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  • Writer's pictureM. Virginia Southworth

No Sense of Entitlement

I did my usual shift at the restaurant attempting to remove all the dirty dishes from my tables. I could not get to all of them. Tyler, the busser , came to my assistance. He is a very. hardworking fellow. Never mind the tattoos and the ear plugs or long hair, Tyler is right there cleaning all the tables and bringing the dirty dishes back to the dishwashing station. As he was mopping the floor later, he told me how he was looking forward to his walk home.

"Where do you live?" I asked.

"I live in South Utica. I think that I will stop and pick up a sub sandwich on my way home. I want something other than pasta."

"Oh that sounds good."

Then I asked if he drives, and he told me that he walks to and from work. It is five miles each way.

I was flabbergasted.

"Oh I don't mind. It is a time to clear my head. Plus, I put my headphones on and listen to music."

It takes him a good hour and it has been very cold lately not to mention it being dark and then walking along the road. I hope he has something reflective to wear.

I thought that I would offer him a lift home. Then Michelle, the hostess told me that she already offered him a ride. She said that he prefers to walk.

"Blimey!" As they say across the pond.

So I did my usual stops to the two nearby super markets on my way home. It is pretty much self serve check out. Of course there is someone there to assist in case one has coupons or is having trouble putting the form of payment in the kiosk.

On this night, there was a sweet boy with red hair that fell to his shoulders. He is kind of pale looking. I asked him, "Did they say the store was closing in fifteen minutes?"

"No, we are open until eleven. I wish it was at 10:30 and then I could get home that much sooner.

"I thought it was eleven. I guess I heard it wrong over the intercom. Well, do you have far to go?"

"I am walking. I live next to the New Hartford Library."

"How old are you?"

"I am eighteen."

"You are the same age as my son. Of course he is still in school."

"I am in school too."

"Do you mean that you have to get up to go to school tomorrow?"

Then I asked him how often he works. He told me five evenings a week. He said that sometimes he takes an Uber, but he is waiting for his paycheck. Therefore, he would be walking almost the same distance as Tyler.

"Listen," I said, "I have to run next door to Hannaford. Why don't I pick you up when your shift is done at 11. I can drop you off so you don't have to walk. After all, it is cold out."

He told me that he had a warm coat and that it was okay. I knew that I would not be resting well that night. To think this fellow who is my son's age would be walking in the dark, cold night close to five miles to get home only to have to get up early the following morning for school was more than I could bear.

He had seen me in the store before so I am sure he trusted me. Then, he added,

"It's okay. I grew up poor, and I am used to hardship."

Gosh, this broke my heart. Some people have life so hard. I am used to waiting on people and a lot of them come in with an attitude of entitlement. No sense of entitlement here with these lads. God Bless them.

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