In one of the book reviews for my book someone complained that I was classist in writing about my experiences at a big box store during the economic downturn. I am not a classist and I am going to explain why that is. While it is true that I had trouble fitting in there at the big box store, and I struggled to hide my education so that I could get a job. I was also observing people as this is part of my training as a counselor/psychologist. I often ask myself why people make the decisions they do, and I especially want to know why people make decisions that are not beneficial.
My time in the big box store did highlight one thing in particular and that is that there is a great educational divide in this country that has failed a great number of people. When I was an English teacher one of my goals was to help my students negotiate decision-making. I wanted them to learn how to be critical thinkers–not just so that they could understand Shakespeare, but because I wanted them to be able to make better decision about their own lives. Before I go any further, I would like to point out that I am well aware that the economy is rigged against the middle to lower classes of people. As a psychologist, however, I want to see what types of decisions people make under stress. What types of decisions did I make? How could I have negotiated that situation better? What types of decisions were being made around me that could have been better, more beneficial?
That being said I did use satire to make a point. The point was that the economy stripped away all advantages that education had and left me swimming for my life. Am I classist for noticing that many people made decisions that worsened their situations? Am I classist to point out that I was more flexible in my thinking? Did education help me in that endeavor?
As we go forward in the election, we can again see people who vote against their own best interests. Why do they do that? I think it is worth studying and trying to understand what happens there.
I renamed my book “Tales of Damn Cheapmart,” because I think it expresses the theme a bit better. It was republished under the new name at Lulu.com, and at Amazon’s kindle store.