A Casual Encounter…

I was chatting up a pretty, young woman the other day.  No, not like that.  She was the checker at the grocery store line I happened to be standing in on the morning of Christmas Eve day.  I noticed that particular check-stand got closed behind me and by way of making small talk, I asked if she was done for the day.  She told me she was but she was coming back for a second shift later that afternoon.  I don’t know, maybe she perceived my ambivalence over her having to work on Christmas Eve.  She volunteered that she didn’t mind because she gets paid really well to work on holidays.  Her comment struck me in a couple of different ways at the same time.

In an instant, I wondered if she knew that she gets paid really well to work on holidays because of the efforts of unions – and I wondered if she knows how conservatives have fought (and still fight) each and every worker protection and benefit that comes down the line.  And always, it’s the same ole story: “Sorry, no can do.  “Giving” the workers that (safety, fair wage, time off, whatever) will simply destroy our business…and, probably commerce altogether.”  Conservatives are always wrong on that particular point but that never stops them from floating it every chance they get…

Nearly simultaneously, though, I was struck by the reality that this person could be so excited about working on Christmas Eve – because she could make some really good money.  To my mind, a comment like that could easily be a symptom of the wage gap here in America.  I mean, if she’s making enough money to live her life on a day in and day out basis, maybe she’s less interested in working on Christmas Eve – even for really good money.

I know, maybe not.  Before you feel obligated to point it out, allow me to acknowledge my awareness that there are a thousand ways a thing might be.  I admire an idea I picked up from – of all places – the HBO show called ‘Deadwood’.  One of the characters said, “There are so many ways a thing could be there’s no sense in deciding which one it was.”  I mention it, here, to make clear that I’m not claiming to know her actual or total motivation but SHE mentioned the money, that’s why I followed it as her reasoning…

It’s just…kind of a peak into what life is becoming in the United States today – happy to work Christmas Eve because one needs the money.  Apparently, there are plenty of people out there who think it’s just awesome.  I’ll tell you this:  I’m not one of them…

2 thoughts on “A Casual Encounter…

  1. The peak of a mountain is shaped like an A. But to peek you need your eyes, which has two Es.

    Sorry. Its just that I’ve never seen a grammatical error in you’re righting before, so I felt compelled to point it out. Aside for the singular misspelling, it was a well done peek into our misconceptions about conservative economic platitudes.

    Jeff Meldahl


    Liked by 1 person

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