My sister Nelle was shopping at one of her favorite discount stores recently.  One of Nelle’s mantras is “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping”…even if it isn’t tough she enjoys puttering around and finding clothing she likes, taking them home for a second look, and bringing them back if they don’t work with the rest of her wardrobe.  Anyway, when she tried to back up her basket, her foot gave way and she sat down hard on her kiester!   

Although not injured physically, it was somewhat embarrassing.  People rushed over to help her up and even though she told them that nothing was hurt or broken, the manager insisted she speak to the EMTs and police officers.  

As Nelle tells it, five tall handsome young men approached and she thoroughly enjoyed talking to them.  After assuring the store manager she didn’t need a hospital and was definitely not going to sue, a check out manager escorted her to an empty register.

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 “How about a drink of water after your ordeal?” asked the young woman.  Nelle accepted what seemed a really nice gesture. After paying the bill she got into her car and glanced at the receipt.  There, in bold letters, was ‘one bottle of water, 99 cents’!  

This store should be sued not for her fall, but for their bad manners and poor taste.  Don’t you agree?

I read recently where a supermarket was selling out-of-date food for half price to unsuspecting customers.  When you deal with a store for a long time you begin to trust them.  The customers would just feel they were being given a bonus and never question or look at the ‘use by’ date.  They were taken advantage of and never suspected it.

If even one person became ill, it would be too many.  We just don’t seem to care about each other any more…at least not on a large scale.

To be fair, I will also illustrate the other side. We can still find people like my next door neighbor John.  He’s a retired cop and I’m sure, since my son is also a retired cop also, that he has seen the dregs of society at their worst.

John has offered to help me out in any way, should I need him.  He even goes so far as to move the morning newspaper close to my door and save me trying to reach where the paperboy flings it.  I’m sure, when John was a police officer, he would have offered my sister a glass of water and made sure she was not charged the 99 cents.

Then there’s Suzanne, a physical therapist, who works with many Seasoned Citizens to keep their muscles toned and their blood flowing.  She takes the time to understand her clients’ psyches as well as their bodies.  I have known her to stay overtime with a patient who had a problem unrelated to their hours together; to help with household chores when the need arises; to just ‘be there’ and talk or listen…all not part of her actual job.

We must all try to emulate people like John and Suzanne.  They are the true definition of what a person should and could be, given a little thoughtfulness.

Which brings me back to my sister’s incident.  It isn’t the 99 cents that bothers me, it’s the idea that no one saw the irony in charging it. 

Contact Adrienne at: Ergosum1@comcast.net