Thursday, 15 January 2009

What We Need is Change


Change seems like such an obvious thing, doesn't it? Everything is always in a state of change. Traffic lights change (eventually). Seasons change. Many people are afraid of change. You can't stop change. Even when we try to stop it, we're actually changing something in the process. Changing change.

Barack Obama campaigned with a message of change - The Change We Need. Boy, has he got his hands full of change to do!

But I'm not here to talk about the change Barack Obama will bring, though his is a lot more substantial than my change, and will affect millions, if not billions, of people.

I'm talking about change that really only affects me - maybe a few others - I don't care. I care about my change.

And it is my change that the eight-person staff at Earle's Deli couldn't give me the other day at two-o'clock in the afternoon when I stopped in to pick up some roast beef.

The roast beef was P144 (about $3US). I handed the cashier a P500 bill.

Do you have anything smaller, sir?
, she asked.

No, I replied.

Oh, smaller, sir.

That's all I have.

Can you get smaller, sir?

No. Why don't you go next door to the bank and get change? (There is a Bank of the Philippine Islands branch located right next to Earle's in the Columns.) Do I look like a bank? Why would she expect a customer to be the one to go out in search of change when she has a cash register full of money and plenty of people on staff who can do it?

Blank stare.

I looked into her cash drawer and saw multiple layers of 1000 and 500 peso bills, all yearning to be broken for change.

Blank stare.

There's only one other customer here now. Why don't one of you go get change?
, I suggested.

Blank stare.

The cashier then solicited donations from a couple other workers so she could cobble together enough coins to give me my change.

This isn't the first time they've been without change in the middle of the afternoon at Earle's. I find it strange.

The lunch rush is over. There's an excess of workers. Not a lot to do. The coins and small bill supply is running low or is drained. The bank is on the other side of the wall, just seconds away door-to-door, but no one ever gets any change.

Maybe they're afraid of change.

All I wanted was a simple P356 worth of change. Not too much. About $7US.

The US economy needs over $700 billion worth of change we're told.

Good thing Obama's in charge of it, and not the staff of Earle's Deli.

I got my P356 worth of change - Change I Can Believe In.

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