The other morning I needed to pick up several prescriptions and a few other expensive items at the local pharmacy. I was feeling a bit down at the amount of money I was getting ready to spend. I also couldn’t find one of the items I needed, so I waited in line for about five minutes, to ask if they knew where I could find it, and they did not, but called a manager over who offered to show me where to look. I assumed I wouldn’t have to wait in line again, but the guy went ahead and started waiting on someone else, and by the time I got back, there were two other people ahead of me. So now I am a bit irritated and not happy about waiting again, in addition to how much money this was going to cost me.
There was a woman in front of me with a shopping cart full of stuff. I wondered why she was planning on ringing all of that up at the pharmacy, when she turned around and asked me if I just needed to pick up prescriptions. I said no I have a couple of other things to get also. She started to talk to me and what she had to say, put my negative thoughts to shame.
She did not have a prescription to pick up, but the lady that worked up front was not very nice and she had a bunch of coupons, and rewards bucks the pharmacy offers, and said she didn’t want to deal with her. She must have thought they would be more patient at the pharmacy counter. She explained that she was "lucky" enough to have found a five dollar bill in her pocket book and that she only had $30 in her checking account. I wondered why she would be telling me all of this, and responded appropriately, with “Oh I am sorry to hear that.” or something along those lines.
She said she had run into some hard times and that they were having to claim bankruptcy, had already lost their cars, and she was fearful they would lose their home. She explained that a neighbor had loaned her their car and after this store, she would be going to the food bank. She said that her husband wanted to throw her out and she had no idea what she would do, as she is ill with a rare genetic disorder and has no medical insurance. She said that she was not even a US citizen, but moved here 18 years ago from Canada and married her husband. She explained that she didn’t know why her husband said he didn’t want her anymore, especially after she forgave him for cheating. The worst part she said, is that they just found out her daughter has the same genetic illness and she has no insurance either.
The cashier that she ended up with was annoyed that she was not picking up a prescription and that she wanted to purchase a cartload of items at the pharmacy, with a bunch of coupons and reward bucks, that she dropped several times, along with her groceries. She kept dropping everything, and rattled on to him about her troubles. I think she was nervous and knew she wouldn’t be able to use most of the coupons she had. I helped her to pick up a couple of things she dropped, before they opened another register and I walked over to it.
While I was waiting for my prescriptions to be rung up, I heard the cashier telling her that she couldn’t use some of the rewards that she had, and that some of the coupons were expired. She said she would have to put those things back. I lost track of what was going on with her, as I was interacting with my cashier and signing, and answering questions. When my total came up, it was high, but I wasn’t irritated anymore, I was grateful to have the money to pay for it.
When I was done, I hurried out, I had to be somewhere and had spent about a half an hour already. I thought about her throughout the day though. I don’t know how much she said was true, but even if it was only a fraction, it was a pretty bad situation she was in. I told my husband the story that night and he said it sounded to him like she may have been a drug addict. I don’t know, he might be right, but no matter what, she really made me appreciate the life that I have, and hopefully I will think twice the next time those “poor me” thoughts try to find their way back in.