A True Story

This is a true story. 

Last saturday I went to one of the local mega-food grocery stores for the week’s shopping. As I drove down one of the parking lanes I noticed a young man standing next to the front door. He looked like he was dressed for a long journey hitchhiking with a backpack, a sleeping bag and several sweaters tied around his waist. He was holding a cardboard sign with one word marked out in simple, handwritten black lettering: Hungry. 

Later, on that same trip, I stood in the checkout line behind a family. There was grandmother, pushing the cart, there was the father (old enough to shave?) standing nervously around the cart. There was the mother, cradling a sleeping newborn in her arms and holding a WIC check in her hands. Their cart had a lot less in it then mine.

Later, when it was my time to check through, I met the store manager who was working the cash register. We talked about how he wanted to hire and schedule more workers but couldn’t. Corporate was down hard on him to keep the overhead down. He said that twenty people came in that day asking for work. And twenty more the day before. He said that he sends them over to a computer terminal to fill out an electronic application but he knows it’s a waste of their time. They probably know it too.