Sunday, February 26, 2006
Will the real Uncle Joe please stand up?
OkSlick wrote a post that hit home with me. In his post he asks the question: "What defines who you/we are?"
Ask my mother who I am and she will no doubt wax poetic about what a fine son/man I am.
She is of course prejudiced towards me. I am her first born. Yet she will almost surely add that I haven't really lived up to my potential.
You will get differing answers from different folks who know me from various stages of my life.
There are a lot of people who only know me as a grocery man. Some who only know me as a piano or guitar player. Some know me only as Utah's son. Some don't even remember that my parent's even have a son that could be almost 46 years old. There are those who know me as a strong Christian man. Truth is that there was a time when my faith was stronger than it is right now.
I still find that people view me as younger than I really am. Even after having congestive heart failure and being around 50 lbs overweight I am considered to be in my 30's. That's well and fine unless someone is looking to be taken seriously in life. There are times when I desperately want to be taken seriously, but my reputation has preceded me. Such is the life of the court jester.
I have a need to look for the absurd in life to counter the sadness that surrounds us.
The most frustrated I have ever been is when after hearing me play the piano or guitar, or once when I played the lead role in a church play, well meaning folks would ask me:
"Where do you work?" They would always have a smile of expectation on their face. They were thinking, "He must be a teacher, lawyer, insurance salesman etc."
I seem to have let them down when I answered, "I am a produce manager".
More than once they were speechless. Working in a grocery store and liking it is evidently bottom of the barrel. Only for those who can't maintain a real job.
Let me tell you this about the grocery business. These folks are working their tails off so YOU can have food on your table. It is as much a business that focuses on making a profit as is banking. It may LOOK unimportant or easy to you, but there are people who are working in the grocery industry who are there because that is where God wants them to be. They may not necessarily be happy about working there either. Supermarket employees put up with an extraordinary amount of whining from the public. It's one of the side effects of capitalism. We have been spoiled as consumers by thinking we are always right because we choose where to spend our money. I used to gently remind customers who were unhappy because I couldn't order a special item for them (because of it's unavailability or being out of season) that we were blessed to have what we do have. The wrong thing to say to someone who is so spoiled and unappreciative of what they do have.
"Well, I'll never shop here again!" Fine, you shop somewhere else and I won't have to listen to your whining. My opinion is not going to be popular to those of you who make your living making people happy.
What defines who you are? If you are a Christian, then God's Words defines you. I guess even if you're not a Christian the Word defines you.
We have to wear a lot of hats in this life. You know what they are so I don't have to name them.
I just hope you're comfortable under your hat and nobody makes you feel guilty if you're hat doesn't live up to their opinion of what it should be.
Posted by Whistle Britches at 2/26/2006 11:12:00 PM