Fire station

We took a trip to the York Fire Station today with my daughter’s class. The children were so excited by seeing the trucks, hearing the sirens and watching the poor fireman who was demonstrating sliding down the pole. He had to do it about five times thanks to requests to do it again and again.  It was a lovely time.

Customer Service

I generally do not like to complain about bad customer service because:

  • First world problems
  • You never know what is going on with someone, they could be having a bad day
  • I worked both in retail and as a server in a restaurant, and it is hard work
  • And I think that we should regard one another as fellow citizens, not within a vendor/consumer relationship, in which consumer is superior

But sometimes you have an interaction that just leaves you feeling worse. This happened awhile ago, as I went to buy a new blush. My husband and I first went to the Mac store, where we were greeted. I then asked about the blushes and the salesperson showed them to me. And then proceeded to leave to talk to her colleague. I didn’t know which color to choose and how to try them on. We stood there for a few minutes until I finally just decided to leave. And the salespeople seemed not to mind. Perhaps ti was because it was the end of their shift- I get that.

Then we went into Monarch Pharmacy, where I found a blush. I took it to the counter, where there seemed to be some confusion over the price. It was coming up more than double the price tag. Three employees then gathered around to try to fix it, and we were promptly told: “We can’t sell this.” I have never heard that in my life. Apparently they could not override the system to change the price and the person who does data entry had left.

My husband asked if there was a manager or supervisor. “No,” they said. “We can’t sell you this. Can you come back tomorrow?” I asked if they could just write it down and they said no. So we could not purchase the blush in the end.

A frustrating experience all around.

Mr. Brown

I think and I think and I think some more. I observe. Record. Question. Research. Read. Search. Place myself. Remove myself. Try to situate myself then take myself out of the picture, although this is impossible.

As a white, privileged lady in Jamaica, though, I’m realizing my thoughts are best left in my own head, as my own personal quest to figure out race in this country. I have nothing to add except my own privilege, and that is of no help. I can also try to reject the trappings of privilege when possible. That is more difficult. It takes sacrifice and hard work for things to change.

So I’m grateful for essays like this from Kei Miller that explain race in this country. As the mother of two brown children who will likely be “racialized” as indeterminate (to use the language in the essay) I would like to have my eyes and ears open.

I could probably write a whole book about my experiences with race here, moving through all classes, but that voice has been heard enough. Please read the essay if you are at all interested not just in Jamaica’s race issues, but in a world that is based and built on the lie of white supremacy.