Our “Real life” community

Friends –

I am more and more thinking of the group of us who participate in this blog – in whatever ways we do so – as a community.  We may participate in different ways. Some of you read an occasional post; some of you gobble up each new day’s post; some of you see me in my actual checkout line, and maybe comment on that morning’s post and/or maybe become material for the next day’s post – by giving me a hat (my now trademark, hand-knitted by Caryl red hat)

I had been getting to know Caryl and her husband Brian in the checkout line. One day I told them of my shopping plans to find some furniture for my buddy Monty's new apartment.  They recommended a retail store called The Screen Door. They said the best day to go is Thursday - the next day, the day we were planning to go shopping.  We went and scored big - mostly furnished his place, at good prices.  They came in while we were there, which was big fun - they got to meet him, got to see some of his treasures.  The next time I saw Caryl in the checkout line I was admiring her hat.  When she told me she made it, I told her how much I needed a cool hat and that I wanted to buy one.  She demurred: "I don't sell them - I just make them for friends." As she was getting ready to leave, I once more made my pitch: "I want to buy one of your hats."  She paused just a moment and then took it off her head and gave it to me, with a big shit-eating grin.  Her beautiful, spontaneous, generous gesture made her as happy as it did me.  And she gave me the beautiful matching fingerless gloves, which came in really handy at the cash register yesterday.  This is what community looks like to me.  Head warm, hands warm, heart warm

I had been getting to know Caryl and her husband Brian in the checkout line. One day I told them of my shopping plans to find some furniture for my buddy Monty’s new apartment. They recommended a retail store called The Screen Door. They said the best day to go is Thursday – the next day, the day we were planning to go shopping. We went and scored big – mostly furnished his place, at good prices. They came in while we were there, which was big fun – they got to meet him, got to see some of his treasures. The next time I saw Caryl in the checkout line I was admiring her hat. When she told me she made it, I told her how much I needed a cool hat and that I wanted to buy one. She demurred: “I don’t sell them – I just make them for friends.” As she was getting ready to leave, I once more made my pitch: “I want to buy one of your hats.” She paused just a moment and then took it off her head and gave it to me, with a big shit-eating grin. Her beautiful, spontaneous, generous gesture made her as happy as it did me. And she gave me the beautiful matching fingerless gloves, which came in really handy at the cash register yesterday. This is what community looks like to me.
Head warm, hands warm, heart warm

or offering me chocolate or a hug, etc. Some of you participate by adding comments, which I treasure and work hard to reply to in a timely fashion.  Some of you may come to the mental health recovery presentation with me next Friday (which I promoted in yesterday’s post) – and maybe come out to lunch with me after, which would be a real gas.

I have other communities: the Jubilee Spiritual Community here in Asheville, the Asheville Movement Collective dance community, my Magnetic Minds depression and bipolar support group (and community – we socialize with each other, beyond simply attending meetings).  I see the staff in our store as a community – and our customers with us as a bigger community.

But the community of this blog – which overlaps with all these other communities – is really close to my heart.  You all are really close to my heart.  My writer is a really important part of who I am, so to have so many people reading and participating in this blog is kind of thrilling for me.  I have frequently, since I left the corporate world behind about ten years ago (organization development – at its best I loved the work, but at its worst it really burned me out), said that I have become the working class hero I was always meant to be.  I identify with my brother and sister cashiers and all front-line customer servers: fast food workers, restaurant servers, retail sales associates, cab drivers, call center agents – I’ve done all of these in the last few years but fast food).  I have a vision of this blog reaching more people, giving lots of non-cashiers an insider glimpse of what our work lives are like for us, and being a positive influence in the lives of other cashiers/servers, influencing the people who manage us, etc.   I’m talking with my internet marketing guru friend Jason Spencer about how to do this.

Big dreams, but a very big current reality!  You are my community – you are my people.  I hope that you will more and more feel yourself a part of this community.  Leaving comments helps.  Emailing me or talking to me in the checkout line helps.  (My regular hours are 10-6 W/Th/Sat, but you can check with me in advance if I am going to be there by emailing me at heymajo@gmail.com.)  If you think of anything I could do or something I could write about that would build the sense of community for you, please leave a comment or send me an email.

Power to the people!

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