Work | Life Wednesday—Wanting More

in #life10 months ago

The Roll Out Continues

I've been committing to certain post themes on certain days, with the intent that it will organize me and my thoughts better, while potentially building an audience around those particular topics so you all only have to tune in on days you want (providing anyone tunes in to anything anymore).

That said, Wednesdays for me will be dedicated to work and general life experiences, something that has already been happening somewhat on Wednesdays already. I guess this makes it a tad bit more official.

I guess we'll also see if any of this day designating is a good idea or not, and whether or not it's one I can actually keep going for longer than a week.

With that, on with today's post.

Lead In

My work takes me to all kinds of businesses, from bars and cannabis shops to pizza places and malls. It can seem like quite the spectrum, but I've been finding out that there are good people and not so good (at least behaved) to be found on either end of said spectrum, and all along the line. If nothing else, doing this work has been eye opening, or at least, it has validated some suspicions about people and human behavior while changing some others.

That said, I had an experience yesterday that reminded me of another I had weeks ago. Two different individuals, two different settings and circumstances. Completely unrelated, other than how they come together in my head. I'm going to attempt to draw some kind of parallel in what are otherwise two disparate occasions.

Wish me luck.

Thank you.


The Exchange

So, yesterday, I was sent to a cannabis shop to fill an ATM. After I was done, I decided to go around the corner to a CBD shop, to check on their ATM. It wasn't a scheduled stop, just me trying to be a little bit more proactive.

I parked the company van and got out. As I came into the driveway, I saw no one about, so I was a little startled when a man suddenly appeared from behind a large dumpster (the kind usually found on construction sites—the building has been undergoing some renovation). I have no way of knowing if he was or not, but he was dressed in a way that suggested he was homeless. He had a big smile on his face and he greeted me in a fashion that made it seem like we were long time friends.

I'm guessing you probably know what happened next. Before I realized what was happening, he asked if I had any money I could give him.

Well, the first thing out of my mouth was, "No, I don't." The fact was, I had money on me, and in the van, but none of it was mine. I don't normally carry my own cash. I use cards for nearly everything.

I don't think he believed me, or maybe that was the standard answer he got. I'm not entirely sure what he even said, but it amounted to something along the lines of please or simply asking again. Without thinking, my hand went into my back pocket and I grabbed some quarters to give him.

Now, those quarters are ones I rescue from coin jams. They're not mine. They were intended for the machine to play a game, so even though they really aren't counted as belonging to the company I work for, either, they eventually end up in a machine somewhere as I test games to make sure they're functioning properly.

So, it wasn't something I was supposed to be doing, but there I was, handing him a dollar in quarters.

As I did so, he gave me a couple of quick bows and said something about how I'd made his day or how happy he was because no one else had given him anything.

His enthusiasm for the money seemed genuine in the moment. I didn't know what to say. I nearly reached back for some more money before I realized what I was doing and managed to stop myself. It wasn't mine to give. I think he must have noticed it. He had already backed away several steps, but then he stopped, held out his hands and said, with a wide grin, "More?"

I smiled back, as if he had said something funny, and walked into the cannabis shop.

When I took a second to think about the exchange later, I realized his, "More?" with hands outstretched kind of soured what was otherwise a decent experience for me. I hadn't really intended to give him anything, but some dormant reflex took over. Even so, he still took the opportunity to ask for more.


The Flashback

As I mentioned earlier, it made me remember another experience. I was at a pizza place several miles from where I live. I was there collecting money. At this particular establishment, there are two crane games, one with small stuffed dolls or toys, and one with the larger kind.

A young boy (my guess is he was five, but he could have been as old as seven, maybe), was there, along with two adults who I gathered were his grandparents. As a typical young-in, he was more interested in the games than he was of his food, despite his grandparents' urging. I think he did manage to draw himself away from them long enough to down a slice or two, but he was pretty interested in the crane machine with the larger stuffed toys.

As it turned out, he had been working it, supplied by his grandparents' quarters, before I arrived. He wasn't able to get anything on his own while I was there, but he kept insisting to play anyway. His grandparents would tell him no, and when he continued to insist (it wasn't really whining or crying—he just wasn't taking no for an answer), they would go to the change machine, get more quarters, and then try to get something for him. I think they managed to grab a couple during the time I was collecting the other games around them.

He wanted to keep going, but finally, the grandparents essentially walked away, with him in tow. At that point, he was crying, because they wouldn't keep winning toys for him. It was then that I realized they had more than just the two dolls, but more like four or five.

One of the pizza employees saw him sobbing, saw how many toys he had and complimented him on his winnings. "Thank you," he managed to get out, but it was clear the number was not enough for him.

He wanted more, even though he had more than most people will get out of a crane game in a single setting. I don't know how much they spent in total, but I know there was at least three dollars that went into the game to get the two I saw. At that rate, for say five toys, they would have put in $7.50.

Not too bad a haul, I think.

The Point Of All This

I don't know enough of either the man asking for money or the young boy asking for more chances to win to make a judgment of either instance. I don't know how the man got to where he was, or what the future holds for the young boy. So, I won't speculate either way.

What came to mind, and what ties these two instances together for me has something to do with being happy with what you have. Now, that's probably a little easier to say to the young boy than it is to the man, given the circumstances, but I believe it is true in either instance, and applicable to many more cases.

That's not to say we should never want more. There is commonly another part to the bit about being happy with what you have. It goes something like, "Be content with what you have, but always strive to improve."

Admittedly, it can be tough to do. Keep striving to progress while being okay with where you're at. Especially, if you're homeless, or in some other dire straits. Maybe in those situations, being unhappy is better if it motivates or at least somehow causes things to change. Granted, some things are not easily changed or controlled. But most of us aren't living in an extreme situation either, where we are destitute and have no way of getting out of it.

Rather, I'm thinking materialistically. In the case of the boy, he wanted more even though I'm not even sure he wanted the dolls he had. It may have been just the thrill of the chance of winning, but it brought him to tears when inevitably it came to an end. Maybe it will serve as a lesson to be content with what he has, or to build up enough patience to wait to play another day.

As for the man, wanting more might actually get him fed, or maybe it would buy him something in the cannabis shop. Who knows. In the case of the former, wanting more would be a good thing. In the case of the latter, it depends on whether it meant he went without eating another day.

So, probably less about materialism and more about survival. Maybe wanting more in that case wasn't a bad thing.

Any Thoughts?

I'm interested in knowing what you think about the two experiences and my conclusions. Let me know in the comments.

Images source—Pixabay


Hello my dear friend
This article is great. My comment:
I know these stories because I have lived both.
My approach is very different and has to do with the emotion that both situations create in me.
Both the game of catching the dolls and asking my uncles or my father for money (the only people who can ask for money) triggered an emotion in me (as a child) that affected me.
I don't know if it has anything to do with it. with the adrenaline
It had nothing to do with how much it had, for me it was the same whether I won or not, it was just the fact of asking for money in December (it was the tradition) or of playing on the crane, which made me happy.
He always gave away what he had.
That also makes me very happy.
It is my personal experience.

Hey, @mariita52.

That's an interesting insight from you with a former child's perspective as to what playing the game was all about. I didn't even think about the idea that getting the money, even if it went directly into the crane, was the reason. But it would also help to explain why he seemed practically devastated when they stopped 'giving him' money (straight into the crane).

In regards to the boy, perhaps he was wanting a particular prize that had not been won? You didn't mention if the dolls were all the same or not. There could be any number of reasons for either recipients not being totally satisfied with what they got. It has taken me around 60 years to gain enough experience to learn that whatever we may think about others, it is probably not quite correct, so don't judge what you don't know. For years, I couldn't understand my sister's behaviour, but then I experienced something in my own life that allowed me to understand why she did what she did. It's not easy to be able to understand others when we haven't lived their life.

Hey, @happyme.

No, it's not easy. I have often wondered if people see me as I see myself, and I've got to believe that they can't, not even the ones who are closest to me, even if they do know of some of my reasonings and motivations.

re: particular prize

It's possible there was a particular one, but from the snippets of conversation, I got the impression that it didn't really matter. It seemed to be more about winning than the prizes one.

Someone else related their own personal experience as a child with this and said it was more about receiving the money (albeit straight into the crane) than it was anything else. I also wonder now if it had something to do with the fact that no longer playing also could mean that his time with his grandparents would be coming to an end for the day and that was contributing to it.

Who knows.

As you say, not enough information to go on.

Great observations and speculations. All are possible reasons for the child to have cried. Sometimes they themselves don't even understand the real reason for being upset; they only know that they feel bad. Humans are definitely complicated creatures.

When my son was very little, he would constantly say the word, "pee" and I would need to take him to the bathroom because he was being weened out of diapers. It was very frustrating for me because most times he would not pee, but just wanted to flush the urinal or toilet. Eventually I figured out that he was fascinated by the fact water came out after tripping the lever! His lack of communication skills prevented him from telling me what he actually wanted, so instead, he used the one word he knew that would get him close to the real objective.

I think having a post theme a day is a great idea, I used to do that, and enjoyed it, then I haven't had time for the last few months. Oddly now I just have a 'big list' of things I want to say and work on several at once, and just try and mix up the themes.

As to the two cases - far better to give the homeless person a quarter in dollars rather than a whiney kid several dollars to play games, the formers meeting basic needs, the later's feeding unnecessary desires!

Hey, @revisesociology.

I'll be happy if I get to the big long list that I can mix up. :)

re: two cases

Yeah, I think I've come to that same conclusion, even if I was more taken aback as a whole by the man than I was by the young boy. I do remember wondering when the grandparents would actually cut him off, and then of course, I had to wonder what I would do if it were me.

Problem with that is, until it happens, like with the homeless person, I can say it's going to happen one way all I want. I'm sure I will find out, probably sooner than later, since I do have three (we've just not found ourselves in that type of situation yet. :)

Congratulations @glenalbrethsen! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You published more than 600 posts. Your next target is to reach 650 posts.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

SteemitBoard Ranking update - A better rich list comparator

You can upvote this notification to help all Steem users. Learn how here!

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.17
TRX 0.03
JST 0.022
BTC 17781.00
ETH 542.31
SBD 1.16