You can live your life lonely heavy as stone
Live your life learning and working alone
Say this is all you want
But I don’t believe that it’s true
‘Cause when you least expect it
Waiting round the corner for you
Love comes quickly whatever you do
You can’t stop falling
The main supermarket in town has a card for rewarding the purchaser with points. Occasionally, at the end of a shopping spree one receives a surprise bonus. It’s best to hit the jackpot when the store is not busy because the routine goes something like this:
- the cashier closes out your shopping for the day
- at the bottom of the receipt prints the announcement of your reward
- today, I won a free container of juice – Yay! – guayaba– double yay!
- the reward has to be verified, so the bagger goes through all the bags looking for the item that generated your free gift. As I had also bought durazno (peach) and mango in addition to guava, this created a slight bit of confusion as each juice had to be either denied or confirmed as qualifying
- then a manager has to be located to clear the reward from the register
- you must take your reward at the moment – ahoraita – this entails either (a) walking completely around the many checkout lanes OR (b) heading back through the line you’ve just moved to the head of – that causes people to back up, when they can, and/or move their cart aside to let you squeeze past, and other gymnastic events. Most everyone, including me, walks back through the line. Countless shoppers are thrilled to learn you’ve won a free juice.
- Once free of the throng, you head to the aisle and locate your reward – as the store is constantly in a state of subtle rearrangement, you may have forgotten in which aisle your reward is located, which may cause you to wander through the wilderness as in days of yore
- Once you’ve found your reward, it’s back to the checkout line to show your reward and receipt to the checkout clerk – the clerk may or may not have remembered you or may be so busy that s/he could care less how many juices you’ve apprehended or … shudder … the clerk may have gone on break or ended his or her break, in which case you may have to repeat one or more of the previous steps
- and you are on your way
So is it worth it? How many rewards go unclaimed? That depends: I don’t go back for crema, but I do for juice.
My inability to master the language has made my work for the NGO frustrating. Perhaps in other roles it would be less of a handicap, but given the nature of the administrative work my lack of mastery is proving to be problematic and I’ve resigned (again); however, this is the true resignation. The other time I resigned there was a lingering doubt that I could be of service. Now it’s a matter of my not wanting to continue due to the high frustration:low reward ratio.