I am truly fed up with the rudeness and lack of respect that has taken over this country. Last week, I spent about an hour doing errands to Sam’s Club, Walmart, a couple other stores, and everywhere I looked, there were unruly children, parents cussing at their children, children cussing back and laughing at and with their parents over their behavior. At first, it made me mad – that I had to listen to this stuff just by going to the store – and then it made me sad, sad that so many children are being raised without a clue as to what proper behavior is. Makes you wonder about the next generation, doesn’t it? My grandmother used to be a total clean freak, then my mom was a normal clean freak, then I am a fairly clean person but certainly not a freak….and we laugh about how the trickle-down is going to leave the grandchildren not knowing that you truly DO have to move the couch twice a year to sweep under and within it….
Following the errand/cussing day, I had to go to Kroger very early one morning for food for a focus group, and while there, I wanted to purchase some Amazon gift cards. You know, all part of my “scheme” to get charge card points and Kroger fuel points while spending for the business. So I needed $4,000 in gift cards to buy new cameras and high-def equipment for our building, and you can only buy the Amazon cards in increments of $500. I get my required amount and go to check out. My card is declined. I try to use another card – declined. By this point, I’m embarrassed, and I know it’s not my cards truly being declined, as I knew my limits and my balance, and I should have been good to go.
And yes, people were waiting behind me. I tell the clerk I don’t think it’s my card, but usually if you buy very much on those Amazon cards, they want your driver’s license. I offer my license; she says that’s not it. By this time, a manager has come over. They believe it’s that you can only charge so many of those cards at a time, and they think the level is $2,000. We start over, cancelling out the cards, then re-ringing up to $2,000. That doesn’t work. And yes, this is taking some time, and I am really needing to get to work. They tell me they think that I can only do one of these transactions per day, so I can’t get all the cards. I really needed to get the cameras ordered, so I call Tara, my office manager, to see if she can stop by Kroger on her way to work to use her card for the other ones. She’s already at work. Back to square one.
Another manager comes over – they believe the limit is $1500. We start over again. We charge the $1500, try my company charge card, and it’s declined. Use my regular charge card and it works. This “quick check-out” takes probably close to 30 minutes. By the time I’m done, I head out with my groceries and it’s begun to drizzle outside. I’m in a suit, high heels, the works. I have to unload five cases of water and ten cases of pop into the car, all dressed up, in the rain. And this is when the “character” test comes. There is an empty spot right beside where I parked, and the buggy spot is a short walk away. I begin to debate it – I’ve already been humiliated, now late for when I promised I’d be at the office, it’s raining, I have on high heels…you know the drill. Excuses for why I don’t want to do the right thing. And I know – I’m stretching to say this is a moral dilemma – but to me, I’ve been taught to be considerate and try to do the right thing, which includes putting your buggy up. I am proud to announce that I chose well – LOL – and I walked in the rain and put my buggy where it was supposed to be! This is making me laugh now, but it wasn’t at the time.
What I began to think of as I drove away is: Was that a character test? What is a reflection of true character? Is it the small things, like getting in the potatoe chips late at night and leaving the bag wide open (TOM EVANS!!!), or is it only the large things, the telling of truth when you’d rather tell a lie, the loving on those who don’t smell well or speak nice or look clean? Someone told me something someone had done this week, and they followed it up with “and they’re supposed to be a Christian!” Oh, and these are the times that my heart is broken! I would never want someone to say that of me, after they’ve seen me do or say something that is not Christlike.
I’d love to hear your definition of character (big or small), if you’d care to share! Lord, give us more of you and less of us!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.