Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At least I'm off the streets!

So, I found myself a job. Or, rather, one found me.

I was out in early May, shopping for plants. A local independent grocery had a greenhouse tent, and I stopped in to see what I could fund. I talk too much. I start conversations everywhere, and I started chatting with the lady manning the greenhouse. After a bit, she paused and said, "I'm going to be out of town for Memorial Day weekend. Would you want to fill in?". I figured, what the heck. A little time and a little money. So I agreed. When I showed up that first day, the store manager met me and said, "What do you want here? Just a weekend, or would you like a job?". So I'm checking at the local independent grocery, just 15 hours a week, but it's perfect. I punch in, make a little money, and punch out. No sleepless nights worrying about a career!

I'm learning more about people, too. My first couple of lessons have been jarring. Did you know that people don't like food stamps? Yeah, I figured you did. I knew that people resent the money given for food to people who need help with that. I've heard the complaining about how people buy steaks and beer with their food stamps. I haven't been working that long, but I don't see that. I've seen cheese, grapes, milk, tomatoes and Cheerios, but not steaks. One lady tonight bought more junk food than I thought was wise, but I've also seen that--maybe more often, even--from those who don't use food stamps. The toughest are the people who are embarassed to be using them, but have the bad luck to encounter me--the newbie who needs help remembering how to run those transactions. Before long, they're neighbors in line are grumbling and complaining about "those bums with food stamps"

Well, I'm here to tell you, it might not be them. It might be the newbie!


Elephantschild said...

Congrats on the job. I hope it ends up staying a tolerable and non-annoying sort of thing!

Kim said...

I recently started checking at our local market.

I've seen the opposite of you with regards to food stamps. Most of the people I've helped over the past few weeks have bought huge cuts of meat, mostly steak and tri-tip, or straight junk food. I recently watched on person put back real food so she could get her ice cream and pop. I can count on 2 hands the number of people that have come through with actual food. This week was the first time I saw people using the cash on their cards to purchase beer and cigarettes. I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the area I'm in but there is more truth to the claims of people using their food stamps for non-essentials than I would have imagined!

Melody said...

Yes, Kim, I have seen a few questionable choices, but not nearly as many as I was led to believe I would see. I have had to tell ladies with WIC and food stamps that they are over their limit, and they carefully choose the best things for their kids, and put away any junk. I have seen, though, ladies use cash to buy junk after they've rung their WIC and food stamp purchases. I have to say, though, that even they are buying a fraction of what a "normal" shopper would buy that I would consider junk. I haven't seen more than 5 people, none of them with little kids, buy alcohol, and none have bought cigarettes.
It might be your area. It might be mine. I'm glad it's there for those who really need it, and I wish people would not be so judgmental up front, as are some of the ladies I work with.