Home > Uncategorized > I don’t even know.

I don’t even know.

Boston, you’re beginning to break my heart, bit by bit.

Yesterday was a difficult day at work. There were a multitude of bums hanging around outside the store in the morning. One in particular caught my atttention, as his efforts to solicit money went unnoticed by the passersby.

“Ma’am do you have any spare change?”

“Sir, I’m trying to get on the T…?”

“Please, may I have some change? I’m short on fare for the T.”

First I cried because this man was ignored. NO ONE even gave him a second glance. Not one. People just brushed past him, hurrying on their way to work or whatever. People just kept moving, parting around him. No one stopped.

And there he stood, in the middle of the crowd. Dejected and defeated and realizing that no one was going to help him.

So then I started to cry a bit more, because I have seen this man before. I have seen him every day since I started working at the flower shop, and my heart breaks because I know he doesn’t need money for the T. He’s not going anywhere. He never goes anywhere.

I got even more upset when I realized that I have become like those who pass by him each day: hardened and in a hurry. I’m not willing to give my hard-earned money to a bum who likely will spend it on booze or drugs. It’s just not happening. So I understand why those people rush past him. It’s frustrating.

But it was his desperation that was hard to watch. It’s all over the city. Everyone’s desperate to make it. To scrape up enough money to cover the rent or bills. We all work hard and we’re all determined to make ends meet.

Yesterday morning also was difficult in my interactions with customers. I’m tired of being treated as though I am a second-class citizen. I’m tired of the assumptions that I have no schooling; that I am broke because my hands are dirty and calloused.

Rude.

I don’t appreciate your tip, Mr. Stuffy Rich Man, when you give it to me not because I did a kick ass job putting together a creative bouquet for you, but because “everyone needs a little help, right?” Well, no. I do not need help from you. Even if it may be true that that dollar paid for my dinner that night.

When I went back outside the shop to finish the display that same man was still outside, begging for change, this time with an even more palpable air of desperation around him.

It made me tear up again. Then I started laughing at myself because I realized I was standing at work. Crying. Pathetic.

Then I thought, “Who the hell cares? No one is going to notice anyway.”

How true is that.

No one noticed me yesterday. And that, friends, is the most exhausting thing of this whole experience.

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