Tuesday, January 16, 2007

blessing people, blesses people

i'm getting a part-time job. for many reasons, not the least of which, i don't mean to miss any more poetry shindigs if i can help it (though my availability in terms of time is now an issue, at least when i will be free, i can afford to go).

it's no great secret i'm not rolling in dough. i never have been. i'm like all native people when i have money, i give it away. i haven't had much money to give away of late. but i still try to give of my time and talents. at least i can do that.

so the new thing at grocery stores is selfcheckout. being impatient, i like this option, plus, it is one less person i have the potential of barking at (i must save my niceness for those i deal with, eliminating an actual person here or there is a good thing in my book, but i'm from LA. people are bothersome. i'd much rather do automated anyday. which reminds me, i went to the bank and did the drive up window instead of the atm. what a pain that was. it takes five seconds for me to make a deposit in the atm, but i kid you not, i must have waited at least five minutes for this human to complete my transaction. sheesh! but i didn't want to get out of the car and they didn't have a drive up atm. i was stuck.)

so, the cash dispenser for these selfcheckout machines is down in the crotch region. and unless you've got eyes down there, you might forget your money. at least the last couple times i've been there, the ladies in front of me have forgotten theirs.

the first time it happened, i didn't pay enough attention to actually give the lady her money. i walked around in the parking lot looking for what i believed to be her. brunette with a bob. that was all i could remember. my girl didn't pay much attention either, so when we went back into the store, i turned the money in to the customer service person, my girl said,
that is what a girl scout would do.
i am a girl scout.
she smiled. and we left.

last night, i'm shopping, i am supposed to get $6 change. there is about $100 sitting in the little money spitterouter. so i grab it, cram my groceries in a bag, and run out to the parking lot, knowing i saw this lady and she was sooooooo damn slow bagging her groceries, i'm sure i could catch her.

i went up to one lady, and it wasn't her.

couldn't find her. so i prayed.

then i saw her getting in to her car, that phone pressed up against her ear. still yammering on. oblivious.

ma'am!


yes.
she stepped out of her car.

did you check out in front of me?


yes.


you forgot your money.


i'm sorry.


no problem, it's your money.


i'm sorry.
(she kept saying, which is so not the right response.)

anyway, a lady a couple cars over got this grin on her face like she'd done a good deed. and it made me smile. blessing people, blesses people. that is all i can say.

i need to not only pay attention to the lady in front of me, but remember to check that cash area to keep from having to crush my bread and sprint out of the store to catch the distracted souls.

i don't want money that isn't mine. i don't want pity. i just want to do what i was put here to do. and last night, that was sprinting out of the store to one distracted lady (who still wasn't finished with her phone call when i walked away from her).

i'm mailing off my poetry entry for the discovery poetry prize. keep your fingers crossed kids. it's a big deal. i'd like to win. the prize is publication, a read in nyc, and $500. Lord knows, i could use a few bucks. but the kind i earn, not the kind i steal.

peace.

2 comments:

Spencer said...

To bless others is to be blessed perhaps at a time we need it most. I pray all your efforts be returned to you ten times

Deborah said...

Great story, Suz. Best wishes on your poetry entry and on your part time work. I hope you find lots more opportunities to bless people, even the oblivious!

Deb