Throughout my college career, I have had my share of part-time jobs. I mean, what college student hasn't?
I have worked as a babysitter, camp counselor, office manager and as a cashier at Red Mango. However, by far the job that has been the most challenging and has made me so glad that this part-time job is not my career has been working as a sampler at a local Costco.
Working there I have seen humans act like animals - grabbing samples for themselves and all of their children, leaving no samples for the crowd behind them, looking out of the corner of their eye for samples that they could pounces on and being downright greedy. Some individuals come to Costco just for lunch, eating at every sampling station without buying anything. There has been so many times that I have just wanted to yell at certain greedy Costco members. I wanted to tell them this is not lunch, it's a sample, stop complaining if you don't like it, it's not like you're paying for it.
But, I refrained because I realized that I wanted to keep my job.
One day, I was talking to one of my co-workers named Nessie. I told her all of the things I have mentioned above. However, after hearing her explanation why certain customers act the way they do, I gained a whole new perspective.
She told me that before she had the same attitude that I did, however, she realized that some people really don't have money to eat lunch and are suffering because of the economy. Costco is a place that they can come and get small snacks for themselves as well as for their kids.
I looked at her and said but in order to get into Costco you have to have a card which cost money. She replied that many sneak in or use family members' cards.
I went home that day thinking just how hard it must be for some people, dealing with the current state of this economy. Yes, certain politicians and economists say that the economy has gotten better, but tell that to someone that is still struggling to find a job or does not have enough food to feed their children. The composition of those falling on hard times is changing; it's not just bums, junkies or those who just refuse to work. It's now middle class citizens who have lost their source of income.
Now, I will never support individuals that have more than enough money to buy food act like animals at Costco sampling stations, but I understand that there are some that are struggling. These samples may be all they have to feed their families.
Briana Knox is a senior journalism major from South Orange, NJ. She can be reached at email@example.com.