Daily Archives: June 8, 2011

Late Night Shopping

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.  ~Robert Graves, 1895 – 1985 English poet.

I never shop in the supermarket at night.  It just doesn’t seem right to me.  Night time is a time for relaxing and taking it easy not shopping which is not my favourite pastime anyway.

On Wednesday I visit my son and his family, pick up my oldest grandson from school and make dinner for everybody.  Today my daughter-in-law told me of this great buy for porterhouse steak at the supermarket.  So on my way home, I called in to buy some.  She had purchased some at the weekend and the family pronounced it Great!

Great sign

I thought if her husband and two growing sons applauded this choice of hers I shouldn’t argue.

Well, a supermarket at 10pm is a very different place to a supermarket at 10 am.  You could have counted the number of people shopping on your hands and they were way out-numbered by the staff.  Shelves were being filled by young students, mothers and older men and women who obviously had this time available to earn some money.   And often people who are skilled in various areas cannot obtain work in their chosen line of work and must take whatever is offered.

I think back to the time when my children were young and how lucky I was that I didn’t have to go out to make extra money to support the family.

Here as most places in the world, jobs are scarce for older people, students and mothers needing to supplement the family income.  These people are paid at the minimum rate.  According to the Department of Labour, the rates are:

  • the adult minimum wage applies to all employees aged 16 and over who are not new entrants or trainees
  • $13.00 per hour, which is, $104.00 for an 8-hour day or $520.00 for a 40-hour week.
  • Employees have to be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for any extra time worked over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.

Again, as in most countries, we are seeing a widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots.  One wonders how a single mother with a couple of children at school reliant on the minimum wage manages to keep the family fed, housed and clothed.  There are, of course, benefits available to supplement the minimum wage but what are the criteria for accessing these benefits?

As I age I am becoming more aware of the inequalities in our country and while I know that there are programs available to assist those in need, it seems a hard pill to swallow if one is prepared to work.

End of another serious blog today.  Tomorrow will be better.  I am off to the Hospice to serve lunch for the patients.

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this:  most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.  Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.  ~
Douglas Adams
, 1952 – 2001 English writer and dramatist.
He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy …