20 Responses to “Is this what we’ve come to?”

  1. Mandy M. Roth June 12, 2008 at 5:55 PM #



    (rinse and repeat)

    We were at Borders today and two boys about my oldest son’s age (14) were there. They really wanted a Beatles CD but it rang up for .18 cents more than they had on them. They walked away to call their mom. I took out a buck and handed it to the cashier. The boys would NOT stop thanking me. They were so polite and kept saying that was so nice of you.

  2. Wandering Chopsticks June 12, 2008 at 6:22 PM #

    That’s just unbelievable!

    About a decade ago when they were cutting welfare benefits to transition over to the welfare to work program, I remember a woman profiled in the paper who refused to get a job despite the reduction in benefits and what that would mean for her kids. She planned to sit at home and become a “romance novelist.” As if big publishing houses would just come knocking on her door, especially given that she didn’t bother actually writing anything either.

    Wandering Chopstickss last blog post..San Gabriel Superstore – San Gabriel

  3. Eve Vaughn June 12, 2008 at 6:29 PM #


    You’re so much nicer than me, Angie. I would have asked for that 1.52 back. It’s the principle. Sounds like this woman will be living off the system for years to come. I do wonder about humanity sometimes myself. But on a brighter note, I volunteer with children and if some of the children I’ve worked with are examples of the future, I think we’ll be okay. 🙂

  4. Annmarie June 12, 2008 at 6:46 PM #

    The sense of entitlement that some people have astounds me. They get so many benefits paid by MY tax dollars and yet they resent me for what I work hard for. They think *I* am lucky. Lucky my ass. I work for what I have. I work HARD for what I have.

    Stories like yours make me so freaking mad I want to stomp my foot and scream. I bet she is sitting at home right now dissing you for paying her $1.52

    Annmaries last blog post..Thursday Thirteen: 13 things in the back seat of my car.

  5. sandy l June 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM #

    Wal Mart is always an interesting experience, although ours became less interesting when they built another Wal Mart in WV. There are still days, however, when I come out of Wal Mart feeling overwhelmed. I feel the need to sit in a dark room alone.

  6. Maria June 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM #

    I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but in the US, we did it to ourselves. People learn to accept entitlement as a norm. The more they get, the more they want.

    In 2005, my husband and I endured one of the worst natural disasters of our lives. Hurricane Rita hit us dead on. We thought at first our house was totaled because we had trees piled on top of it. They were so heavy any extra disturbance could send them crashing through the roof. Our insurance agent suggested we hire a crane service. $18,000 later, we saved the house, and then came the surprise. Our insurance thought the price was too high for the job and would only pay part of it. She recommended this guy!

    Okay, that was one shoe. The other shoe fell when we applied for FEMA money (twice) yet never received a dime from the government. Homeowners who were forced to evacuate their damaged homes were eligible to apply. Supposedly, the damage was to be verified before you received funds. Yet as we were standing in line waiting to talk to someone, I overheard (more than once) people coaching each other on what to say and do so they can get their money. These people lived in apartments! They weren’t even eligible, yet they learned (through their friends) how to bilk the system.

    We returned to our home two days after the hurricane and what we found looked like Tunguska. We were without power for 21 days, without running water for over two weeks. Our friends who got to their homes before us told us to bring our own gasoline because gas was in short supply. We battled heat, mosquitoes, lack of sleep and more cuts and bruises than I’ve ever had before in my life. We worked from dawn until it was too dark to see clearing debris and damage. We ate out of cans and set up camp in the one room that didn’t have holes in the roof. I would have cried, but I was too tired and there was too much to do. The government can keep its money. We managed without them.

    What our insurance didn’t cover, we paid for ourselves. Our tree line still looks like it got a bad haircut because there were so many trees on our property that were felled. We live on 5 acres and we probably lost more than fifty trees–all of them over 100 feet tall.

    I read later that the government halted any further FEMA money because apparently there were a lot of fraudulent claims. Duh!

    You might be disenchanted, Angie, but I’ve seen too much of this. I’m not disenchanted. I’m angry.

    Marias last blog post..Not Your Mama’s Digital

  7. Moira Rogers June 12, 2008 at 7:33 PM #

    I could tell stories that would make you cry, and not just from grocery stores. The worst customer I ever had to deal with was a frequent visitor to the Barnes & Noble I worked at. They found a way to get everything for free, whether it was through complaints, technicalities, or just downright screaming at booksellers or cafe servers. (And I’m talking the kind of verbal abuse that reduced grown men and women to tears on occasion.)

    And the “customer is right” mentality was so strong that they didn’t get kicked out of the store until they were caught taking pictures of the pages of books with their digital camera so they wouldn’t have to buy them. (Is that the most absurd thing ever? I think so.)

  8. Michelle (MG) June 12, 2008 at 9:49 PM #

    Wow, Angie. I’m surprised that you didn’t tell her that you would take your $1.56 back or give you half the magazine that you paid for. Holy crap! That’s just insane.

  9. Terri June 12, 2008 at 11:15 PM #

    I worked as a manager in movie theaters for years and I have seen the worst of people. It is disgusting which is why when I find GOOD people I make them my friend and hold on tight.

  10. carolyn jean June 12, 2008 at 11:32 PM #

    UH! to that woman.

    Though, I used to be a cashier, and you get to hate the public a bit, but it goes away when you quit. That cashier is ready to quit.

    Good for you. You taught those teens a lesson, too. About compassion.

    carolyn jeans last blog post..Question of the day

  11. Amy June 13, 2008 at 12:15 AM #

    That’s unbelieveable.

    It’s like Hetty Green.

  12. Alicia baby June 13, 2008 at 5:59 AM #

    I was shocked to read your post. I am glad that i have never met anyone like that, i cant beliveve she could be so rude and is obviously living life in her own little bubble. You were so nice to have kept your mouth shut, i wouls have been going mad at her giving her a piece of my mind….what a rude lady and a drain on our society.

    Alicia babys last blog post..Baby ASCII Art

  13. Annie June 13, 2008 at 8:33 AM #

    As others have said, people’s sense of entitlement is out of control these days. But it really makes you appreciate the people on the opposite end of the spectrum.

  14. ChrsB June 13, 2008 at 10:39 AM #

    This is totally ridiculous….but sadly, the clerk is right and that is what our world has come to.

    ChrsBs last blog post..Busy, busy!!

  15. Ciar Cullen June 13, 2008 at 7:23 PM #

    Your tax dollars at work, hun. That doubles the kick in the arse, doesn’t it? I’ll stop before I go on a political tirade that will no doubt offend everyone.

    Ciar Cullens last blog post..Talismans and Trivial Pursuits

  16. me June 15, 2008 at 7:52 AM #

    Thats funny! You paid her off. It was a nice thing to do and I have done the same, but is that really the right thing to do? Don’t you think it would be better to get these leaches off of welfare? It makes me sick when I see someone that can’t even speak english in line buying groceries and handing over checks that they have gotten from are goverment. Why do we allow this? I know why! Because we are all to lazy to do something about it. I guess it would be easier to get on welfare then change the system……….You guys don’t mind supporting me do you?

  17. Mechele Armstrong June 17, 2008 at 8:22 AM #

    That’s just really low. I can’t imagine doing that and being such horrible person.

  18. Tera Kleinfelter June 18, 2008 at 7:29 PM #

    Oh, yeah. I see that all the time here in Indiana. It drives me NUTS. I’m already not the biggest people person in general (unless I know someone), and it just my attitude toward humans in general worse. What’s worse is when you see that happen at Wal Mart, and when the person pulls out their food stamp card, their green card is right next to it, and they can’t even speak English and they’ve got seven kids with them. And this is NOT an exageration. Hello?! *sigh* It just disgusts me. Meanwhile, I know people who really truly need the help, parents have one or two jobs, have gotten laid off by some of the factories around here and are each working two or three jobs and still not making ends meet, and can’t get any help. It’s really sad.

  19. Vivienne Westlake June 27, 2008 at 12:26 AM #

    Angie, you have totally distracted me! Not that I wasn’t already distracted on RD. That’s what led me over here because I didn’t realize you had a personal blog.

    This story was crazy! $1.56. I would also have been pissed at the $3 magazine. How rude is that?

    However, I don’t think we should go assuming that people on welfare don’t use benefits honestly. Just as with anything, there are always people in the world who manipulate systems and abuse others. Unfortunately, the media likes to highlight those kinds of people rather than discussing people who have been on welfare for a short period of time and then got themselves on their feet. It’s unfair to assume that because one apple is “rotten” that the whole barrel is, too. That’s like saying every cop in New York is dirty because two cops got on the news for corruption.

    Vivienne Westlakes last blog post..Nothing to Write About

  20. Baby99 June 10, 2010 at 5:03 PM #

    Its the way the world is getting! Everyone looks out for number 1!

About Me

Angela James

There is nothing worse than writing a bio. And writing one for your blog sidebar? Blech. Maybe you landed here via Google, followed me from Twitter (does that make you a stalker?) or maybe we met at a conference or you clicked a link from a comment I made at a blog you visited. Hopefully whatever I said didn't make you so mad you came looking for a picture to throw darts at (yep, that's me up above, in my favorite cowboy hat) but instead drove you to find out more about the amazingly witty and intelligent person behind the amazingly witty and intelligent comment.

However you found me, who you found is Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's new digital-first press. I'm passionate about digital publishing, my mission is to drag people to the digital dark side, one reader (and author) at a time. I'm also Brianna's mommy. At my blog you'll get an odd mix of personal and professional posts about parenting, publishing, books, cooking, sewing and life in general. Come back often, comment frequently and go green—buy ebooks!

Please note that this is my personal blog and my opinions are neither that of Harlequin, nor representative of their opinions.


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First, I blog once or twice a week at theCarina Press blog, talking about the job, the authors, the books and other things Carina Press. And, of course, you can always find me on Twitter. Or Facebook, if you prefer (mostly the same content, one feeds the other). I also run the Carina Press Twitter and Facebook accounts. Social media, it's where it's at (well, it's where I'm at, anyway).

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