Food For Thoughtfulness, Part 3

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(My fiancé has lost his job. I am bringing in the only household income, working full time while also attending college. Bills are piling up and I get to a point of sacrificing meals and other things to make ends meet and support us both, eating maybe once a day and usually after work. I have gone more than 24 hours without a meal and my shift is incredibly stressful, but looks up when I find a dollar in my bag so I stop by the cafeteria where you pay by machine. I should note that I work in a large office building and have never before met this particular employee as we work on completely separate sides of the building.)

Coworker: *noticing the cheap snack I am scanning into the machine* “Is that all you’re getting today?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I’m not feeling particularly hungry.”

Coworker: *while rubbing at his round stomach* “I’m jealous! I’m always hungry… obviously!”

(We share a laugh on his behalf and I put my crumpled dollar bill in the machine. Unfortunately, the dollar is too wrinkled for the machine to process. After several attempts it keeps spitting the money back out.)

Me: *I fake a laugh and step back, but really want to cry knowing I won’t get to eat now* “Oops. Here, you go ahead. No need to make you wait longer.”

Coworker: “These machines these days. Too picky. Money is money, right? Here, grab me one of those Lunchables, would you? And put your snack up here. The machine won’t take it no matter how much you iron that dollar out and we don’t want you to go without.”

Me: “Oh, no, it’s okay. I’ll figure it out.”

Coworker: “I’ll stand here all day if I have to. C’mon, let me get it.”

(I reluctantly hand him the snack, which he quickly pays for and hands back to me, along with the Lunchables pack.)

Coworker: “You might not be very hungry now… but you could be later. That’s for just in case!”

(I barely managed a thank you and he refused to take my dollar. I called my fiancé, who didn’t even know I wasn’t eating, in tears. I haven’t seen him since, but think about him often. Thanks to him I was able to eat that day and not long after my fiancé found a job!)

Related:
Food For Thoughtfulness, Part 2
Food For Thoughtfulness

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