Some of the subject matter that I have in my bag full of tricks is; Facebook once again, gratuities, Starbucks and children, my addiction to the computer and a few others, but I have to start with my most current thought of today. Making a living, or "the things that we are reduced to do for cash compensation". Okay, so why today? It’s not like this is new territory for me. But when I saw the human billboard, a scary costumed adult waving the “Halloween Costume Outlet” store sign on busy I-80, in temperatures exceeding 88 degrees (I can imagine how hot he was inside the ridiculous costume they had him wearing), I couldn’t help feel sad. And I wondered how he/she felt. No doubt extremely happy that they were in full body armor so as not to be recognized. I can't help but feel bad for the man in the chicken costume outside the fried chicken fast food restaurant, or the people out waving those stupid “Open House” signs that are hired to be in constant motion. Dance, move, wave, do whatever you can do to get the moron in the car driving by to look at you. Now that in itself should be unlawful. Like we don’t have enough to watch out for. I almost caused an accident pulling over to give the crazy dancer a $20 after I saw the car ahead throw a piece of what I'm guessing to be rotting fruit at him. He is an incredible dancer, I've seen him week after week - if I would of had an extra $100 I would have given it to him– he so deserved it! Now I know these people are making the “big money” out there (minimum wage) and sure, they should be grateful they have a job, but I do know a thing or two about what it costs to live, and I’m assuming you do too, and they aren’t making enough to live. So they have to supplement. Somehow. And these aren’t just high school kids with a part-time job to earn a little extra spending money. I’ve seen men older than me out shaking their bootie on the street corner with the Domino’s sign. And I didn’t see a whole lot of joy in their face. My guess is that they weren’t doing it because they were simply “bored” with their retirement and needed something to do.
I started thinking about how at one time not that many years ago, we all had something that we could do, that we were good at. Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Smith (blacksmith), Mr. Hunter, Mr. Baker, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Barber and it goes on and on. They could barter their wares or their services. Some grew corn, some made pretty beads. It was a fair exchange. Especially if you like beads :) Today it seems the majority of us never get to really find out what we are good at. Or what makes our heart sing. Or at least what makes us feel somewhat fulfilled and appreciated for the services we can provide. We get pushed into working and then get stuck in the muck. Vicious cycle. Not everyone has the same opportunities and I am sick of hearing people say that “everyone has the same opportunity”. We have no idea what that someone in the Chicken costume has been through in his life, how his cards have been dealt and played out and what obligations or circumstances he has had to endure.
We only have so much time here on this earth, and it really isn’t that much time at all. It just seems so sad to have to spend the majority of your time wearing a stupid outfit, getting paid a very low wage, which usually in turn means no benefits, and then going home only to get up and go do it again the next day. Talk about killing the human spirit.
I am not writing about this to argue any point, the old, “not everyone can be a doctor you know, someone has to take out the trash” point – yes, that I can appreciate. It is just that isn’t one service virtually as important as the next? Yes, I need a doctor when I’m sick. But I need farm workers daily so I can eat, I need garbage men weekly to take all of my disgusting waste somewhere far far from me (heaven only knows where that is), and I need someone very talented to make my shoes (preferably of Italian descent). Every one of those services is priceless if all of a sudden there is no one there to do them. And in my very small world, I don't know any Mr. Weavers or Mr. Shoemakers to barter with. It would just be nice to see some respect for a job well done, whatever that "job" may be.