But what about the stupid people?

There is a certain faction in this country that decries helping those who are poorest among us. They don’t want to offer those less fortunate food assistance or provide adequate medical care. The battle cry is “get a job” or “pull up them boot straps.”

That’s all well and good but I have always wondered, what about those who are too stupid to do any better? Laziness is one thing, and children should never go without food or medicine because their loser parents brought them into this world when they had no means to care for them, but what about the just plain dumb? Not everyone can be a rocket scientist.

It is one of the Universe’s great ironies that many of the working-poor who are dull witted are the very ones decrying public assistance for other dumb people, but I digress.

I recently took my daughter to a fast food restaurant called “Zaxbys.” The grilled chicken on my child’s salad was horrible and she wanted something else to eat so I went back up to the counter to order her a kid’s meal, which included a beverage. Drink choices ranged from milk and juice to soda. I asked for a soda cup to get the self-serve drink from the fountain.

I was told, “If I give you a 12-ounce cup, that will be .50 more.” Not understanding, I said, as I pointed towards the menu board, “but a drink is included.” And she said, “Yes, but we are out of kid’s size drink cups.”

And I said, “You are out of the correct size cup, so you are going to charge me the difference to give me a cup that I can put my drink in?”

Her answer: “Yes.”

To which I said, “Do you not see a problem with that?”

Her answer: “No.”

At this point, the cashier beside her said, “Just give her a water cup.” Now, I had just gotten two water cups earlier and knew that they charged for them, so that is how they inventory, and just giving one away would be a big no-no, and as she was getting one, I explained to her very carefully, “see when you offer something for a certain price, and you run out of supplies to provide that, I should not be the one penalized financially for your inventory problems.”

At this point, a manager – keep in mind, this is a woman who has been promoted to a position of authority over these cashiers, presumably because she was deemed of a sufficiently higher level of intelligence – came over to assist the girl in voiding a cost for the water cup, and who also took a moment to use a pen to draw a line about a third of the way up on the water cup.

Are you there yet? Well, I wasn’t, so I said, “So what is the line for?” – thinking maybe it was so that if an employee saw soda in a water cup they knew it had been authorized by the manager’s ink line. And she said, “Because that is the size of the children’s cup” and as I swiveled my head around looking for the hidden camera, I whispered in near disbelief, “but don’t you have free refills?”

The other cashier who suddenly had a dim, low-wattage bulb go off above her head, got my point, and tried to shoo me away, saying, “You can fill it up as much as you want.” But I just couldn’t let this go. So I reiterated, “But if you have free re-fills, why would it matter” and the cashier said, “that’s why she is (now) telling you that you can fill it up as much as you want.” “I know,” I said, “I’m just wondering why we are having this conversation in the first place.”

I wasn’t upset by this exchange – though I am horrified enough by the quality of the chicken and the cost of a water cup that I plan for it to be many, many years before I darken the door of a “Zaxbys” again – but I was just flabbergasted. I don’t know how people this stupid can dress themselves.

These three women are hard-working and I admire the fact that they have a job, but based on the average pay in the fast food industry, they are most likely living below the poverty line and probably require some public assistance with food, housing and healthcare costs, and how can we deny them that?

The fact that they are not intelligent doesn’t mean that they are bad people. Or incapable of love. Or that they wouldn’t make a good pet owner (after some basic training). They are still people, human beings, and as such we are obligated to care for them.

So the next time, you hear some yokel talk about every man, woman and child for themselves, ask them about the stupid people.

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About reneadijab

Renea Dijab

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