Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This morning I went to the post office to get some more supplies so I can mail my Ebay packages. There was a line twenty people deep. Not fun for the employees and equally not fun for the people waiting. I was in back of the line but I could clearly hear one of postal workers raising her voice in annoyance at someone. I then noticed the woman that she was yelling at. She was a hispanic lady and clearly was having trouble communicating. I could hear "You do speak English right? You don't? What am I supossed to do if you don't speak English?" This was not said in a nice tone. Her tone pretty much said, "Go back to Mexico." I got out of my place in line, went up to them and offered to translate. The hispanic lady had sent a money order a week ago and it had not been received by her brother in Mexico. She wanted to know what to do. She was concerned that it was lost or someone else had cashed it. The postal worker gave us a number to call and find out if it had been cashed. The whole time I was helping them, the worker was clearly annoyed.

We called the number and it turns out the money order had been cashed and this poor woman was out $350.00. Money her brother needed and money she worked hard to earn.

I'm not going to go into what I think of immigration laws in this country. I don't care if this woman is legal or illegal. I don't care if she had to climb three fences and cross a river to get to this country. But she's a human being that has a soul. She should be treated with dignity. This worker belittled and ridiculed her and made her feel like dirt. When she walked out of the post office her head was down.

I left the post office angry. Then, I started to remind myself that everyone has a story. Some people's stories are filled with pain. I have no idea what kind of morning this worker had or what kind of life she lives. Does that excuse her behavior? No, but it gives me a little more perspective in dealing with her. I know that I go through life and spend much of my time judging people for their actions, not taking into consideration their stories. Ask more questions, dig a little deeper, be perceptive, and maybe we can all make a tiny bit of difference.