Pam’s Club discriminates against the elderly! The other day I put my wallet in my purse, got in my car, and drove to the nearest Pam’s Club. Merrily I walked in and then it happened – discrimination in action! The man at the door had some heck-of-a-nerve and asked to see my Pam’s Club Card. Well, I don’t have a Pam’s Club Card. I whipped out my Jerry’s Card but he wouldn’t accept it. The gatekeeper looked at me and said, “You can get a Pam’s membership card today by stepping over to customer service.” How dare that person smile at me! I have a Jerry’s Card and that should be good enough! I looked over at the customer service line and there were ten people waiting.
In a huff, I marched right up to the front of the line and interrupted the clerk who was waiting on the next customer.
“Excuse me! Do you have a senior line? I’m much older than these young folks are, and can’t wait on a long line. I need your assistance right now!”
The woman looked at me and genuinely answered, “I’m sorry, but our service is on a first come, first serve basis. I can have someone get you a chair. Would that make you more comfortable? One of our staff can provide a drink. Perhaps, you would like some free cookies from the bakery while you wait?”
“No! No! I’m old; I demand to be waited on right now.”
The store manager heard the commotion, stepped over, and instantly began damage control. “Is there a problem here? How can I assist you today?”
Now was my chance to make a difference for all the old people who want to shop at Pam’s and can’t because they are discriminated against. “Yes, you can help me! I want to shop here and that horrible person at the door said I couldn’t. I have money, a Jerry’s Card, and I want to buy groceries. He said I needed a Pam’s Card to identify myself. You are discriminating against old people. This has got to stop!”
The manager was quite perplexed. “You do realize, Pam’s requires a club membership. We can provide this service to you, if you wait here and apply for a card.”
“There you go again, more discrimination. Why do I need a card?”
“It is store policy. If you want the benefits Pam’s Club offers our membership, you have to pay an annual fee. Everyone who shops here, pays the annaul fee, and shows their card at the door. They keep their card in a safe place, so it doesn’t get lost and they renew their benefits every year. Membership offers excellent benefits.”
“Stop right there – are you saying I have to pay an annual fee to shop in your store?”
“Well yes, but over a year’s time the benefits of membership will outweigh the initial cost. You will be saving money with our deep discounts on groceries, produce, electronics, home, garden, pet, bakery, deli, pharmacy, furniture, car products and services, just to name a few. Really, our membership is worth the wait and the cost. It will really save you money. You’ll probably pay yourself back on the first or second shopping trip. Our products and services are excellent.”
The young man was confident about his club membership. “And we do have personal items that will help the elderly get around and make their personal living activities much easier. We have walkers, scooters, diapers…things to assist you with your comfort and safety. Now, let me get you a chair. Our customer service representatives are pretty fast. They will complete your application, take your money, and get your picture for a photo identification on your card.”
This young snot wasn’t going to buffalo me. “Let me get this straight…I have to have a picture identification card to get in and pay money for this? And to get this, I have to stand on line? Why is this so blasted complicated? What is this world coming to! Well for criminy sakes, I’ll pay to join, but why do you need a picture of me? I should be able to tell them my name at the door and that’s it. This is outright discrimination against the old people. All these years, we never had to do this.”
“Actually, it protects you.”
“Protects me? And how does a card with my picture on it, protect me?”
“Unfortunately, just like you said, our world is not the same as it used to be. Someone could come to Pam’s and say they are you and use the benefits you paid for. In the past, some membership folks weren’t very honest. They would send in other people who would use the member’s name and get the same benefits you paid for, without paying for the benefits. Pam’s realizes, this wouldn’t be fair to you. With a picture, we will know it’s you. It protects your membership and the membership of all our good customers.”
Although I was mad-as-a hatter, I thought about what the young man said. “You know, Pam’s is on to something pretty clever. At the Young at Hearts Seniors Club, Betty is always getting a second dessert by giving Mary’s name. When Mary goes up, they tell her she got her dessert. They tell Mary she forgot and then show her where her name was crossed off the list. Mary doesn’t get her dessert and Betty winds up with two cupcakes. If we had photo identification at the center, Betty couldn’t do that.”
“So, can we sign you up?”
“Yeah, get me a chair, coffee, and peanut butter cookies.”
Even though this story is rather silly, it brings out a good point. In our everyday world, we’re required to prove who we are to receive benefits. If we go to the library, we present a library card to check out books or videos. If we go to a hospital and have insurance, we show our insurance card to receive benefits. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, the recipient provides their card to prove who they are, to receive benefits and services. Many times when we use credit cards, we are asked for a photo identification, which protects us, the cardholder. One cannot cash a check at the bank, without photo identification. These steps are put in place because people are not honest. Theses steps protect our identity and our rights. Why is there controversy when we are asked to prove who we are, when it comes to the biggest decisions of our lives…elections?
I have heard all the issues, even the one where a woman who allowed her driver’s license to expire years ago. If she’s receiving Social Security, what is the real reason why she can’t get a state-issued photo ID? Why does anyone allow his or her only form of identification to lapse or expire? Why didn’t they visit the DMV and take care of their personal business?
I’m a great-granddaughter of alcoholic immigrants, a granddaughter of alcoholic immigrants, and a daughter of an alcoholic, homeless man, but these are not excuses for me because I am responsible and accountable for my own personal life. If a person over eighteen can’t get a driver’s license, there is much more to their story if the truth were told. There is no excuse why someone cannot get a valid state-issued ID. If they can’t, there is a red-flag reason why they can’t. If a store can demand it, surely our government can! All Americans should be asking for this protection of our civil rights! Stop the lyin’ – stop the cryin’!
I thank my North Carolina elected officials who stood firm to complete a bill which protects my voting rights, and the rights of all legitimate voters of all colors. You are protecting our country! You are protecting our Constitution! You are protecting America! You are making my vote count when I go to the polls! This restores my confidence that my vote counts! Voting is America and American!
If people don’t want to provide identification when they vote, wait until they die. Jesus is the gatekeeper. Trust me; your name must be proven at judgment. It’s written down, called out, and marked off. Revelation 21: 34-27 “The nations will walk by its light, and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. During the day, its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any [one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”.