Friday, November 20, 2009

My name is Ruth...

...and I am an assertive person!!

Be forewarned...this is a therapy post (so I can hopefully go to bed).

Today was a regular day, tonight was school, like normal. We got to do a lot of practical tonight which makes learning so much easier for me. Lots of fun...

I get home and head out to get a sub (our treat every 2 weeks). Now, normally I would bug Pete to go and get the subs. I hate ordering food...but for whatever reason I just went. I didn't bug, just went.

Things happen for reasons. We are in places for reasons sometimes. We don't always know why, but I believe that everything is set in place, for reasons...maybe I am crazy? I will let you decide.
So, off I went to Subway. There were 2 people in front of me, just finishing their order. I head up and order my 5 (yes, we go big;-) subs (they are only $5 each now;-).

The lady is smaller then me and doesn't speak english very well. She is very nice and we have gotten to know her a little (sad, I know...).

She was just finishing up the first 3 sandwiches when 2 men came into the store. They were a little sketchy looking. The one who came up to the counter, right beside me, was wearing this wool shawl, type poncho. I was getting nervous, I couldn't see his hands and my gut was just very unsettled (and we all know about that feeling, right?) I couldn't shake the thought that there may be a gun...when you can't see hands in certain situations, you do wonder these things...

The lady just carried on and brought over the next 2 subs to finish off. She got partway through (2 toppings) when the man came right up to the counter and asked her if she could give him bills in exchange for his change.

I misread her body language...I thought she was asking me, with her eyes, if it was ok for me to wait while she dealt with him. So I said go ahead if you need to, I didn't mind waiting.

The guy took that as, yes she could do it. She asked him how much change. He didn't answer. He just started dumping his change out on the counter. It was not a little was dimes, nickles and quarters...$20 worth.

She looked at him and said no, she couldn't make the change for him. He didn't seem to hear her at first and kept counting the money. She said no again and he said "what, you make me empty all my change out and now you can't give me any bills?" I spoke up and said that maybe she thought he had it rolled already. Maybe it was against store policy. I suggested the other open locations in the area. He continued muttering to himself and counting out $20.

She again said "no, sorry, no" and he was like "everyone always says sorry, no one means it. All I need is a $20 bill. I can't get into the shelter with the change."

I spoke up then...I told him that the money was money. The shelter shouldn't have a problem taking the change. (I know that the shelter probably doesn't ask for money at all...) He started getting agitated and up til this point hadn't looked me or the lady in the eye. After I made the statement about the shelter, he leaned forward towards me, stared me straight in the eye (I have never really seen someone strung out...I believe I did tonight) and started to raise his voice.

He started talking about how he was homeless, and we didn't know what that was like. I agreed with him...I really don't know what it is like. He said that he was hungry and tired and couldn't keep going on. No one in Canada cares about anyone else. We are all out for ourselves. I agreed with him again. I said it sucked, but that was right.

Then he asks again for change. I said that she had already said no. He needed to listen to her. Then he said, the change is Canadian, I helped her come over to Canada and she can't even help me out with change. And he was one cares though. I said that the weight of the world doesn't rest on mine or her shoulders and there was no way that we could help him out.

That is when I was done...something rose up in me...I told him that he needed to leave, or she was going to call the police for harassment. He said no, don't do that. He wasn't harassing her. I said that he was, when she said no and he continued to bug about the money, that was harassment. I again said that she was going to call the police and they would deal with him instead.

That was when his friend told him to get his change and his bag and they would leave.

There were other things that I said, but I can't process it all right now.

The interac machine wouldn't take my card...and I knew that I had to go to the other store to get cash back. These guys were in that parking lot. There was no way that I was going to get out of the van with them walking around me...

So, I drove home and picked up Pete...he dropped me at the door and I jumped back in, after warning the store about the guys. We went and paid and the lady thanked me profusely for being there. I was prepared to stay until closing just to make sure she was safe...but someone else had come in after me, and it was close to closing.

My adrenaline is flowing!! I have never done that before. I feel good that I was able to help someone out. She froze. I stepped in...

There is a reason things happen the way they do. Had I sent Pete I would never have had that opportunity to speak up and stand up for someone else.

Wow...what a night!!
(One of the few pics I will put up of me:-)


  1. Wow Ruth! I don't have words!

  2. Oh, wow. Good for you for standing up. I would have been scared to death!

    I love the picture by the way, Pretty Lady!

  3. Wow is right, I would have been hot and sweating and wanting to run. :-) and yes, I really like that photo of you, although the one with crackers in your eyes is also a favourite of mine. lol