Forum: Adults / Money Matters

Money Matters
Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:05 PM

Okay, so one of my co-workers mentioned to be she was denied her food stamps this month and she and her daughter have been living off of rice. She mentioned it in an off hand manner. She wasn't asking for help (next week we are supposed to bring snacks because some one is leave, which prompted her to mention her situation to me).

I'd like to give her like $20 or $20 worth of food. But I don't want to offend her. I'm not sure how she would react.

I thought I might give her a Wal-Mart gift card and say I won it a while back but don't shop there often and thought she might like it? Wouldn't be a total lie (I did win a gift card a while back and I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague).

I mean, I really don't have a lot of money either and it would be my last $20 until pay-day. But I don't like the thought of her and her daughter living off of rice.

Thoughts?

7 Replies to Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it

re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member Comments: 8820, member since Sun Sep 12, 2004
On Wed Aug 24, 2016 04:50 AM
Oh wow, this can be a sensitive issue.

Okay. I feel that your bottom line is "she didn't ask for it."
There you go. You've also said that you aren't exactly "rollin' in the dough" and you are somewhat short of cash.

Your spirit and sense of generosity is to be applauded.

What I would suggest -- make some phone calls -- find out where the food pantries are. Find out if there is any local aid. IF you feel so inclined, and they have a somewhat "normal" diet, I would recommend getting some generic bread, cheapest, plus peanut butter.

I don't know where you hie from, I don't know if there are discount food stores around. I don't know if she could ask at her religious institution.

As I said, it's wonderful that you are feeling so generous. I just don't feel as if that is your job at this point. IF you have any foods that you aren't using, or that you don't remember the reason for buying, canned, non-perishable, offer her those.

Still, there are all sorts of resources for people who need food -- from churches, synagogues, hospitals, various groups, etc.
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:26 AM
Ask her if she wants the gift card. Chances are she'll take it gratefully.

Shadow, the things you mention are great but way more intrusive and I think have a much bigger chance of backfiring. People have a way of infantilizing poor people. A food pantry or bringing canned goods to work means she doesn't really get to pick what's best for her family. Going to the store like a normal person and getting what she needs is so much more empowering.

Obviously don't do this if it's going to bankrupt you--but it sounds like you could do it without wondering where your own next meal is coming from.

I was sent a grocery store gift card by a friend when I lost my job and was freaking out about food, and it was just about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Wed Aug 24, 2016 06:27 PM
I agree, with midlake. Offer her the gift card. She can either take it or not. No one would have to know, it wouldn't be as obvious as a bag if groceries. You can tell her that you won it and don't normally shop there if that makes you feel more comfortable so she doesn't think you bought it for her (or expect you to do it again).
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Wed Aug 24, 2016 09:10 PM
Thanks. I'll get one and offer it. If she doesn't want it I can use it myself.
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member Comments: 8820, member since Sun Sep 12, 2004
On Fri Aug 26, 2016 09:58 PM
Edited by ShadowLunaCat (106208) on 2016-08-26 22:24:47 removed typo, added some clarification. Hope what happened to me doesn't happen to others.
Lovely and great thoughts.
Shadow, the things you mention are great but way more intrusive and I think have a much bigger chance of backfiring. People have a way of infantilizing poor people


I see your perspective, I also have one to offer:

I was in a similar situation to Majere. A colleague mentioned he needed cash. Same deal, in an offhand way. He promised, in front of witnesses that he would return this cash by next payday. I went ahead and loaned him this cash, with those people as witnesses that he would indeed reimburse me.

Now, in the meantime, I needed some cash myself for an apartment, and I had the intention of moving in with friends. I had a very strict budget.

Long story short, this dude didn't pay me back. He avoided me, avoided my messsages, inquiries. I saw the witnesses, who laughed at me, and then, one had the gal to ask me for cash. I'd opened a door. I overheard one of the witnesses asking this guy if he was really going to pay me. His response? "Hell ______ No!"

I didn't get the cash, I lost out on the apartment. *I* was referred to food pantries. I lived on peanut butter and bread, until I realized that I was allergic to it.

Finally, one of the floor supervisors took it upon herself, as she'd heard about this from various people, to approach HR, who deducted the amount of what he owed me from his paycheck, and added it to mine.

This supe was promptly fired. I was also labeled as a "loose and easy goose." I was asked by about six or seven people during the following months for cash -- smirks on their faces, along with pictures of cats being cut out of feline magazines and hung by the neck, my name on them in the breakroom.

So, I apologize if I was not too sensitive in this area. I admit I have been in the "once burned, twice shy" mindset.

I've tried lending cash since then, and have been subject to people saying "don't worry, I don't. Shadow will bail me out."

when one of my other friends lent cash, I asked him the whether and the why. He said, "I lend it, when I pretty much guess I'll never see it again, and I could go without it." Hence, the reason of my wording here.

Hey, I also believe in socialization -- we are learning from birth until we croak. So, I'm open minded. Maybe there is something different in this current situation.

Food pantries aren't bad. My church helped quite a bit. Some of my friends donated little bits hither and yon. Food stamps... are a bit hard to accept, but an asset when one is driven to them.

I hope the gift card works.

s.
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it (karma: 3)
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:38 PM
I never loan money that I actually expect or need to get back.

I offered her the card today and she took it. :)
re: Co-Worker needs some help, but didn't ask for it
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Wed Aug 31, 2016 08:32 AM
By "backfire" I meant offend the coworker.

ReplySendWatch