Saturday, September 1, 2012

Maybe I’m Just Very Judgemental…


…or maybe I’m just a cashier who has watched enough customer behavior to know things. Before I start my rant, I want to throw in a disclaimer: I do not want anything I said to be taken out of context and I am not looking to offend those who do the right thing at all. This rant is about food stamps and the customers who use them.

I can almost always pick them out in the line. This rant, however, does not pertain to the honest, well-kept, hard-working group of people who simply need help and are likely more embarassed than anything to admit they need help. I want that to be clear, because I know very well that not everyone on foodstamps should be generalized with a stereotype, some of which you would never expect to need it. But that’s my point right there, I think. The ones you don’t expect. Why don’t we expect them? That’s what this rant is about. The ones whodofill the stereotype.

There are three types of foodstamp users who piss me off, as a cashier.

First you have the ones who are obviously screwing with the system who have Coach bags and manicures. Bitch, you can buy a perfectly functional purse and a bottle of nail polish for like $15 at Kmart. Quit wasting your money on crap you don’t need and spend it on the substance you need to live.

Second - the people who use their foodstamps to buy pure crap food. I’m talking chips, sodas, cookies, ice cream… everything that’s not good for you. I wish FS didn’t cover any of that. It just leads to the fat and lazy stereotype and isn’t helping anyone. I seriously cannot stand when I see that. The WIC program only limits you to healthy foods, so why is FS any different?

Thirdly are the loud, obnoxious, unkept individuals who can’t just go buy a hairbrush from the dollar store to run through their rat’s nest and are spilling out of their clothes. To an extent, I can understand not fitting into your clothes if your’e obviously not doing well financially, but if your’e spilling out of your clothes that look like they’re made for a 13 year old…Kmart clearance. Go buy an oversized Tshirt for like $2 for goodness sakes. Like, I don’t get how people are even comfortable going out in public like that. I’ve personally put on a few pounds and I don’t feel comforable wearing anything form-fitting right now. I had a customer today. Her hair was completely awry. She was wearing a tank top that like had hook buttons all down the front, exposing pieces of her skin all the way down her front… and she was a bit too big to pull it off. Right then I thought to myself,foodstamps. And the sad part? That’s what she paid with.

I can see how the first and third are a little contradictory - but there’s a happy medium. Don’t splurge on what you don’t need, like manicures that are crazy expensive (and not very fun, in my opinion) and spend $5 on a shirt that fits and a hairbrush. I know I’m a little overly critical, but I’m sure any cashier (especially from a supermarket) gets what I’m saying.

The only thing I’m going to pick at in this rant is the healthy foods.  The reason why that happens is because junk food is cheaper and goes further than buying real, healthy food.  The benny card doesn’t get you that far as it is.  When you’re looking to put a dinner together and you want 2 pounds of nice chopped meat and this and that, you’re looking at $50 for a decent dinner for 3.  That’s 1 week’s worth of foodstamps for one meal.  You simply can’t afford to eat healthy on FS.  It’s just not possible.  If FS decides to restrict to healthy food, then it better supply more money to cover the costs of the healthier food.

I understand the stereotypes and as a person who survives on FS, it pisses me off to see these lowlifes perpetuating the negative image.  An iPhone and a benny card?  Are you kidding me?  I have a cheap phone on a cheap Sprint plan.