An employee of a Target store in Indiana has become an internet star after a story about his patience and kindness to a customer was shared by tens of thousands online.
Ishmael Gilbert, 19, a cashier at Target in Glendale, Indiana, had only been working at the store for a few days when an elderly woman pulled up to his till. Right behind her was young mom Sarah Owen Bigler, 35, who later posted her lengthy account of the following events on her Facebook page.
‘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,’ she wrote. ‘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.’
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A good guy: Ishmael Gilbert, 19, (left) a cashier at Target in Glendale, Indiana, has gained fame online after he patiently helped an elderly woman check out using only coins and his gesture was shared online
Impressed: Sarah Owen Bigler, 35, was standing next in line behind the elderly woman, and was moved by Ishmael’s patient and kind handling of the situation
However, after organizing herself, Sarah looked up to see that the one person ahead of her was an elderly woman who was attempting to pay for her items entirely in change and with each one 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,’ wrote Sarah.
‘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 added that not once did the cashier roll his eyes or make any outward signs of being at all annoyed or inconvenienced by the women.
‘He was nothing but patient and kind,’ said Sarah.
The tale: Sarah subsequently posted the image and story on Facebook, where it has since been shared 22,000 times in five days
Then, the mother also saw that her daughter Eloise was watching too and, she realized that ‘I hadn’t been inconvenienced at all’ and that instead, this stranger was teaching her daughter an important lesson in the golden rule.
‘Furthermore, I realized that I too needed a refresher on this lesson,’ she added.
After the woman completed her transaction, Ishmael rang through Sarah’s items and thanked her for waiting so patiently. She, in turn, thanked him for his own extraordinary patience and, despite having initially been in a hurry, pushed her cart back in the store to find a manager and describing what she had witnessed.
The next day she shared the full story online, closing her tale with: ‘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 quickly began to pick up steam, being shared by thousands who were inspired by the story. In five days, it has been shared 22,000 times.
Ishmael, himself a young father of a one-year-old daughter, woke up the following day to discover he had become an overnight internet star.
‘I was asleep at home and everyone was texting me, “check Facebook, check Facebook,”‘ he told The Indianapolis Star.
He explained that the elderly woman was ‘all worked up’ as the line behind her got longer. In fact, she was shaking. But Ishmael didn’t hesitate in helping her.
‘It just feels good to be recognized for good work,’ he added about his new online popularity. ‘But this isn’t something new. I treat all customers the same, the way I want to be treated.’