Archive for May, 2010

Shameless

May 22, 2010

This is likely to make a few people mad. Good. Maybe it will get people fired up and as outraged as I was this morning…

We were on line at the grocery store on a fairly busy day. Grabbed what looked like a short line and waited. A man and his little girl (I’m bad with ages, 4, 5?), were in front of us with a dozen or so items; milk, cereal, rice, and juice mainly. Everything got scanned in and I figured we were on our way.

Then, out came the WIC checks…

For those of you unfamiliar, that stands for Women, Infants, and Children. Basically it is a government-run program which grants families in need money to buy certain items. It’s been around for years. I used to have to deal with them when I worked in the grocery business in Virginia. Always argued with people with what was and was not covered under this program. (Beer for example, is not…) What commenced this morning was a full 1/2 hour of back and forth over this man’s 12 items or less as to what qualified and what did not. I’m sure I could go to a website and get a detailed list of what the Powers-That-Be has deemed “health foods” , but I’ve already wasted enough time getting this far. White rice? No sir, not covered. Has to be whole grain, not enriched. Generic Fruit Loop-like cereal? Sorry. Same issue. This is sugar-coated. This juice is a blend, no blends allowed on this program…

Now at this point you may think you know where I’m going with this. You may be thinking, “The poor man. It’s too bad he has to go through the indignity of having to get his purchases scrutinized in front of everyone so he can provide some meager offerings for his family.”

And you could not be more wrong.

This was a young, able-bodied man. An immigrant as it happens, in this case from India or Pakistan. As I saw the items get removed from the screen, it totalled about $7. I was five minutes away from doing one of two things; pay for the damn purchases myself, or pull my $100 worth of groceries off the counter, throw them back into the cart, and walk out. The man did not have $2.69 to subsidize his purchase of a box of generic Fruit-Loops? No, I don’t know his story. Maybe this is a case where he is a brilliant engineer or computer programmer who was laid off with thousands of other Americans. Maybe he has sick wife at home with 5 more mouths to feed.

Here’s the thing; you find yourself down on your luck, you work your ass off to make it right or at least to improve your position as best you can. You don’t come to this country expecting everything will be fine and if it’s not, expecting the government to take care of you. Trust me, I would be working 3 jobs and sell half the contents of this house before I would cheapen myself enough to ask for any handouts from anyone let alone the government! I have worked, and paid and paid and paid and I’ll be damned if I am going to subsidize laziness. This is the country we live in now. It’s encouraged by your president and his minions and I am sick of it.

The end game of this is he caused so much of a stink and delay to the other customers, that the manager came and overrode the system. He got everything for free.

Here’s an idea fella; next time, instead of arguing with the staff of the store and tying up my morning, go to the front counter and ask for a job application.