OP-ED: What was the lady thinking?

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, January 6, 2021

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Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

A woman at a store, which will be left unnamed because it is not relevant, witnessed a young man place a half gallon of ice cream on a trolley the workers were using to return items.

She said something to the effect of disbelief he would do something so rude.

As she relayed the story to me, I saw her side.

If the worker did not see it soon or did not return for a couple of hours, the ice cream would melt and ruin everything on the trolley. Not only would the employee have more work to do because someone was too lazy to at least leave it in the refrigerated section of the store, but all the goods underneath the ice cream would have to be marked off as a loss because who is going to buy a can of beans with water marks all over the outside? I know I would not. How am I to know it was due to a kid not wanting to make a few extra steps to return the ice cream to a colder section of the store? I would look at it and consider the possibility of severe temperature changes would could cause the contents to be unsafe to partake in.

The action causes the cost of goods to go up at the store because it is a business and needs to recoup the loss. Essentially one is stealing from the business because they damaged goods and did not pay for said damages.

Imagine if every one did this. A gallon of milk here, a pound of meat there, a package of raw chicken in the candy aisle, a can of frozen juice in the bread section.

What a mess! The loss of a few cans of beans or corn suddenly because so much more when you start adding up the loss the store experiences from such an action.

So, yes, it was easy to see the first lady’s reaction with her comment of the action being rude.

But the part that got me was not her reaction but another woman’s reaction.

As the young man made his way back to the cart and towards a woman there, that woman looked at the first lady and said, “Wah, wah, wah.”

Yes, that is what our society has digressed too.

There was a time when as a community we would expect someone to correct our child if they witnessed them doing something inappropriate and wrong. Now, every child deserves a trophy and how dare you insinuate that the child is anything but a perfect angel because we all know it is never our child that makes the mistake, it is always someone else’s child.

What has that gotten us? Grown women saying “Wah, wah, wah.”

So, no flying cars, no Rosie the robot maids and women who think the legitimate grown-up response is “Wah, wah, wah.”

2021 will be a better year because I can laugh at this story at it was relayed to me. As long as we can laugh, there is hope of better days ahead.

In the meantime, consider how much you dislike it when people create extra work for you and treat those store employees with the same consideration. After all, they are the same ones who stocked the toilet paper and cleaning wipes as fast as it was delivered to the stores. Without them, 2020 would have been a whole lot worse. Just imagine if they had all decided the risk was not worth it and stayed home. You would have missed more than just toilet paper then.

But I will stop with my “Wah, wah, wah” and take a moment to smile behind the mask as we all move forward.

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com