It’s a sad world we live in today. While I have reached an all time low, waking up and not even having cereal or peanut butter in the house to feed the kids, I went back to the food pantry. Now I knew there was a 50/50 chance they’d turn me down because I am 4 days early (they only allow a family to come get a bag every 2 weeks). But I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll bend a rule this time as I can not physically go in 4 days due to my job. And in all reality, it’s the same week as my 2 weeks. And I really didn’t want to go back again so soon, but when your bank account is in the negative, you have $3 dollars in cash to get you to payday, and 2 hungry little girls, you suck it up and try.
I explained that I knew I was a few days early, I explained that I have to work the next time they are open and is my actual 2 weeks. And I could tell that the one really wanted to work something out with me. But he’s new and learning, so he goes seeking the right answer, and this lady pokes her head around the corner and very sternly tells me that no I can not have food 4 days early. And if you can’t make it, send someone in your place.
I broke down right there, tears gushing down my face, simply tell her that I can’t send someone in place and turn around and walk out. Bawling at this point!
Now don’t get me wrong here, I truly understand the need to follow policy as I knew I probably wouldn’t get it. I get there was someone out there who broke the system and abused it for such a policy to be made. And I respect that! Cause I know with out a doubt that I would do the same thing if I had a similar program.
But for a non profit run out of a church, I think I’m bothered more by the fact that this lady didn’t offer me a gentle tone. She didn’t ask if I had someone who I could send in my place as a solution to my dilema, she merely assumed. She doesn’t know my story, she doesn’t know that it kills me to ask for a hand out, but my kids are that important to me, that I will risk my “ego” and find a way to feed them.
So while I do respect them for following policy, I’m deeply hurt by the attitude I was given, leaving me to feel as though it was my fault that I can’t afford my own food right now, not because I’m in a sense a single mom while my husband is a way for awhile.
So, please remember to be kind and gentle when needing to keep your policies intact. A smile and a gentle tone can go a long way. It can show that while you understand policies are not always fair, you still need to adhere to them and give us the Why behind it. Don’t bark at someone with an alternative and expect it be graciously accepted as their only option.
In that moment, I lost a small amount of faith, in the humanity of my area, lost faith that I can and will survive this alone, lost faith in the programs mission.