A day rarely goes by when I don't remind myself how lucky I am. I was able to go to college, get a professional degree and work continuously in my profession, even with all its frustrations. I have never had to worry about supporting myself or about finding a job. I make good money and I never take this for granted. But in my pharmacy career I've worked with many people who live paycheck to paycheck, and many of the technicians I've worked with have been single moms who just barely scrape by every week. I feel guilty when I hear them talk about not being able to buy things for their kids. These are some really good workers who I depend on to help me, and there's no way they would rather be receiving unemployment or welfare. They come in every day and work hard and know exactly when that paycheck will show up in their account.
A technician once told me that she and her son had used the food bank for a time, and it helped her get back on her feet. Another one told me that a pharmacist she worked with had loaned her several hundred dollars to get over a rough patch --- the pharmacist just said, "You need it, I've got it, just take it."
I don't want to get political, because (a) I'm not smart enough, and (b) if you get political these days, you will alienate 50% of the people in the room. But there are a lot of good people out there struggling, and I really hope things will get better for them. We are told that the gap between rich and poor is ever-widening in this country, and that's not America. I believe in personal responsibility and obeying the law. I also believe that if a Category 4 hurricane destroys your town it's not your fault, and that the richest country in the world should be able to lend you a hand. I wish kids didn't have to pay the penalty for their parents' stupidity, and I wish the parents were never stupid. We've got to get smart in this country --- no more sneering at the experts, no more cowboy-redneck stuff, no more smirking at someone who 'went to Harvard.'
I guess what started this was that one of my clerks told me she was looking for a second job and all she could find was a job working overnight in a convenience store, alone, for 7 dollars an hour.
It just bothered me and made me realize again how lucky I am, even as I whine and complain about the ups and downs of the crazy pharmacy biz.