Friday, January 11, 2013
Today, I saw a man at least half of DJ's age with a sign stating, "Hungry! Need money." He was there when I dropped the kids off for school and was still there when I picked them up from school. I purposely went to the outside lane to speak with the boy. I told him of several places in town hiring, most of which are restaurants, and I offered to feed him at McDonald's or Taco Bueno, both were very close. He said he refuses to work a minimum wage job.
I asked if he would rather sit on the side of the road longer than a shift of work only to be bypassed time and time again by people who bust their asses every day, and many of which work for minimum wage. (I should tell you this is not the first time I have seen him out on the street all day.) He said, "Minimum wage jobs are for losers, and I'm not a loser. Just give me the money and leave."
I told him if he was not willing to go eat, then he must not be too hungry. I would give him food but no money. He replied, "Fine, go, b*tch!"
I wish I could have helped him, but he had all the signs of meth use. Yes, I have been thoroughly trained in recognizing the signs of meth use. I will never support anyone's drug habits.
Furthermore, it is difficult to give money to someone perfectly capable of working. The boy looks to be in his early twenties, at least half of our age. He looks to have no disability, which can be proven just at a glance of the bag he carries on his back.
All the while, DJ is fairly disabled and still insists on going to work everyday to support his family. At times, he walks with a limp because of the pain, but he still crawls under cars, in and out of cars, and works on cars. There are times that DJ cannot walk because his back is so twisted, but he seldom misses work. DJ's doctor never says, if you become paralyzed. Instead, he says, "When you are paralyzed, you'll be a candidate for surgery."
And this poor misguided child would rather beg for money than support himself. My heart is conflicted when I think of a boy that young getting mixed up in drugs.
Today, I felt the sting of higher taxes. DJ's check was $15 shorter than usual. That's $30/month and $390/year. I know that may not seem as much to many of you; but when you only have about $20/paycheck for in-between paychecks necessities (milk, medicine for Dyl, and bread) left after paying bills, gassing up the vehicles, paying medical cost, and groceries, then that is a lot. It's the difference of not having enough to sustain good health of the children and having enough to sustain their health. On top of all else, the cost of living is going up, rent will be higher, and DJ hasn't had a raise in over three years. Oh well, that just means more cutbacks at home. I don't know where to cut though. Suggestions?