I’m about to break a rule I made for myself at the beginning of the summer, which was never to talk about a specific patron from work on my blog. Then today happened, and I want to talk about it.
I’ve been plagued by math for my whole life. Give me addition or multiplication, I can do it without a problem. Give me calculus and I’ll probably cry and throw it back to you. I am simply not gifted in the area of mathematics.
Today, I had a mixup with a patron spiraled very quickly into her hostilely telling her friends that if I can’t give do the math to give her the proper change, I should just go work at McDonald’s. She also said that it’s such a shame that I obviously couldn’t afford to get a good enough education to count change. For the matter, it was an unprecedented and uncalled for reaction, for multiple reasons.
First, there’s a heavy implication there that people who work at McDonald’s are stupid. I know that’s the common thought but I personally feel that no one should ever be discounted due to their profession. A lot of people work where they can because it’s their only option for a living. That’s okay. Second, I was appalled at her hateful words – delivered to her friends but still deliberately loud enough for me to hear – as someone who does not have the brain for math. Heaven forbid she had that reaction to someone with an actual mental disability that makes math difficult for them.
After that one guest interaction, I was shaken up. I’ll admit, I’m a little insecure when it comes to math. I got horrible SAT scores for math, I had to slave for a B in math in college; it seems like no one else has as much of a problem with math as I do, even though I know it’s not true.
It’s funny how Satan will find your weaknesses and kick at them, isn’t it? He really knows how to find your vulnerable areas and use them against you in the most hurtful way possible. It’s not even because Satan wants you to feel pain. That’s probably part of the reason, but it also lures you into the trap of anger, bitterness, righteousness. Believe me, I spent the next fifteen minutes imagining all of the things I could have said to that woman, starting with, “excuse me, ma’am, I did make Dean’s List last semester at Penn State and got an A in my math/science/physics class.”
But that’s what Satan would want me to do.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how God equips each of us uniquely to pursue different passions? How God gave us all a variety of strengths to counter our weakness that comes from our sin nature? My lack of math skills is a weakness with my job, but I’d like to think that my organization and ability to communicate well is a strength that counter acts my subpar mental math ability. It’s funny how we can see our strengths and see how God uses them to the point that our weaknesses don’t matter anymore.
Without vulnerability, we’d have no chance for humility. We wouldn’t have a reason to rely on God if we didn’t have these shortcominns that Satan likes to play with. So yeah, I’m sad about what happened today but I’m all the more grateful for the skills God has gifted me with. I may not be able to give you the quadratic formula off the top of my head, but I can at least tell you why Oxford commas are absolutely necessary. Because they are. Use them.
Side note: I also met an NFL referee today. I fanned out only a little.