I just ran out to the overpriced market across the street to get milk for my last "afternoon-coffee-that-will-keep-me-up-tonight-before-the-kids-come-back" to avoid the larger, less overpriced more crowded market a whole 2.5 blocks away to save a few minutes and some potential aggravation - including stairs!
Got the milk, made myself feel guilty when I saw the price, got 2 half gallons instead of one for no good reason and went to get in line. It was quite crowded - like, I had to wait. The gentleman in front of me had a NYC version of a full load of items (3 bags worth) which he took out of his cart one at a time and then was doing it for delivery so he had to fill out a form and it was taking a bit more time than usual...
While I was waiting, there was a ruckus in the line next to me and a customer was yelling for a manager and saying very loudly, "if she doesn't want to deal with the public she shouldn't work here...I'm the customer..." and more, including starting to call her names as he walked out of the store waving his arms and staring at everyone. I don't know what started it or who was right or wrong but my money is on the cashier not having done anything wrong...well, except, she did respond back with some swears after he called her swear names...but, I mean, come on.
The manager was there, told her quietly to calm/cool down, and then all I heard after that was customers offering support to her. Including the older gentleman in front of me (who, to be honest, I thought might have said something against the cashier based on an interaction I saw him start with an employee stocking shelves earlier, and just generally because I judged a book by its cover). He leaned over and said something about people being rude or something to that effect and then told her to try to keep her cool and not let them bother her.
No one - and there were quite a few around - really seemed to bat an eye, make a fuss, and she was thanking people. People say New York is this big scary place where everyone's anonymous. It's really not. Not when you live here. And, even sometimes when you don't. I know my neighbors (not the ones at the store today) and I believe in many small ways, we're all looking out for each other here* in ways not dissimilar from the best suburban and rural neighborhoods I know.
And, now I'm drinking my yummy iced coffee, with milk made from gold.
*Never was this more evident or meaningful than on 9/11, but that's another post or book altogether.