OMG! What Just Happened?

  admin   Feb 28, 2017   Blog   0 Comment

So can we just start this blog by stating that I am so not going to wear my teacher hat and try to write grammatically punctuation perfect fancy worded blogs? Can I also say aloud “Thank God for spell check!” Is anyone else with me on that one? Okay, so now that I have that off my chest I can comfortably share the following.
I am sure we are familiar with the varied tracking point earning, money saving cards that grace many a key ring. I can surely attest to my key ring, the majority of my cards entitle me to educator discounts or track my purchases in some form or fashion as an educator, and have graced my key ring for years. Yes, many have fallen off, some of the stores have closed, but I am proud to share that I have some wonderful educator cards remaining. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but I get the absolute best almost entitled feeling knowing that I am saving money just by presenting my educator card to a merchant. The other day, I casually entered into one of those wonderful stores with my children to make an educational purchase. I stroll up to the register once all of our items are selected and am kindly greeted by an exhausted sale associate who rings up my transaction, providing me with the grand total. I hear the total and realize I have only been given the “regular membership” total, most assuredly not the educator membership total.
I politely informed the sales associate that she must have used my regular membership discount and not my educator discount which she stated was correct. In handing her the educator card most assuredly, she scanned it and within a nanosecond informs me “this is expired.” I informed her that there must be some mistake and she assured me in return that there was no mistake and that the situation could be rectified quickly. All she needed was my current teacher I.D. When I tell you that I went into panic mode, I mean I went into panic mode. As the line grew behind me and my children picked up everything they could put their hands on, showing me everything that they could bring to the counter, I frantically dug through my purse looking for something, anything, that could possibly be or resemble a teacher I.D. It was a wake up call. I thought to myself “I am a teacher trapped in a homeschool mom’s body” and while it was apparent I was a parent, it was not apparent that I was a teacher. I kept telling the sales associate as I flipped through my wallet searching for something that said homeschool teacher, teacher I.D. or anything at all, I am a homeschooling mother. I am an educator. Yet, she said nothing and I was at nothing, nada, zippo as I continued to search my wallet. After what seemed like an eternity, it dawned on me, I just received and placed in another area of my purse an I.D. card from a homeschool organization that typed not only my full name but the word Teacher I.D. I was relieved, but not really.
The associate calmly stated that this I.D. may not be adequate proof and she would have to ask her manager. I was thoroughly insulted and embarrassed that I was stumbling over my words attempting to explain to this sales associate that I was a legitimate teacher as a homeschooling mother.
She called a manager to the front to assist her with voiding the transaction and waiting on the other customers anxiously awaiting their turn. As my her beat a million miles a minute, palms sweating and my mind wandering realizing this is the first full year as a retired school teacher, I became angry. I thought why is it not good enough for me to simply state that I am homeschooling my children? Why was it not as easy as that? I had to prove with a piece of paper that I was what I said I was and I found myself wondering “why?” Then solutions rushed throughly mind. Why don’t they simply offer home educator cards perhaps with “proof” of some sort, but then I began asking what might that proof even be? A letter from your school district of residency, what? I realized at that point it was not about the discount but about validation.
At the end, the transaction was approved with an educator discount mainly because the line had grown so long that the manager was hurried and was not trying to question me about being a homeschooling mother. She endorsed and renewed my educator card which will now show current. I walked out of the store and asked myself “What in the world just happened?”
Many lessons could have been gained from this interaction, but the epiphany is this: We as homeschooling families are a unit, we are strength, we are more than enough, we are the truth, we are educators, we are educated consumers, we are to be respected and treated with dignity. Period. I will call you the next time I go shopping and we can go to the register together. Have your educator card ready!

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