You know how some people go around seeing others as dollar signs? Well, after this afternoon, I now can say I see people as how much they owe in overdue fines.
After work this afternoon, I was walking to a restaurant when I passed a high school student on the street who I know owes about $30 in fines. I saw him, but he pretended not to see me as he started texting on his cellphone:
Im prtndng not 2 C dbag frm libary lol
That’s all right, punk. C U in jail, lol that biotch.
Then while I was at the restaurant who should sit at the table next to me but this woman who owes about the same amount, if not more by this time, in fines. She briefly made eye contact but then quickly broke away as she realized who I was. However, it’s not as if her boyfriend or husband, the dude who was with her, doesn’t know about her fines, because the last time he returned books for her, I reminded him that she had other books that were long overdue.
Somehow I resisted the temptation to whisper over to her:
So, Ms. X, have you returned those books that were overdue yet and paid your fines? This is your conscience speaking.
However, I think her conscience probably already was pricked enough just by my presence. Speaking would have been pushing it– just a little.
So has your job ever tainted the way you’ve seen someone in public? If so, how? Did you say anything or did you, like me, let it slide?