A very touching thing happened a the Super Market
So I have been trying to find a job here in North Carolina ever since I got here just over a month ago. Maybe I was a little over optimistic that I could find a job really easy, especially since I have a glowing letter of recommendation for my last Supervisor, as well as copied of performance reviews that are nothing but stellar. I thought that If I could just land an interview, I was in. Well that has not been that case. So, suffice it to say, money is tight.
I got a check in the mail and deposited it yesterday. That was a great thing because I had very little money in the bank and needed to buy more that luxury item that most people call “groceries.” Depositing that check put me well in the clear to at least to the local super market (Here in North Carolina it’s the Food Lion) and purchase enough food to get us through the next couple of weeks. This is easy math that even a 3rd grader can figure out: I deposit a lot, I should be able to spend a little.
Just to make sure, I called the bank when I saw the funds did not post to my account (yeah for online banking). The person I spoke to on the phone assured me that since I had made my deposit before 2pm that day, the funds would be accessible by 5pm. So I went to Food Lion at 5pm and started my shopping. My wife and I get the stuff we know we are going to need, and stress out over how we really need more money, and I got to check out.
I swipe my bank ATM card and put my PIN in and it gets rejected. “Hu” I think to myself. “That is Odd.” It’s a new card so I swipe it again and make sure I used the right PIN number, and it still is rejected. I tried swiping it as a credit card and get the same result.
I know that a lot of my friends have been in my financial position before. It is humiliating to have a full basket of groceries and find out that you can’t pay for it. In my case, I had the added humiliation that I had a whole line of people behind me who only had a few items in their baskets. That sudden helplessness of not have the ability to do the simple things in life settled over me. What little money I had to my name was some how being denied of me, and I couldn’t buy the food I needed that night’s dinner.
Then a miracle happened. Those people who know me, know that I am not one who goes around seeing miracles in every day things. The earth spins, the sun comes up, life goes on in a very mundane way, and I am not one of those Christians who says “Thank you Jesus” just because the light turned green when I pulled up to the intersection. But what happened next was totally out of left field and amazing.
The man behind me pulls out his bank card, and says to the checker “Can you just add my stuff to his and I’ll get it?” I did a double take. The man behind me had a box of frozen tacquitos. I looked at the register, totaling over $120 dollars, and had the same reaction I have anytime someone tries to do something for me. “I can’t accept that Sir,” I said. “It’s too much. I’ll just come back latter.”
He looked me in the eye and smile. “Nonsense,” he said as he handed his card to the checker. “Look, everyone has hard times. I’ve had it happen to me before too. The bank probably has not made funds available or something like that, right?” I said yes. “Well, I had someone do this for me a few months ago when I really needed it, and it’s my turn to pay if forward.”
I shook the man’s hand, let him pay, and we walked out of the store together. He when his way, and I started loading the stuff in my SUV. When I explained what had happened to my wife, who had gone out to the car because she was not feeling well, she shared in my shock. Things like this just don’t happen, especially not to us.
So I guess someone is looking out for me, even if I can’t see it in a direct way.