cassey picked a couple of dresses out for Betty to try on. Betty ended up taking a liking to one of the most expensive dresses. Meanwhile, the other customer tried out several dresses, took pictures, then moved to the next.
“Sorry, ma’am. You’ve tried almost 8 dresses and taken pictures in all of them. Which one do you intend on getting?” Mike asked, trying to hide his frustration.
“Uhm… You know what, I don’t think I’ll be getting,” the other customer said casually as she took another picture.
“What!? Did you even intend on buying anything?” Mike snapped.
“Listen, between you and me, I just needed a couple of snaps for my social media,” the customer said, handing Mike back the dress in her hand.
“Are you serious?” Mike asked, taken aback and irked.
“Sorry, dude!” the customer chirped as she left.
Mike turned to see Cassey at the till as Betty who opened up a bag with wads of cash. Betty paid for the most expensive dress, and left Cassey with a $5000 tip. Mike was utterly distraught and had to make sense of what he saw. He approached them, barely able to put his words together.
“Uhm… That’s quite the tip, ma’am,” Mike nervously murmured, awkwardly clearing his throat.
“Ma’am? I was grandma not too long ago,” Betty replied nonchalantly.
“Oh, no! That was just a little friendly banter. I—If I’d known that—” Mike tried to explain before Betty cut in.
“If you’d known what? That I don’t need to shop at the thrift store? You’ve heard what they say about assumptions, right?” Betty said coldly. Mike couldn’t hide his embarrassment.
Betty turned to Cassey with a large smile, “Thank you, Cassey. You’ve been an amazing help. I’ll see you at the wedding, yeah?”
“Sure thing, Betty. It’s my pleasure. And thank you for the invitation,” Cassey said as Betty exited the store, leaving a dumbfounded Mike.
“I—I—I don’t understand,” Mike said, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
Cassey couldn’t help but laugh at her colleague’s misjudgment. She then explained that Betty was a nurse and was marrying a widowed millionaire. He came into her care at the hospital where she worked with a broken leg and in tatters.
Betty had no idea he was wealthy. They fell in love during his recovery, and then upon his release, she finally discovered he was a successful business tycoon.
Mike was completely baffled and annoyed at his own prejudice. Cassey advised him to just take it as a lesson for the next time he wants to make assumptions about people. That summer she celebrated with Betty and her family and friends at their wedding, it was a ball.
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Mike’s prejudice towards Betty because of her outside appearance guided him blindly into his own demise. Things might have worked in his favor if he hadn’t judged her harshly.
Treat people with equity no matter how they may appear. If Mike had treated Betty like any other customer instead of making her feel inferior, he would have gotten a good tip and that invite.
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