19-year-old Ishmael Gilbert, a cashier at a Glendale, Indiana, Target, became an internet sensation only a few days into his job at the store
An elderly woman walked up to his till, with 35-year-old Sarah Owen Bigler behind her.
Bigler posted on Facebook: “Yesterday Matt was sick. I picked up Archie from the sitter and Eloise from school and decided to run to Target for a few things. I had hoped to be in and out quickly. I found a line with just one person ahead of me and began organizing my items on the conveyor
After organizing her things, she looked up to see the old woman ahead of her paying for her items in change, with each item paid for separately.
Part of me, the part that had a long day at work, the part of me who had a one-and-a-half year old having a melt down in the cart, the part that had set an unnecessary timeline for Target and getting home, was frustrated with this woman and the inconvenience she had placed on me,” she wrote. “BUT then I watched the young employee with this woman. I watched him help her count her change, ever so tenderly taking it from her shaking hands. I listened to him repeatedly saying ‘yes, mam’ to her.”
She wrote that the cashier never rolled his eyes or showed any signs of being annoyed or inconvenienced. “He was nothing but patient and kind,” she wrote
Then, Bigler noticed that her daughter Eloise was watching, and she realized that “I hadn’t been inconvenienced at all.” Instead, she was watching a stranger teaching her daughter an important lesson.
“Furthermore, I realized that I too needed a refresher on this lesson,” she added.
After completing the transaction, Ishmael rang her through and thanked her for waiting patiently. She thanked him for his patience, and instead of rushing out of the store, pushed her cart back in the store to find a manager and describe what she witnessed.
She concluded her post: “If you are ever in the Glendale Target, give Ishmael a smile and a nod. The world could use more people like him.” The post garnered over 22,000 shares withing five days.
Ishmael, a young father of a one-year-old daughter named Namya, woke up the next day to discover that he was an internet star.
Speaking to The Indianapolis Star, he said: “I was asleep at home and everyone was texting me, ‘check Facebook, check Facebook.’”
He explained that the lady was getting “all worked up” as the line got longer behind her, to the point that she was shaking.
“It just feels good to be recognized for good work. But this isn’t something new. I treat all customers the same, the way I want to be treated. It felt good because that’s the kind of example I want to be for my daughter,” he said.