Monday, November 17, 2008

Paying it Forward in a Tough Economy!

My husband and I were in line yesterday at a major retailer known for cool cotton attire. It was a pretty long line and we soon found out why. It appears that the store and other affiliates were offering a sale, giving a 30% discount to shoppers who had retrieved a coupon online.

Well, since this store is not on our regular routine, (we were actually in the store next door and thought we would go in), we did not have a coupon. Of course we expected that we would be paying full price or at least the store two-fer sale price.

After a few minutes in line a patron who was exiting the store, having made her purchase, asked who in line did not have a coupon. I spoke up and she gave me hers with the instruction to “Pass it on” since someone had passed it to her. Before the ethics police accost me, I should share that the coupon clearly stated – “for multiple uses by friends and family”.

I think that was pretty nice of her and so I passed it to the person behind me. She was last in line and so as she went on to another cashier, my cashier told her that they would be happy to pass it on to other customers.

Although no one really said it in line, I think I know what people were feeling - the slow economy had caused the scaled down staffing. The line was clearly taking a while since only two cashiers were available to run the entire adult section of the store. The children’s section had two people also and their lines were even longer. Everyone there, I think, was feeling the bad times and so the sharing of the coupon helped to lift spirits and foster conversation.

It made me think about how bad times can really promote unselfish behaviors. If we are all in the same boat, why not help someone else?

So I was thinking, with over a million layoffs and job losses this year so far, chances are you know someone who might be unemployed and looking.

What would it take for you to:
- share some information
- offer a lead on a job
- promise to help someone look out for them
- follow up if and when you hear about an opportunity
- help a jobseeker with someone you know

Chances are – it won’t take much out of you and you could be making someone’s day or a better holiday for doing it.

Paying it forward is not just about job search either - don't let the economy stop you from helping someone if you can. A friend in Florida who is in the Rotary club is still asking for funds to help 5 families with their Thanksgiving. What can you do? If you want to help, let me know and I will send you their address!


Marianna said...

This is what I'd love to see featured on the Front Page or the Lead Story. News worth hearing!

Thank you for Marcia, for spreading the news and for offering hope and encouragement in these tough times.

Marcia Robinson said...

You are so right - we never see good news in the headlines. Sometimes I listen to the folks on television, "journalists", they call them, who infuse everything with doom and gloom.

Thanks for stopping by.


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