A piece of perspective | You're not from round here.

Friday, 1 February 2013

A piece of perspective

The other day I was in Morrison's in a rush. I had five minutes before I had to go to pick up the children from the childminder and I needed some food for their tea. With a small shopping trolley filled with vegetables, fruit and a present for my niece who had been born that morning. I chose a queue with one person in front. He only had a few things so I thought it would be the fastest. 

When he came to pay for his one bag of stuff, which had come to £2.37, he got out a huge pile of coppers and started counting them. I was frustrated. He was taking ages. It didn't cross my mind to think about why he might be counting coppers. 

It went on for a few minutes. Him counting out coppers and the checkout guy re-counting coppers. There was an awful lot of counting coppers. It turned out, at the end of all the counting that the man was 60p short for his shopping and he started rummaging through his bag to choose what to put back. I looked away, embarrassed for him. I searched in my own wallet but only had 27p. He looked at me, embarrassment etched his face, 'I don't get paid enough' he said matter of factly. I wished I'd had some money on me. I felt bad because I had a large box of blueberries in my trolley, which alone cost £2.

When the man had removed enough to pay for his shopping, he went on his way. I paid for my shopping, which came to nearly £40 and contemplated how lucky we are. I know I have complained before about how little money we have. Yes, my husband has a job and I get my student loans, but we have a huge childcare bill and an equally large monthly petrol bill, with both of us travelling over 300 miles a week each. We are lucky though because at least we have overdrafts. We have that option when money is tight. The encounter made me think about just how much we have in comparison with so many others.

Sometimes, a bit of perspective is all we need to stop us from feeling sorry for ourselves. A moment to make us realise just what we have and how much we have to be grateful for.


16 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you realised why he was in this situation. Too many of us que and moan and fidget about impatiently not realising the real reasons. I can't imagine anyone choosing to pay with loads of coppers it's humiliating, my mum has had to do it when I was little! If it were me and I was able to I'd pay for him, at least you looked to help, most would just turn their heads xx

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    1. I think he would have been to proud to let me pay the 60p if I'd had it.

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  2. I have a lot of time for people that are not well off, I never moan at people that count the pennies to pay for their goods. We struggle sometimes but we are better off than others! We have overdrafts too!

    You are a really nice person not to moan. I see people really kick off when this happens to them! Makes me want to say something but I am too chicken to!

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    1. I can't imagine someone moaning about it! I am sure we have all had to put something back before so don't understand why that would give us the right to moan!

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  3. Overdrafts to fall back on I mean!

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  4. There have been many times when I've had to use several different payment methods and still had to put stuff back. It's horrible. Hubs and I both work but our bills and debts are very high. People tutting and judging behind us in the queue make us feel like leaving our shopping and walking home with nothing. The times when we do have money to spend on shopping, we are so grateful for. Xx

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    1. It is horrid. I don't understand that kind of mentality. People can be horrid to others sometimes!

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  5. I have been in that man's position before. The horror of having both bank cards being declined and then not having any money in my purse to pay. I remember having to figure out how I could buy milk for the boys that week and going to cash converters with things to sell to get the food on the table and this wasn't that long ago. After my operation and MadDad having to take extra unpaid time off we just maxed everything out and had no opinion. It was the worst feeling in the world and we lived on beans and potatoes whilst we fed the children.

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    1. It is awful when you are in that position. My heart totally went out to him. Like you, we make sure our children eat well and then live on what we can!

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  6. Perspective is a good thing. Wish more people would use it!

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  7. there for the grace of god go I......and I work in a hospital and try and apply it at work very much so.....cos one day it may be me.
    Think many of us normal working people have been in that position, maybe the politicians should try it for a while.

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  8. Thank you ... !!

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    1. Whoops.. did mean to send it so fast... It is so lovely to be able to see all sides of everything !

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