I’m having an extremely hard time mustering the strength to go sell the paper today. This whole week, frankly.
The influx of people flooding the city nearly exclusively for the All Star Game are making me think. I have enough trouble dealing with the attitude given to me on a regular week by a city that votes darn near 90 percent Democrat.
So you can do the math when several hundred thousand people who are visiting the city, mostly families, wealthy people, generally more conservative people who, for the most part, sadly don’t buy the paper from me much (if YOU are an exception, thank you).
Many of these people go out of their way to make sure they make a point with me in non-verbal cues when they don’t buy the paper: a laugh, a “humpth!!,” an eye roll. I’ll take the chance to tell you that hurts.
It’s cool. I eat a lot of crud from those people, and I do it with a smile because I’m grateful I’m sober and I’m making a difference in the world the only way most of us can — one interaction at a time.
But it feels so negative, for the most part, subjecting myself to a whole new crowd of well-to-do, sometimes entitled-acting folks who scoot their kids off to the side to “protect them” when really they’ve missed a chance at a teachable moment.
Real Change is such a Seattle treasure.
As I rewrote this a few times, I did head back out. The job I’ve signed up for is to educate people, and nobody tells us in the vendor video that we watch before we start that it’s going to be easy. But, it’s very rewarding when I get a chance to explain the paper and, even better, when I see those parents explain to their children, “This is how we treat all people.”
I just wished it happened more often.
Eric Jarvis is a Real Change vendor. His badge number for Venmo is 3310.
Read more of the July 12-18, 2023 issue.