What the hell was up this year?
I mean, where in the hell were all your bell ringers...?
I totally am compelled to shove at least a folded buck into each and every red bucket I see when I walk out of a store..
And for some reason there were not many red buckets out this year.
Filling each bucket I see adds up to quite a nice amount (from ME alone) for the Salvation Army.
I walk in and out of a lot of stores each holiday season.
Salvation Army bell ringers earn minimum wage (maybe less) and sometimes they are volunteers..
Trouble's grandmother worked as a volunteer ringer on one of the coldest days Michigan has ever known (last year).
It seems like they get the most cheerful, humble people to ring the bell.
I'm not gonna lie, from the bell ringer I expect a payback of some sort when I toss in my folded dollar.. in addition to the back pat I give myself I want something from them..
a "thank you"
a "Merry Christmas"
a "God bless you"...
something, anything to acknowledge my gift.
And I've never been disappointed, until this season.
They sent a dud to the store I frequent most.
Not just a dud, the man they sent to my local Kroger had no angel on his shoulder... he had a boulder sized chip.
And a cell phone
and a texting problem
complete with what appeared to be a personality defect.
On top of that, he didn't give a shit...
My Kroger store has an entrance that is attached to the exit... an open area (where the carts are stored) separate the two...
so each and every time I walked in, I could see him.
Often times he'd be standing with his back to the bucket, punching little buttons on his phone.
Some days I'd see him sitting on a shelf, hiding behind the crane machine, fiddling with his phone.
Other days, I'd see his bucket... but no sign of him.
I'd look for him and I'd find him sitting on the curb smokin a smoke, doing what else? hitting buttons.
The one and only time I shoved in my share he didn't even move a facial muscle.
or open his mouth... (of course his fingers were a movin across the key board of his phone...)
One day when following a wobbly old woman out of Kroger's, a bill clutched between her weathered, bony fingers, she paused, then struggled to get it into the small, cross shaped opening into the red bucket, I was stopped behind her and forced to watch her work in order to donate.
The Bell Ringer thoughtfully moved his phone to his other hand... and helped her shove it in.
He then went right back to his cell phone texting conversation... or maybe it was an intense game of Angry Birds...what-evvvvv-er
"HEY BUDDY...how bout a "THANKS" and a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" for this lady...???"
some crazy person (me) yelled.
He mumbled something and tucked himself back into the spot behind the crane machine.
I would love to be privvy to the knowledge of what the Salvation Army's take was from that one particular bucket spot...
I am 100% positive they suffered a loss from previous years.
In this case, that loss had NOTHING to do with a poor economy and everything to do with a poor hiring and follow up process...
Dear Salvation Army...please send us a good one next year, needy people are counting on you.