The handwritten sign on the door said, “EBT Down… sorry for the inconvenience.”
I noticed it and walked on in.
Now, here let me say a few things:
We all have read the stories about Super Storm Sandy and then the Nor’easter that hit the northeast a week later, we saw the pictures, we heard the heart-breaking tales.
We’ve all probably read stories such as these, which if you haven’t read, please do so….
And charts like this one that show the increase in Food Stamp (Snap, EBT… call it what you may) have reached an all time high.
And let me say, I’m not against a hand-up whatsoever. My husband and I give to various folks and we both realize at times folks just need a boost. This is not the purpose of this post.
This post is to hopefully make us all think of the big picture. Please hang in here for a second.
So, armed with all this info, I still found myself at Dollar General.
A lady walks in as I was approaching the check out.
She asked the 20′ish year old cashier if he could explain the note on the door.
He replied, “The EBT part is down.”
She looked a little puzzled (as to how can this happen?) And said, “What do you mean down?”
He replied, “We can’t accept EBT’s right now.”
She asked, “When will you be able to?
He politely replied, “I don’t know ma’am.. when the computer comes back up I guess.”
The banter continued for a good 3-4 minutes where she was drilling this kid about “how could this happen?, is this just this store, are the other stores affected, is this everywhere, is this national… ”
You name it, the lady was putting him to it.
My thoughts were, “I’m seeing this now in real life. I’m seeing what will happen if the electronics ever go down, I’m seeing this lady’s face go from nice to totally angry within a couple of minutes.”
I even watched her, as she probably progressed into the thought of “How can I feed the kids tonight if the EBT isn’t working.”
The kid didn’t realize that it was probably a glitch with their card servicing company or perhaps a glitch in the software that must be downloaded to the card reader for EBT acceptance. Why would have a reason to know?
He handled himself very well and I was glad she left peacefully.
However, the look on that lady’s face was enough to make me wake-up to the potential threat of the EBT being down over and EMP threat.
I look at preparedness with the thought of probability and possibility. I hope you do too.
but today the reality hit home for me with just ONE hand-written note.