Last week on my way home from a particularly tough midnight shift, which lasted until 10:30, I stopped in at a Second Cup to wind down, have a strong cup of something hot and read the newspaper. It had been a freezing night. I was cold and tired but not quite ready for bed. I entered the coffee shop in my grubby winter work jacket, my boots and my unkempt toque-head and unshaven, red face. I may have looked a sight to some of the suburban folks sitting, but I took no notice. All I wanted was that hot cup of coffee and my copy of the Edmonton Journal.
I was about most of the way through the front section, reading the Op-Ed pages when a man in a nice suit came over and started thumbing through the other sections of my paper, which I had left on the chair beside me. I looked up a little startled, as if to ask what he was doing. He looked back and said, "I'm goining to take the Business Section; you're not going to read it!"
I thought I must have heard him wrong and asked, "What?"
"Well," he condescended, "you're not going to read the Business Section, are you?"
Ahhh, I thought, he doesn't think some bum in a work-style coat, wearing big safety boots and looking as dishevelled as I did that morning would have any interest in the financial pages of the paper.
"Oh, I get it," I nodded. "You don't think someone like me would read the Business Section. Is that it."
"Well," he stammered, "I just assumed...."
"You assumed that because I look like this, I'm too uneducated to be able to understand or care about economics." "Well, here's the deal," I continued, "you can have the business section while I'm finishing off the Front Section and the City Section. However, once I'm done, I will want the Business Section of the paper I BOUGHT."
"Oh, I'm sorry," he retreated. "I didn't mean to say that you couldn't understand economics." Then he put the paper down and walked away.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I did like my mother told me and got a good education. I just happen to like working outside better and have chosen labour over the inside jobs I used to do.