What would Jesus do?
On the warm, balmy Monday after Thanksgiving I found myself shopping in a store I used to work at.  I hadn't shopped with them since I was laid off a few years ago.  I didn't like the way I was treated (see my blog:  www.chicagonow.com/blogs/being-catholic-really/2010/11/why-we-celebrate.html#more) so I decided to no longer shop there as well.
My daughter was in dire need of a winter coat and I was able to get one on sale.  I was happy with the purchase and thought to myself, "Just this once."  A friend of mine still works at this company part time and I emailed her wondering in print if I would still get my employee discount.  She emailed me back and said, "Don't be surprised!" 
About two weeks later I received my statement and noticed that the price of the coat was a lot lower.  I thought it might be an error, but when I turned the page of the statement, there it was, in black and white:  "employee discount" and the amount!
I literally laughed out loud and emailed my friend and told anyone else who would listen.  One of my friends thinks the employee discount police might come and find me, but I seriously doubt it.  But the question I got from almost everyone, including my husband, was, "So are you going to start shopping there again?"  My husband even felt that this company "owed" me.  I have to admit that I started thinking about it.
When I didn't work for this company, I shopped with them periodically.  The store I shopped at had a nice atmosphere, friendly sales people and mouthwatering goodies.  All the things I love:  Jewelry (costume and the good stuff), designer handbags and clothing.  Did I mention the jewelry?
Where I worked was a little different.  Most of the people I worked with were nice, but I also ran into a couple of "sales divas," who would remind everyone to NEVER get in the way of one of their sales, though it was okay to steal sales from their fellow employees!  Apparently my department was mild-mannered compared to others where the competition for sales could be life-threatening!
The old saying, "What would Jesus do?" comes to mind.  I can't see Our Lord in a retail store debating on whether to make a purchase because when he worked there they wouldn't allow him to attend temple.
But Jesus wouldn't compromise his faith either.  He paid for it with His life.  It seems like a small thing to not shop at a store that didn't want to allow me the time to go to church compared to His sacrifice.  But it's the little things that eat away at our soul.  We give in a little here, a little there and before we know it, we've separated ourselves from Our Lord and we don't even realize it.
So I will pay my bill.  And I won't compromise my faith.


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  • if you are sharing this antecdote to demonstrate how you apply the tennants of our faith through everyday experiences, YaY!

    however, if you really are losing sleep debating about whether ot not to shop at department store...please, order a cup of perspective (I think Amazon has some free with Super Shipping). Not shopping there is like not drinking water from a fountain because you got splashed by it during a rainstorm.

    You may have left out details in your previous post, but from what i read it was your immediate supervisor wouldn't adjust the schedule to keep you free for Mass, not the Corporate Retail Collective. In fact, according to you they had a written policy preventing that sort of thing.

    Was she/he anti-catholic or anti-religious? Perhaps. But more likely they were more focused on staffing the busy hours of a store during the holidays. You said yourself "got a job working for a large retailer for the Christmas holiday" http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/being-catholic-really/2010/11/why-we-celebrate.html

    Fact is, weekends including Sunday are when most working Americans (Catholics too) do their shopping. So you kinda had to expect that they would want you to work their busy shifts.

    Now should they have worked with you to give you some opportunities to attend mass if there was sufficient coverage instead of take the lazy way out with a definitive No-way Sista. Of course.

    But you can rest assured that that kind of short sightedness in Corporate America will equate to that person never reaching a high enough level to be rid of the responsibility of managing an ever changing staff's schedule.

  • I'm always trying to apply the tenants of our faith through my everyday experiences - it's basically the premise of my blog, so thank you!

    At my other job, I wanted to be able to leave work on a Saturday by 3 PM so I could be ready to play and sing at Mass at 5 PM. It was rarely allowed no matter who I talked to (including Human Resources). Since the company employed over 500 people in one store for the Christmas holiday, I would've thought that they could have found one person to cover the window that I wanted to have off. I think the attitude in general was that I wasn't putting the company first and they were taken aback by that.

    My current position is also in retail and the schedule is scattered, but my managers understand that my faith is a big part of my life and they have always accommodated it from the day I was hired. The difference between the two companies is quite striking and I have talked to others who work for companies that realize that church and family should come before their company. It makes for happier employees!

    I remember a time when stores were not open Sunday so people could attend church services. Unfortunately we have gotten away from that. We are driven by the all mighty dollar and not the All Mighty.

    I'm not losing sleep. My decision was an easy one. I see no reason to give my money to a company that treated me the way they did. Before I bought my daughter's coat, I hadn't shopped with them in at least two years. There are a lot of other places where I happily part with my money.

    I love the way you write! You should submit a blog idea. Thanks for commenting!

  • Well thank you. I'd love to but Jimmy Greenfield won't let me until I come up with an idea. If blogging had been around when I went through RCIA, I might be doing one similiar to yours.

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