Friday, December 19, 2008

"Welcome Homes" at Walmart

Today was an interesting day. The whole focus of my day was my Two O'Clock Job Interview - my first legitimate job interview I've had since being laid off on 10/31/08. Off to Great Clips I went for the El Cheapo Hair Trim Special, then home for lunch. Ran back out to the Wonderful World of Wal-Mart to utilize a recently-acquired gift card in order to find something Interview-Worthy On Sale (the rest of the recently-acquired gift cards went to substantial amounts of food for the family, that we were almost out of!). The idea of fighting my way thru a sea of "Walmartians" less than a week before Christmas was NOT a pleasant one, but... there just wasn't an option, as I literally did NOT have anything suitable to wear to an interview... Not just sayin' that, I'm serious. However, my El Cheapo Shopping Spree turned out to be so worth it! (Before you get all happy, no, the job is a no-go. Oh, I rank high in his top contenders list in every way - I have a feeling I'll almost certainly get a job offer...BUT it only pays $10 an hour. After taxes and whatnot...I'd be bringing home the same, if not less, than what I get for unemployment each week. And if we aren't able to pay the mortgage NOW, no way would we be able to pay it if I had a job making exactly what I'm getting now... which sux, this place was only 4 miles from my home! but whatever... God is in control!)

I was blessed with a ridiculously good, close parking spot, and started to walk towards the entrance. As I got close to the door, I spotted camouflage! There just so happened to be a soldier standing right across from the Salvation Army bell-ringer guy - waiting for his family or friends or whatever to make their way from their car to meet him at the entrance! Home for Christmas leave, I supposed. I had the chance to thank him for his service and wish him a Merry Christmas. :-) OK, cool, trip to Walmartia off to a good start!

I zipped over to the plus-size section (Good grief, WHY are almost all fat clothes SO freakin' UGLY?!) and quickly found an actual DECENT black pantsuit, inexpensive, and in my size. Yes, a Christmas miracle indeed. :)

I wandered by the shoe section (I'm not a shoe-aholic, honest I'm not... er, um, well, OK, maybe I am, but that's beside the point, I needed non-doggie-chewed shoes for The Interview and Future Interviews...) and as I was drooling over a gorgeous (but out-of-price-range) pair of boots, I heard a voice say, "Thank you, ma'am! Thank you very much!"

Startled, I looked up and saw a kindly older gentleman smiling at me. In about half a mili-second, I remembered I was wearing my "WELCOME HOME VIETNAM VETERANS" t-shirt (see picture above - that's the front - the back has a map of Vietnam, along with the years of the war and a big WELCOME HOME! written on the back, as well). I told him, "No, thank YOU for your service, and welcome home!!" He said he truly appreciated it -- they didn't get much by way of Welcome Home back when they came home. I told him that's why I made sure to say it now, every chance I get. And he was just so happy to have gotten a welcome home and a thank you, after all this time...

The whole conversation was maybe 30 seconds or so. I finished my shopping quickly and in order to get on home to change before The Interview.

But it sure was hard to shop when everything was all blurry and my glasses were wet!

I may not have gotten a job today - but I got something far more valuable in the grand scheme of things... the chance to say "Thank You" to two different generations of our Nation's Finest Heroes - one of whom was grossly overdue for his Thank You and Welcome Home. And that made it all worthwhile.

God bless America.


k said...

What a fabulous t-shirt. I WANT one. I'll keep my eyes open.

Georgia Blogger