Monday, December 29, 2008

Am I Supposed to be Upset?

I'm not too sure if I should be upset right now, but regardless, I am. Times are hard for our family right now. Money is very tight and soon after Lil' Buddy was born, I got on WIC (women, infants & children) to help cover some costs since I knew I was formula feeding him and money is so very very tight. I've worked long and hard for many years and paid a lot of money into the state. My husband still works long and hard everyday and they take a nice chunk of his pay as well. I'm not in any way attempting to scam the system or anything. If ya look at it, break it down, our family's income definately meets the criteria for qualifying for WIC.

I went to Stop & Shop this evening to pick up some WIC items (formula, milk, eggs, cheese and juice). I always shop at Stop & Shop even for my regular groceries because they are clean, pretty well organize and of course, they double coupon. Tonight I was only picking up WIC items so I thought it would be pretty easy, in and out. I grabbed all the items I needed, went up to the register and separated out the items for which WIC checks they were included in and the woman ringing me up tells me that I can only get a "can" of juice because thats what it says on the WIC check. I attempted to explain to her that "Can" is an umbrella term for all the acceptable juices on the list. I handed her the little pamphlet that they give you at the WIC office to tell you what you can and cannot get and the juice that I get is definately on there. So the woman goes over to the few other people that are working, all of about 18-21 years of age between them all and they all start trying to tell me that "No, it says can, it has to be a can, like Juicy Juice or something." I have been buying the same juice, which is on the list, for the past 5 months. I try to now explain to them that it is included and their reply is- "Well whatever grocery store you usually go to is wrong." Ummm... yeah okay. "I usually shop HERE." I tell them. The one girl replies- "Well then our cashiers are dumb and obviously don't know what they are doing." I handed these "kids" the acceptable foods pamphlet so that they could see for themselves that the juice I was purchasing was on the list, but they didnt care. They cared about telling me, "No, it HAS to be a CAN." They way these employees talked to me made me feel so small. So pathetic and so unwelcome. The eye rolling, the belittling tone of voice, the huffs... it was humiliating.

Now I'm not one to be too proud to use my resources. I'm not embarassed to be using WIC. I am proud of myself for being able to admit that I need a hand. So then why am I so ridiculously upset? I left everything on the belt and left. I'm upset because no matter what, those kids working in that store still looked down at me. I'm upset because I feel like I let them win. I left all my items that I needed on the belt and said, "Fine, I'll just go somewhere else. This is really poor service." I walked out the door without the milk, eggs, without the cheese or formula. I'm upset because I inconvenienced myself, instead of just sucking it up and grabbing different juice, because I know that I didn't have to.

Is this the type of attitude that I'd like my daughter to see? Is this actually who I am? Granted Boug was not with me at the time, but would I ever want her to see me not hold my ground when I KNOW that I am the one who is right? Do I want her to know that I backed down and let someone put me down? Do I want her to know that its okay to take attitude from someone who has no right to dish it out to you??

Maybe I'm just reading too much into this, letting my emotions get the best of me. All I know is I'll be calling the manager in the morning and I'll be getting my WIC items at Hannaford from now on. They dont talk down to me there. They dont double coupon though either.


LiveLaughLoveCj December 30, 2008 at 1:03 PM  

I would be upset! You did your best with what you had to work with. Not a failure on your part to stand your ground. The store was not staffed properly to handle the situation properly.
As you indicated you are not ashamed nor should you be for using WIC -when in need that is what it is there for. Let's hope any of those "kids" that were working don't find themselves in the same situation at some point in their lives. Maybe they will remember how badly they treated others and learn a hard and painful lesson. Hold your head up my friend, high and proud, your daughter has loads and loads of reasons to be proud of her momma!

Unknown December 30, 2008 at 7:28 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown December 30, 2008 at 7:30 PM  

Okay so I had so many typos in the last comment I had to delete it, anyway I said I would have left with a few black eyes given and had no dignity or grace left! You handeld the situation much better than I would have handled it, and Christine is right she has alot to be proud of!

Anonymous,  January 1, 2009 at 10:17 AM  

I would be upset! I can be understand them making a mistake, but, they have no excuse to give you a bad attitude.

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