We recently tightened up our budget to put more money into savings and in an attempt to brace ourselves from the capricious, tumultuous financial climate. We want to be prepared for anything; especially given the state of affairs in the great state of California and our irresponsible spending in the Capitol.
The other day, I was at Michael’s. I was purchasing some ribbon for Allie’s hair bows. I meandered my way through the store, giving myself a pat on the back for only getting the items I came for. I marched past the sale items, without much more than a thought about buying anything else. I made my way to the register and immediately recognized the cashier. She has rang me up before and to say her customer service is lacking is an understatement. In the past, she has been rude, sarcastic, condescending, is always frowning, and if you ask her a question, look out for the A T T I T U D E. As I walked up to the register, a woman politely asked her a question, to which she snapped back the answer curtly. I cringed as I handed her the ribbon.
The register misread the price on of the rolls of ribbon and I timidly told her it was on sale. I apologized for complaining about the price, adding, “We are really watching our money, right now.” She sharply blurted, “Tell me about it.” Her face softened slightly. She explained that her husband had gone on disability, leaving a $2000 deficit in their income. It was then that I saw the anger melt a bit from her face, a furrow form in her brow, and the sadness fill her eyes. She began telling me that if it was not for her minimum wage job, as a cashier, they would be homeless. She told me how lucky she and her husband were that their children were grown and that those were fewer mouths to feed. I felt so badly, but what could I say to make that better? How could I respond? It was a terribly tragic story. It made our situation seem trite.
The exchange lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I wanted to get out of there. I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I really needed a bit of perspective and this poor lady’s situation really did the trick. It reminded me that you never know what is going on in the lives of others and the old adage, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” is something I need to remember. I realized just how disconnected I have been with the economy and how grateful I should be.
On a less serious note, I heard this the other day.
Did you know?
The economy is so bad that 7 of 10 houses on Sesame Street are in foreclosure.