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Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:11 PM

Food Stamp Recipient Writes Epic Letter After Being Harshly Treated and Judged By Customer

http://progressivepopulist.org/2013/09/14/food-stamp-recipient-writes-epic-letter-after-being-harshly-treated-and-judged-by-customer/


Food Stamp Recipient Writes Epic Letter After Being Harshly Treated and Judged By Customer
Posted by Progressive Populist | on September 14, 2013

snip//

Here is a letter that should be shared widely that will counter-act all those emails and Facebook posts we see about those lobster-buying, Lexus-driving food stamp recipients. It was authored by Sue Bulger and published recently in the Star Tribune, a newspaper in the Minneapolis area.

To the irritated lady at the Cub Foods, I should have told you to your face that you were being presumptuous.

This is an apology to the lady behind me in line at Cub Foods in Edina on a recent Sunday night. This is also a reminder to me and to others who have ever slipped into believing that we are just a little better than others we encounter.

We were at the checkout, and just as the cashier started ringing me up, I saw you come to the line with a small order in your basket. My first apology is that I could not let you go ahead of me, but the checkout process had already begun.

My second apology was for pulling out my pile of discount coupons for the order, and especially when one required the manager’s assistance. I know I was holding you up.

And then I swiped my payment method and you lost your patience. It was EBT — “food stamps.”

I did not observe you, but my daughter was with me packing the groceries and saw it all: “EBT: Yeah, right,” you muttered, with that look of disgust that would have shattered someone feeling just a little bit of shame over needing food stamps.

As we walked to the car, my daughter told me what had happened, and I sensed her resolve about having made the right decision to work for social justice as she starts her senior year in a social-work program.

We talked about you all the way to the car, and about how sorry we felt for people who were judged because they depended on support from others. But my real apology is that I did not make eye contact with you and get out of the car to talk with you as you got into your car right next to mine.

Instead, I did what many people would do: I felt ashamed and humiliated and angry about your ignorance.

If I’d had the guts to talk with you, I would have told you about my disabled 28-year-old son living with us. We have never asked for public support for him.

But recently we have decided that it is our responsibility to introduce him to the programs that will have to support him when we are no longer here to care for him. We started small: He is eligible for food support, and he agreed to receive it to be able to feel that he is contributing his share to the food bill, since he is unable to work.

I know we looked like people you might think need EBT: a bit unkempt in sweatpants and T-shirts. If I’d had the guts to talk to you, I would have told you that I’d just had an emergency surgery and that my daughter came home from college five hours away to help for the weekend because my husband had scheduled surgery two days after mine. I haven’t been able to put on real clothes yet, and I can’t lift a bag of groceries.

I thought I could handle your disdain, since I am a professional working at a local corporation where I am surrounded every day by people who respect me and care about me. But it still made me feel a little dirty — unworthy — and I still went home and cried in the privacy of my shower so my family would not know I was hurt by you.

I am sorry I did not tell you all of this in person. What my daughter and I resolved is that we will never let my son (her brother) go to the store alone with his Electronic Benefits Transfer card and be subjected to this humiliation.

We all have our stories, and no one is any better than another. Everyone deserves the respect they want for themselves, even if they use an EBT card to pay for their groceries.

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Reply Food Stamp Recipient Writes Epic Letter After Being Harshly Treated and Judged By Customer (Original post)
babylonsister Sep 2013 OP
gopiscrap Sep 2013 #1
grilled onions Sep 2013 #2
awoke_in_2003 Sep 2013 #63
MrsKirkley Sep 2013 #3
freshwest Sep 2013 #5
skydive forever Sep 2013 #35
Enthusiast Sep 2013 #39
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #4
erpowers Sep 2013 #12
bluestate10 Sep 2013 #17
Phentex Sep 2013 #78
ejpoeta Sep 2013 #29
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #40
DLevine Sep 2013 #45
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #46
Tien1985 Sep 2013 #83
wercal Sep 2013 #76
erpowers Sep 2013 #91
Skittles Sep 2013 #22
Pakid Sep 2013 #25
gussmith Sep 2013 #51
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #41
quakerboy Sep 2013 #84
PotatoChip Sep 2013 #88
OneGrassRoot Sep 2013 #6
Hoyt Sep 2013 #7
Rozlee Sep 2013 #11
JI7 Sep 2013 #21
ejpoeta Sep 2013 #32
NutmegYankee Sep 2013 #82
Cha Sep 2013 #8
GeoWilliam750 Sep 2013 #9
CoffeeCat Sep 2013 #10
greymattermom Sep 2013 #27
Puglover Sep 2013 #30
NJCher Sep 2013 #56
duffyduff Sep 2013 #13
niyad Sep 2013 #14
duffyduff Sep 2013 #16
bluestate10 Sep 2013 #18
duffyduff Sep 2013 #19
MADem Sep 2013 #28
CANDO Sep 2013 #57
MADem Sep 2013 #60
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #42
Shankapotomus Sep 2013 #31
Puglover Sep 2013 #33
Sheldon Cooper Sep 2013 #44
niyad Sep 2013 #15
Warren DeMontague Sep 2013 #20
Scuba Sep 2013 #23
csziggy Sep 2013 #59
maddiemom Sep 2013 #67
SammyWinstonJack Sep 2013 #75
questionseverything Sep 2013 #77
rl6214 Sep 2013 #24
greiner3 Sep 2013 #36
rl6214 Sep 2013 #37
Not Sure Sep 2013 #26
Enthusiast Sep 2013 #43
Not Sure Sep 2013 #47
hfojvt Sep 2013 #34
MineralMan Sep 2013 #38
JustAnotherGen Sep 2013 #48
OnionPatch Sep 2013 #49
Name removed Sep 2013 #50
go west young man Sep 2013 #52
olegramps Sep 2013 #53
Skittles Sep 2013 #79
Blaukraut Sep 2013 #54
heaven05 Sep 2013 #55
mntleo2 Sep 2013 #58
Melinda Sep 2013 #71
mstinamotorcity2 Sep 2013 #61
former9thward Sep 2013 #62
kurtzapril4 Sep 2013 #68
former9thward Sep 2013 #72
PotatoChip Sep 2013 #81
NutmegYankee Sep 2013 #87
PotatoChip Sep 2013 #89
NutmegYankee Sep 2013 #90
NutmegYankee Sep 2013 #86
nolabear Sep 2013 #64
aikoaiko Sep 2013 #65
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2013 #66
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #69
BillyRibs Sep 2013 #70
SammyWinstonJack Sep 2013 #73
Snake Plissken Sep 2013 #74
haele Sep 2013 #80
fadedrose Sep 2013 #85
Sirveri Sep 2013 #92

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:17 PM

1. I thank this food stamp recipient for her

service to the nation!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:35 PM

2. And That Is The Rest Of The Story

The grumblers,the complainers have no idea of the life of those with an ebt in their hand as they check out at the stores. It may be health related,job related--oh the stories can tear your heart in two but do the complainers ever just stop and count their own blessings that they are well enough off that they don't require being on the ebt program? No! They would rather bitch because "you" are lucky enough to scam the world with YOUR ebt!!! Some people really need to live in the shoes of others for one day to see what it is like.

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Response to grilled onions (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:39 PM

63. Every time I see someone use an EBT...

 

I thank the good fortune I am lucky to now have. When I was growing up in the 80s, my family depended on food stamps (they were still stamps then). I have seen the looks from the assholes in our civilization. It hurts.
This is the DU member formerly known as awoke_in_2003.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:37 PM

3. too many people assume too much

This country has far too many judgmental idiots.

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Response to MrsKirkley (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:49 PM

5. +1

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Response to MrsKirkley (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:27 AM

35. My daughter gets EBT because she has 3 foster kids

but people still sometimes still give her the look. Like the old saying goes, "don't judge someone till you've walked in their shoes".

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Response to MrsKirkley (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:06 AM

39. The cruelty of these judgmental idiots is being cultivated

and nurtured by the far right. They are today's American Nazis. Think Rush Limbaugh.

Fascism cannot exist in an environment free from cruelty and intolerance. And believe me, we are in danger from Fascism in America today.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:48 PM

4. I am always amazed that people notice how others are paying for their food.

Someone would have to hit me over the head with their ebt card before I might, MIGHT, notice that it's a food stamp card. I simply don't pay attention to this sort of thing - I'm given to understand that they look like any other debit card, so unless I was literally inches from them and looking directly over their shoulder, how would I know it was anything else?

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 09:26 PM

12. They Do Not

Many EBT cards do not look like any other debit card. Many are very easy to notice. It would probably be a good idea to make them look like other debit cards, but as of now a number of EBT cards look very different from other debit cards.

In my opinion one does not have to try hard to notice whether someone is using an EBT card. I do not try to pay attention to how people pay for their food, but in my area it is easy to see which customers are using EBT cards. When I am in the checkout line I just look in front of me and I can see how people pay for their groceries.

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Response to erpowers (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 11:54 PM

17. I don't notice how people pay, that is none of my business. When I shop I am more

concerned about setting up heavy items so that the cashier doesn't have to lift them. I know that some people use cards, but I don't notice or even attempt to notice what the cards are.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #17)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:12 PM

78. Me either and

I really don't care. I'm there to get in and get out and I don't think I've ever noticed how anybody else paid for their food.

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Response to erpowers (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:01 AM

29. probably make them that way on purpose. want to make sure everyone knows.

with the paper food stamps, everyone noticed for sure. every time I used mine, and they were stuck together, and I had to find them and rip them out, I could feel the stares... the glares..... I think it is like that for a reason.... because you don't feel shitty enough having to use them in the first place. It's not bad enough you get treated like crap when you apply and have to have your fingerprint scanned. It's not bad enough when you have to prove that you are just short of living in a cardboard box. No, you also have to endure the stares at the store to make sure you know just how low you are. Like kicking someone when you are down. People contemplating every purchase you make as if it is some public show.... Perhaps they don't know that we ALL pay into the system. We all pay taxes that pay for these services. Even the poor. Especially the poor. Who pay a bigger percentage because instead of being able to buy things when they are on sale or in large quantities, they buy a smaller amount and pay more in the long run. The sad thing is, that lady and many others who 'notice' or judge don't seem to want to realize that they are not far from that fall. That long walk to the social services office. Unless they are willing to starve. Because it's easy to say you'd never apply for assistance when your belly is full and you are not freezing because you couldn't afford to pay the electric bill. When you aren't having to watch your children go hungry because no matter how many hours you work at your job you just don't have enough to pay the bills AND buy groceries. In a way you wish they knew how that felt. But then again, you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy. It's easy to think that someone on assistance is just a leech who is lazy and doesn't want to work. But most people on assistance DO work. And the sad thing is that it is still not enough. And these people DO pay into the system. We all do. Whether people see it or not.

Sorry about the rant. This is a touchy subject for me. I have been on food stamps, medicaid and even full blown every thing before. And when we were on it we STILL had to work it off. Even though we pay into the system and have paid into the system. It was a catch 22, because when you get a job you still have to pay for daycare, and a car, and gas..... and when what you have after waying for all that isn't enough to pay any bills or feed yourself, then where are you??? But they don't care. No one cares. You end up in a hole you can't dig yourself out of. We were lucky we had family to help us. Family that could give us old clothes, and their cast offs. Family that could cosign a loan. If it weren't for them we'd still be in that hole.

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Response to erpowers (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:16 AM

40. Still not buying it.

It's a card that they slide through the machine just like any other card - you still have to make a point to look at what type of card it is. I don't pay attention to what people are using to pay for their food - I really don't look, so I'm sure I would never notice if it said ebt, or first national bank, or whatever.

The only time I might look is if someone is laboriously writing a check and then balancing their checkbook before moving on. Or if some old person counts out $.92 in pennies from their change purse, or someone who is otherwise slowing down the line. At that point I may wonder what's holding up the works, but gawking in order to see if their card is an ebt card isn't in my makeup.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #40)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:25 AM

45. Where I live, I must tell the cashier I'm paying with EBT before I can swipe the card.

The cashier enters that info into the register, then I can swipe it. Also, if my EBT is getting low, I must tell the cashier the exact balance so she can enter it- otherwise, if I go over, it will reject my entire food order. I know I shouldn't, but I cringe every time I buy food using an EBT card.

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Response to DLevine (Reply #45)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:28 AM

46. Okay, I didn't realize that.

I've had that problem with some gift cards, where you have to know how much is left on the card before you swipe it. I never understood that.

Thanks for the clarification - I'm glad I learned that. Being oblivious like I am, I probably still wouldn't notice!

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #46)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 04:47 PM

83. The cards where I live are

Neon green. I'm generally not interested in what's going on in front of me, but even I occasionally notice someone pulling out a neon green card before swiping it, and that's at the stores where they don't have to announce it.

Just saying, in some places, they are noticeable.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #40)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:06 PM

76. I've noticed before

For starters, the customer usually declares (out loud) that they are using SNAP...most major retailers have the registers programmed to distinguish between food and non-food on the bill, so the customer has to declare this at first.

After that, if there are both food and non-food items, its not too difficult to notice that both a card swipe/PIN entry and cash transaction are occurring. It could be a gift card...or it could be SNAP....and often with depleted gift cards, the cashier offers to take the card and throw it away...something that doesn't happen with a SNAP card. Also, the SNAP cards seem to be really hard to swipe...and its hard not to notice the fairly different looking card getting swipe 3-4 times.

SNAP customers also tend to buy a lot of food at once, so by the time the cashier scans all of their items, I've already unloaded my cart, and I'm in bored 'staring around' mode...and I tend to stare in the direction of the cashier and customer in front of me (it would be odd to stare at the customer behind me, I think)...so I have noticed in the past. I'm sure I miss it 9 times out of 10, but sometimes it is noticed.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #40)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 06:04 PM

91. You Do Not Have To Gawk

No one has to gawk in order to see what type of card someone is using. It seems some at DU needs to do a google search of EBT cards in order to see how different they look compared to a regular debit card. If someone just stand and faces forward they will likely see whether or not someone is using an EBT card. I do not go out of my way nor do I think most people go out of their way to see what type of card people use to pay for their items. I place my items on the belt and then face forward. I do not think most people try to hide the card they are using, or their method of payment.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:40 AM

22. I agree

I am too busy reading the gossip mags

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Response to Skittles (Reply #22)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:32 AM

25. That makes two of us

I get a real kick out of all the BS they put on there front page plus it helps to pass the time while I wait. I learned a long time ago that you can't judge a person by how they look or how they pay for there food!!!!!!!

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Response to Pakid (Reply #25)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:06 AM

51. That's a great point

 

...how they pay for their food. Who are we to decide that someone is on food stamps or is a volunteer doing the shopping for in incapacitated person? Mind your own business is a great point you make!

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Response to Skittles (Reply #22)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:18 AM

41. Me, too!

Or silently stewing while looking at women's magazines, which proclaim that you can lose ten pounds in two days, while prominently featuring today's recipe for some crazy fattening cake or pie.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:07 PM

84. They don't look the same

They are a distinctive color.

Then again, I usually notice what bank the person in front of me uses as well. I also notice the price of gum and tictacs alongside the checkout, even though I have no interest in them. I often notice the price of meats and cheeses on the belt ahead too, as they are marked on the packaging. Its not intentional, I just notice a lot of what surrounds me. Fortunately most of that observational stuff goes away fairly quickly, or I would be stuck with even more extremely useless knowledge stuffed in my head.

It is amazing to me how many people have EBT cards. They are not the hardest thing in the universe to get, but you do have to meet certain criteria. And its amazing to me that there are so many elligible people out there. Certain days, usually at the beginning of the month, you will see 90%+ of shoppers using EBT. Even after that initial rush, I would guess its still 50% in some more discounted stores, and 25% in most stores. I would be curious to know what the percentages are for different stores.

It says something unpleasant about how we run our society that have so many people in situations where they need EBT.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:45 PM

88. You don't need to see the card.

If you are standing in line behind a person paying w/an EBT card, (and perhaps even further back) you will see it prominently on the screen*.

-*There is a rather large electronic board, about the size of a 19 inch tv, facing the customer (and others) that tabulates the items, the total owed, payment tendered (cash, check, EBT, whatever) and amount due back after the transaction.

This may or may not be the case in all grocery stores, but all of the Hannafords here in the Northeast have them. It's actually hard to not to see it, so I generally make myself busy arranging my stuff (or whatever) as to give the person in front of me some semblance of privacy.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 07:54 PM

6. Huge K&R n/t

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 08:11 PM

7. When I worked for a state Medicaid agency, it was the right wingers who always

felt entitled when they needed some help, and they made it clear how they felt about those "folks who weren't entitled." They could really be ugly to people.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 09:25 PM

11. I know some right-wing food stamp recipients at this very moment who

fit your description. Oh, my gawd, they're unemployed and even carry on about 'them' wasting 'our hard-earned tax dollars.' I never know whether to laugh or cry.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 02:00 AM

21. like joe the (phony) plumber and craig t nelston

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:07 AM

32. I have family like that. When they start going on their inevitable rant, I make sure they know they

are talking about me when they say these things. But 'that's different' because I am not one of those people. You know, the ones in NYC who just sit at home collecting those welfare checks. I'm somehow different. The only thing different about me is that i am white. I wasn't married when I had my oldest daughter. Sure I lived her father, but we weren't married. We lived in a trailer that was like a sieve with the heat. No matter what we did it didn't help. HEAP helped us because we were spending $400 a month for propane and barely not freezing to death. My now husband worked at a job where he had to pay for his own gas and drove all over wny installing directv. And if he couldn't install it, he got a lousy $10. On paper he made $40k one year, and take home was $8000. Social services tried to say we didnt' qualify for aid because bob made too much. I was overdrafting every two weeks to make sure Bob had gas for his job. But I was a stay at home mom. Lazy woman. But that's different. Because I'm not one of 'those people'. The lazy ones. Uggh. Pisses me off. Just makes me SOOO mad!!

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:31 PM

82. That trait of right-wing ideology is maddening.

I've debated with many who were using assistance and denigrating others who use it. When challenged, it was always "Well I Earned it! Unlike them". They really are disgusting hypocrites.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 08:14 PM

8. Mahalo babylonsistah!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 08:35 PM

9. A long time ago, sombody said this very well

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 09:08 PM

10. This happened in Edina, MN--one of the wealthiest suburbs in the US

I am not surprised that something like this happened in a very rich suburb of Minneapolis. Not all rich
people are jerks, but many of the top one percent have contempt for anyone who isn't part of the elite.

People like that are classless jerks. They listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh tell them that people
who use EBT cards are "lazy" and "takers." It's really disgusting. And it's also worth it to point out that
these radio hosts claim to have cornered the market on "family values" and they often discuss how their
religions makes them better and more moral people.

They are not. People who have such contempt in their heart for those in need--are nothing but selfish,
narcissistic, ugly human beings with no compassion. Quite the opposite of the teachings of Jesus if you
ask me.

This world is so warped.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:51 AM

27. as folks in nearby suburbs say

Edina= Every Day I Need Attention

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Response to greymattermom (Reply #27)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:03 AM

30. You don't move to Edina. You achieve Edina.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:03 PM

56. tenuous nature of life

They listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh tell them that people
who use EBT cards are "lazy" and "takers."


Yes--and another point of view is needed for people to understand why we have food stamps. This point of view needs to be as publicly available as the one promulgated by Beck and Limbaugh.

I wish we had radio that talked about the tenuous nature of life on this planet: how a person can be OK one day and completely out the next.

That is an existential condition and there is not one of us immune to it.

One can have enormous financial assets, yet die a pauper's death. Look at what happened to Brooke Astor--at the hands of her very own son. Look at how Howard Hugues died.

These judgmental people are indeed buying into the hate radio propaganda that is so easily available while any point of view on how very difficult this life is is hard to come by. It's just not a topic for discussion, it seems. If you can think of a place where a regular person can get food for thought on existentialism, let me know.


Cher

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 10:00 PM

13. That's why I do self checkout

 

No glares, no stares. Everybody minds his or her own business.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 10:13 PM

14. you realize, of course, that the whole purpose of self checkout is to reduce the number of

employees and cut down labour costs. I refuse to use them.

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Response to niyad (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 10:34 PM

16. Yes, I do. But I still use it.

 

I won't put up with people's judgmental crap.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:01 AM

18. But it's ok to throw people out of a job???? nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:17 AM

19. I don't think so where I shop. n/t

 

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:53 AM

28. That doesn't so much throw people out of a job as makes the lines shorter.

Technically speaking, the advent of barcode scanners had the potential to "throw people out of a job" because the checkout person no longer had to input the code for the department as well as the price of the item, speeding up the lines immeasurably. A cashier no longer had to have much in the way of skill to check a person out with a reasonable amount of speed--all they had to be able to do was distinguish a "good" beep from a bad one.

Every tech advance changes the job market. People who made wagon wheels and buggy whips were fucked when the Model T took off. They had to adjust and learn a new skill. It's how societies evolve.

In ancient Rome, there used to be people who ran around all day collecting urine, which was used in the drycleaning process for those fancy Roman togas. Alas, that job is no more--I don't think there are many people crying over the loss of it.

Like it--or not--personal interaction at check out is coming to be something that people will have to seek out. The landscape is changing in that regard, and no amount of complaining is going to change it. Many people prefer to do it themselves because they dislike standing in a line, and can do it faster than the store employee, particularly if they are purchasing just a few items.

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Response to MADem (Reply #28)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:04 PM

57. Very often, I see lines for the self checkout...

 

while at the same time one or two of the clerked ones have no line at all. Strange dynamic for sure.

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Response to CANDO (Reply #57)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:10 PM

60. I've seen that too....

I think some people don't want to socialize, they just have a few things to buy, they don't want to be asked if they'd like to donate a dollar to Yadi-Yah charity, they don't want the cashier knowing their business....?

Who knows?

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:21 AM

42. Having worked retail in a supermarket, I can assure you that no one is thrown

out of a job by the self-scanners. NO ONE. So, go ahead and use them in good conscience. It's okay, I promise.

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Response to niyad (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:06 AM

31. Don't you care about unemployed robots?

Give them a chance and they would do everything for us. All they want to do is help us. But do you care about their feelings? No.

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Response to niyad (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:07 AM

33. Hmmmm

The self check out lines at Cub require two full time attendees to help folks with errors. And Cub is always well stocked with real folks checking people out. The service counter is always busy. Somehow I don't think their motive is to lose employees by providing a method for folks that have two things to process rather then a shopper with a cart piled to the ceiling with Pop Tarts.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #33)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:22 AM

44. You are right.

Those self-scanners aren't throwing anyone out of work. They're just not.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 10:14 PM

15. k and r

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:39 AM

20. K&R

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:04 AM

23. Sure, but food stamps are hurting the economy, right?

 

Um, no.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:10 PM

59. Excellent information!

I wish this would be posted more often.

Thank you!

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Response to Scuba (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:26 PM

67. So true. I paid into Social Security for most of my adult life. For the fifteen years I did not,

I was a stay at home mom. My then husband paid a LOT of taxes (and was one of those who had his SS paid up before year's end). When I returned to work I was unable to earn what I once had and had to settle for substitute teaching and working retail on the side. I was no longer paying much if anything into a retirement fund. (I came out of a divorce with very little: long story, but I was not the one at fault.) My SS is, from what I understand, a little less than the average monthly payment. I am very grateful to have SNAP supplement my income every month. Otherwise I would have very little left over after rent and utilities. I still work part time on and off, and feel I've earned some help from the government. Especially in today's economy, where many willing to work hard are unable to find jobs that pay enough to live on, I can't believe the people who still begrudge others enough to eat.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 02:40 PM

75. Hand outs to the rich..the real culprit.......

Who'd thunk it?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:11 PM

77. food stamps should be easier to receive to

help the gdp

where else can we get 1.72 worth of impact for a buck?

anytime any pol votes to cut fs,they are voting to restrict the recovery

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:27 AM

24. I get the same looks every time I get in or out of my jeep when I go out

 

With my blue disabled/handicap placard hanging from my rear view mirror. I don't outwardly always show the signs of my disability but with my bad back and severe neuropathy in my feet, it is sometimes all I can do to get from the parking space to the store or wherever I happen to be going. All the time I am thinking to myself that everyone is looking at me thinking to themselves that I am not handicapped or disabled.

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Response to rl6214 (Reply #24)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:34 AM

36. I had spinal fusion surgery 15 years ago.

 

I could have used a disabled placard for a few months.

My pet peeve is to see teens and/or young adults park in the handicapped spaces who seem to 'bound' out of their vehicles.

Maybe others have seen this and your predicament causes them to judge you.

Jus' saying.

BTW, in no way does this reflect upon your case but the sheer number of the above is really astounding if you see it happening, especially in the store parking lots where there is limited handicapped spaces to begin with.



I now park about as far away from the front door of most any store (I began doing this soon after surgery as a means of getting just a little more exercise to help with the scar tissue removal and have kept up with the practice.

I get laughs every time I pass one of those suburban gyms, you know the type, strip mall settings in a large box.

The members pay good money to get into shape and possibly lose a few pounds.

Well anyway, what I notice is that ALL the close up spots are taken.

Why not park in a way I do, NOT close to the door.

Maybe they would get into a little better shape and lose just a few more extra pounds (remember, a good brisk walk, even an extra hundred feet will help with the lower body (abdomen, thighs, calves; and all the joints associated with them) as I figure close spots are for those who need it. Case in point;

Yesterday I went to the local Target where all the handicapped spots were taken.

I noticed a man get out of his vehicle about twice the distance of the handicapped spots were and begin walking toward the door.

For every step he took, his knees seemed to sag and his hips caused his thighs to cause him to walk in a bow legged gait (in need of both knee and hip replacement?).

I could tell he was in pain, excruciating pain.

I was more than twice the distance to the door as he was and yet beat him by 50 feet or more.

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Response to greiner3 (Reply #36)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:45 AM

37. I was always like you, the one that parked as far away from the front door as possible

 

Part of it being because I didn't want my car dinged.

As far as bounding out of the vehicle, it's not gonna happen. You had the back surgery, my insurance won't cover the disc replacement my Dr says I need.

Besides that, with the problems that neuropathy causes, again, there's not gonna be any bounding out of the vehicle.

I'm 53 yo and nowhere near being some teen that parks in a handicap space. Do I use the handicap spots all of the time? No, only when I really need it.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 08:40 AM

26. A very impressive and heart-felt letter

but I still rely on a good-old obnoxious "go fuck yourself" when I encounter dimwitted bootstrap pulling tea pity party thugs. It's quick, to accommodate their short attention spans, and the message is constrained only to words they understand.

But this message is much more effective and actually points out that life is made up of gray areas. I applaud the author for her patience and humanity. I definitely fall far short of the bar she set.

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Response to Not Sure (Reply #26)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:21 AM

43. "dimwitted bootstrap pulling tea pity party thugs"



They don't even recognize the existence of corporate welfare, these dimwitted bootstrap pulling tea pity party thugs.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #43)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:31 AM

47. Precisely

Here in north Texas I'm surrounded by them. There are so many of them and they are so unaccustomed to encountering someone different they don't think twice about showing their true colors. Sort of like how racists will use epithets or tell racist jokes when they see everyone around them looks like they do. The same cowards clam up as soon as "someone else" walks in.

For some reason, economic differences aren't as taboo and can allow them to express the viciousness you might only otherwise see anonymously on the internet. That's exactly when I strike back at them. They are consistently weak little cowards.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:13 AM

34. in Edina? Edina?

That is too rich.

I am not sure about the present, but a million years ago when I went to the U of Mn (1980 to 85), Edina was known, or said to be, a ritzy suburb full of pretentious rich people.

There was even a series of jokes called "Edina girl" jokes.

Only one of which I remember.

Q; What is an Edina girl's favorite wine?

A: Daddy, I want a BMW. Daddy, I want a BMW.

I only met one real girl from Edina though and remember her as smoking hot rather than pretentious.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 09:58 AM

38. How people pay for their groceries is nunnamy bidness.

I don't notice it ever. If I did notice it, I'd ignore it completely. There are many reasons why people have EBT cards. Those reasons are also nunnamy bidness. I hope their situation improves, that's all.

If I hear someone say some nasty comment about it, I simply look at them and say, "How rude!"

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:37 AM

48. I have long said

That there is always more to the story than that swipe of the card.

I volunteer several times a month at two local food banks in affluent central NJ.

The 2006 Lexus, Coach handbag, and diamond ring do not tell the story. The story is that woman is the only earner in her household. They are barely hanging onto a house that had an inflated price in 2004. That's her 15 year old engagement ring. And the Coach bag was a gift from her husband ten years ago.

There's another story. It's a story about a woman who was in the top ten percent in this country - who got married last year and now finds herself in the 4%.


She follows a philosophy of, "How much do I REALLY need?" but likes the best quality for her dollar. Around the time of Hurricane Sandy she had started to go through clothing, purses, shoes, etc etc. Pretty good customer of JJill - she knows about their gently used clothing trade in program that gets clothing into the hands of women in need.

Post Sandy - she got hooked into a few families in need where there were adult women in her size.those women may now be on SNAP because they lost it all in a Hurticane. It's not her fault if she is in last seasons JJill sweater and is carrying a Dooney and Bourke handbag. It's not her fault that she's wearing a Ralph Lauren overcoat or a pair of Ugg boots that never stretched for their original owner properly. There is another woman who is a size 16 who benefitted from that woman knowing J Jill's manager who let her purchase deep discount sweaters and cords and turtle necks because they were irregular.


You know what? I did what I could. I gave what I had and what gave me he most bang for my buck to a few women that still had to go to work post Sandy but didn't have any clothing.

So to the people maybe giving those women a sidelong glance and snark at Shoprite - go fuck yourself.

If you wanted those women to look shabby you should have gone to Wally World, searched through the clearance racks, thrown some cheap shit in a bag and thrown it at them in disdain. But you are selfish and didn't even do that much.

So they are well dressed because someone got - you are down and out - and because of that you deserve something a nice that makes you feel just a little more human in this shallow part of the country where that shit matters.

The story is never what it seems to selfish self centered assholes with a chip on their shoulder.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:43 AM

49. Boy, this takes me back.

As a teenager, we had to use food stamps because my mother's full time job paid such low wages. I couldn't count the times I noticed people checking out what we were buying, making little remarks under their breath, rolling their eyes and giving us dirty looks. It was a horrible, demeaning experience for a teenage girl.

Knowing that a large percentage of my fellow citizens would rather we had turned tricks for food or starved to death has profoundly affected my political beliefs. I figured out pretty early which side of the aisle they were on.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:24 AM

52. What a lot of people miss in regards to food stamps

 

is that the money goes directly to the supermarket which pays workers with that money. It puts money into circulation and is a direct way to help those at the very bottom at the same time. That money, unlike the money at the top flows upward and gets distributed. The only thing that is not going on is that money is not being created by the work of the unemployed. Thereby the economy is not expanding on that level. However, the big firms on WallStreet generate hundreds of millions of dollars electronically daily before 9 am by screwing over the little guy, that make up for the labor lost in the work force. It's a win win for everyone when Obama funnels money to those at the bottom. I believe he has smartly used these programs to help those most in need. Of course there is some abuse, but that level of abuse is minimal compared to the abuse at the top. More welfare is actually a good thing right now in regards to improving the economy and helping those at the lowest and diminishing middle class levels.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2012/08/20/where-to-cut-the-federal-budget-start-by-killing-corporate-welfare/
http://justicebeforecharity.org/welfare.php

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:30 AM

53. Just curious; could you use the self checkout stand if available?

These smug self righteous slobs can only hope that they don't have to depend on assistance to be able to eat. It is my sad experience that some the worst are bible thumpers. I just can't stand these hypocrites.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #53)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:15 PM

79. you know it olegramps

but the worst part is, when those thumpers DO need assistance, they very often can convince themselves they truly DESERVE such help, while continuing to believe that those other folk are still MOOCHERS

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:34 AM

54. The author of the letter should not have to justify why she is on foodstamps

It does not matter, and is nobody's business. It ends up dividing the needy into yet more subsets: Those who deserve help because they are in their situation through no fault of their own, and those who 'did it to themselves'. Every person in need, no matter how he or she arrived there, is deserving of help.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:44 AM

55. keep on keepin' on

 

you have my respect quadrupled. Store person? Karma comes around.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:07 PM

58. Sometimes the caseworker is WORSE ...

I am an advocate for people who apply for benefits, and let me tell you the people who get their jobs from being the 'gatekeepers" are just as bad as this other customer.

Recently another advocate was with a person who had been "sanctioned" because she was a disabled mother. She was so sick that had gotten out of the hospital the day before she was supposed to have her "fair hearing" where she could protest the decision. The person who is in charge of setting up these hearings belittled the woman from even applying to be heard. Despondent, the woman decided not to have the hearing. When my advocate friend heard how badly the recipient felt so much that she decided not to go through it, the advocate encouraged her to go ahead anyway. She said, "I cannot guarantee you will not face the same deplorable treatment and belittling or that you will not be told the same things you were told today, but I can guarantee that you will not be alone I will go with you, if you face these people down or you will never get the assistance you need." So the recipient decided to go through the hearing as long as she did not have to face those horrible people alone.

My advocate friend was so angry about the treatment that she called up this person (the woman is called a Fair Hearing Coordinator) and told her, "You are supposed to arrange hearings, you had no right to belittle this woman who has legitimate reasons for her condition. She just got out of the hospital for crying out loud!" The Coordinator was incensed and said, "Are you telling me how to do my job?" My advocate friend said, "Yes indeed Ma'am, that is exactly what I am telling you. I pay taxes and you work for me..." The coordinator said, "Well if I just wanted some time off, I could go to the doctor and get two weeks off if I told them I was depressed or something lame like that. These people just use lame excuses so they don't have to work..."

My advocate friend was beyond angry. She said, "You have decent health care, you have a doctor that has been denied to your client. Your doctor knows you and knows the insurance you have that would cover you for the tests or whatever procedure you need to prove you are too sick or injured enough not to work. If your client were to try to go to a doctor who did not know her since she has to go to a different one every time,they would not give her permission because they do not even have the money to test her or whatever they would need to do. Furthermore you would not even have a damn doctor if it were not for this woman and the others you are paid to serve. THEY are the reason you even have a job!"

The coordinator hung up. This is because she does not want to admit that she lives off the backs of the poor. All this is fine if you have one sprig of heart and know how important your work is for your community. When these workers look down their noses at their clients they seem to forget that they would not even be there if it weren't for the people they hate. If you tell them to get another job if they hate doing it so much, they whine they can't because there are no other jobs that have the pay and benefits, blah,blah,blah.

Well welcome to the club of the people they serve. Because while these case managers would refuse these very same jobs because they will not pay the bills they expect their clients to take them. Then, rather than admit they like to force this kind of work on others just so long as it is not themselves, they wonder why it is that their clients are sick, disabled and unable to work after working those jobs and they like to pretend these people are avoiding working for a McWage. The twisted and selfish attitude is that their clients are "using excuses" not to work those low wage jobs, but of course people like this coordinator's refusal to do them is simply because they "deserve" better pay and conditions and that their client do not deserve the same. In short they are simply promoting those horrible conditions on others so they can keep in their nice cushy positions.

Poverty is an institution it is *not* a "choice" as the upper classes like to believe. Institutions remain in place because they benefit some people in spite of the terrible conditions it imposes on others. Like the Institution of slavery benefited Americans for over 300 years before it was abolished, the Poverty Institution benefits people like this coordinator and thousands of other Americans, not just in their own employment because of the poor, but their dependence on cheap labor, cheap taxes (the poor pay the highest rate of taxes in every state), tax deductions from non-profits for the rich, the extra fees imposed on the poor for not being able to afford "required" things like making a payment on time, the list goes on and on.

It should be admitted and never forgotten that the rest of society depends upon the poor to maintain their own classes. These case managers should be reminded that as is the case in their class and pretty much any upper class, they themselves would not have a job and they depend on the Institution of Poverty for their own benefit.

My 2 cents

Cat in Seattle

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Response to mntleo2 (Reply #58)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:57 PM

71. ^^^THIS^^^

Yup, there it is, and it needed to be said. Read it and then read it again, people. And thank you Cat for your much appreciated post.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:21 PM

61. All those Lazy People

who make under 12.25 per hour, like those at Wallyworld are just takers. Its sad when you work in America and you must work to get food stamps. When you are working and NEED food stamps. Just SAD!!!!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:26 PM

62. How did the customer know the person was on EBT?

The EBT card is a debit card and looks like any other debit card. The only way a person would know you using an EBT card is literally if they were looking over your shoulder. Someone looking over your shoulder in a cashier line as you pay with your card? Who would allow that? This does not sound credible.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #62)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:47 PM

68. The EBT cards here

definitely DO NOT look like a regular debit card. By design. You are supposed to be ashamed to be poor.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #68)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 02:03 PM

72. The OP is from Minnesota.

Minnesota cards look like any other debit card or credit card. As I said for the OP to be true someone would have to be looking right over the shoulder of the person paying while they were swiping the card and putting in the pin. Who would allow that? Not credible.

https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-3315A-ENG

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Response to former9thward (Reply #72)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:19 PM

81. I don't know about Minnesota, but

a large grocery store chain here in the Northeast has a good sized screen that shows the listed items, the total, method of payment (cash, check, EBT whatever) and what amount is due back. It is visible not only to the person checking out, but also people in line behind them.

I find it hard to believe that the NE is the only region w/such a visible screen at grocery stores, so unless someone tells me otherwise, I will assume the story is true.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #81)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:45 PM

87. Big Y?

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #87)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:47 PM

89. Hannaford.

Does Big Y have them too? The screen thing, I mean.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #89)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:57 PM

90. Yeah, they do.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #72)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:44 PM

86. A lot of places ask verbally what form of payment you are using.

The cashier has to hit the appropriate button to activate the electronic display. Since I have to answer "Debit or Credit", people behind me would know which I used. People with EBT have to state that. It's not every grocery store, but a few do that. Especially IGA's.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:40 PM

64. This applies to so many assumptions. So much easier than empathy and compassion.

We all feel prejudices in keeping with our experience. That doesn't mean the experience comes from anyone or anything remotely similar to the one we feel prejudice toward, only that it tweaks a tender spot in ourselves.

We might have been hurt and need to distance ourselves from someone to assure ourselves we are different, we may have dearly loved someone with whom we have to retain a sometimes flawed identification. We might fall prey to a common form of magical thinking, wherein if we are dismissive enough toward a person or way of life we will ensure that we never find ourselves there. And sometimes we are, quite simply, defending against a fear we can't understand.

It takes patience, thoughtfulness and self-reflection to see people as individuals. I hope, in spite of the loud ubiquity of the aforementioned, that if we can ourselves slow down, ask questions rather than making assumptions, and reflect on our responses to that about which we know little, we can continue to evolve.

And yes, that goes for our attitude toward the RW too. It doesn't mean you let them run over you, but that you know what's real.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:42 PM

65. Sadly, letters like that are tasty treats for hateful people.


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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:06 PM

66. Bet that nasty woman thinks of herself as a "good Christian" too.

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:50 PM

69. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, babylonsister.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 01:54 PM

70. What I know about

 

People who get assistance, Welfare, food stamps, or Charity of any kind. If You Don't Know them, If You don't know the Circumstances/Dire straights They are in, then don't know what they are experiencing. It's none of mine or your G.D. Business why, and don't you dare look down your nose at them! Take it for granted that they need it. Their but for the grace of the fates go you.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 02:04 PM

73. How does anyone even know how someone is paying unless it's by check or cash?

That's in fact, pretty darn nosy.

I don't make it my business to see how someone is paying for their groceries.

And even if I did, it's certainly not my place to judge.

I've been on government assistance AFDC back when there were actual food stamps. That WAS humiliating , standing in line and counting those out.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 02:19 PM

74. Unfortunately that letter probably won't make that person in the checkout line feel any differently

People that vote for a guy like Romney believe anyone who receives less than $1,000,000/year in subsidies is a taker.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 03:18 PM

80. I use the Base Commissary all the time (benefits of living in a Navy town) - at least 5% of military

families are on WIC coupons and/or EBT simply because of the cost of living in this town and the median wages of the military at the lower levels, disabled vets, and older retirees who weren't "smart enough" to get a good-paying job with retirement benefits after doing their twenty or thrity years.
I never complain (even if I'm in a hurry), never swear and have told my step-daughter to quit complaining about getting stuck behind someone with the coupons or EBT because she would never know when she'd have to depend on food stamps to feed herself or her kids, or that's the only way the purchaser can get $150 of healthy "pantry" items and another $50 in few fresh items to last them over the month so they only have to spend whatever they might get collecting recycling in their neighborhood every week to keep them going for the rest of the month.

I still know people who go around to scour parks and dumpster dive for cans and bottles every morning around sunrise to collect enough for another $50/$50 each week - there have been times I've been "this close" to doing that myself.

I've grown up on two scant meals a day (PB&J/SPAM, rice, and canned veggies) because our family "made too much" for food stamps - several years of being uncomfortably hungry or depending on the kindness of neighbors.

I cannot in concience begrudge anyone who made less than we did a way to survive and to keep their kids from crying every night because they're slowly starving to death, or to keep babies of parents that make a bit more than the poverty line from getting food that is healthy enough to help them develop instead of 99 cent store crap.


Haele

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 05:09 PM

85. Respectfully Rec'd.......nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 06:10 PM

92. Everyone should get EBT.

Flat tax, if you make less than 50k/yr adult, you pay less in taxes than you receive in benefits (assuming no kids). Benefits are 50$/adult week, 25$/dependent child week. Then there is no stigma to using your benefits and everyone is on the same level and everyone gets food.

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