Do I look like Social Security?


On, the Friday of the Paci Fairy Balloon send off, the girls and I headed to Wally World to purchase the balloons and some other goodies.  The trip went very well considering I had  both of them with me and it took a million years to get the balloons blown up.  And, once we had the balloons, they both were trying to get to them.

But we survived, and paid and we were on our way.

As we were standing in the (110 degree) parking lot, and I was trying to shove a dozen balloons into the back of the van, while entertaining #2 and keeping #1 right by the cart, a middle aged woman started to walk up to us.

First thought: “Hey, maybe she is coming to use my cart so I don’t have to put it away.”

Second thought: “Please don’t come over here, I don’t think I want what you are selling.”

Crap.  Eye contact.

The woman walks up to us (way too close to me for a parking lot..heck way too close in general).

In the most country of accents you can imagine she says “We ain’t bums or anything…”

Then an older lady walks up; leaning backwards, hand on her back sort of shuffling. “This here’s my grandma.  Her social security check got lost in the mail.”

I know the look on my face was shocking for them.

Was I wearing a “Social Security” name tag?  Am I at a Social Security office?  Why are you approaching me about this problem?  I don’t work for Social Security.  I’m in the Wally World parking lot will a million balloons and my two children, not an office.  Because if I was in an office, I wouldn’t be squinting from the heat off the parking lot or sweating from the sun on my back.

“I’m sorry ma’am.  I can’t help you out.  We are on a strict budget right now.”

Now, I’m not one to not help.  But come on.  I’ve got my kids with me, you are in my personal space, and you want me to whip out my wallet right here in front of you?  Nope.  Don’t think so.

“Yeah, I’m on a strict budget, too, that’s how come I can’t help her out.”

And, off they walked.

In the time it took me to wrangle everything into the van, I saw them stop three other people walking out of the store.

If it were me, and my grandma’s social security check got “lost” in the mail, you bet you a55 I wouldn’t be standing in a million degree parking lot stopping every unsuspecting customer that walked out of Wally World.  I’d sure be sitting in the Social Security office waiting for it to open and help her get her money.

So, I’m thinking, I need to wipe “STUPID” off of my forehead, because they must have seen it on my head.  And, I’m quite certain it doesn’t apply.

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  1. honey are you for real? that’s crazy. seriously crazy.

  2. People like that freak me out. I don’t want anyone, young, old, male, female approaching me in the parking lot when I am alone with my kids. Freaky.

  3. i can’t believe they approached you like that – it amazes me how women with kids seem like a good target. I don’t know if they think you’ll just quickly give them money so that you can get back to your kids, or if you’ll use it as a teaching moment and show giving or if they just think moms are stupid and will fall for their lies. I may sound calloused by calling them lies but “my grandma’s social security check got lost in the mail” sounds like a complete lie and if it’s lost go talk to someone that can help.

  4. Oh my, that has scam written all over it… they’ve arrested people around our region numerous times for doing just such things, sometimes the same story line, some different. Unfortunately, some folks were too trusting and lost money or were mugged on the spot, in broad daylight. The police have tried to get the word out to immediately call 911 when things like this happen. So glad nothing happened to you!

  5. Definitely sounds like a scam. Desperate people do desperate things, although I don’t see exactly how successful that approach would be.

  6. I am such a sucker that I probably would have given her something but I definitely can see how that could be a scam. If her SS check got lost in the mail she should be going to the nearest SS office and not approaching cars in the walmart parking lot.

    I honestly cannot believe she approached someone trying to shove balloons in their car with two small children to be paying attention to as well. And in that heat! Do people really want to stop and have a conversation with someone asking them for money. Nope, I do not think so!

  7. My in-laws had something similar happen to then outside of a Walmart too.

    I suppose once you “wash” off the Stupid from your forehead, you could put on a “Back off, I’m Smart” t-shirt. Might help keep them away. 🙂

  8. I agree with Amy, I think a lot of people think women with kids are a good target. I was approached last week by two old grizzled guys for “change.”

  9. Ok, first of all it is SO tacky and I totally hate it when people come up to me in the parking lot. Freaky. Also, really? If her SS check was lost why didn’t she just call SS office and have them reissue another one? Duh. And it’s one thing to chose to give freely and it’s another to be asked for a hand-out.
    Second…I’m way behind on blog-reading but I just got caught up! Can’t believe you said bye bye to passy! I need to do that with C but I’m too scared. And not willing to let that baby part go yet. 😉
    Good luck back at school…one more day until total chaos with kids resumes, right!? 😉

  10. Call me (us) what you want, but I would have done the same thing! I’m sorry. I like being able to give to people if they need help, but you’re right. They needed to be at the SS office if that was the problem. Clearly, it was not.

  11. I’m so surprised by the gumption of people sometimes.

    Wally World takes the cake for creative people watching 😉

  12. I hate hate hate when that sort of thing happens. I’ve had it happen to me as well when the kids were with me and I just looked at the guy like, “Are you kidding me?” You would think they’d have enough gull not to walk up to a woman alone with her kids!

    On a better note…I got my Dave Ramsey book in the mail from Amazon today! Can’t wait to crack it open. With a week and a half left till school starts back for me I’m hoping to read it and set our plan in action before returning to work! I can’t wait!

  13. I would say I’m shocked that this happened, but then I remembered it happened at Wal-Mart and everything that is crazy happens there.

  14. Crazy things happen in Walmart. I watched a woman’s purse get snatched from the front of her buggy as she unloaded her bags into the trunk (she stupidly left her purse in the open) and my 17 year old was sexually harassed by a group of guys INSIDE a Walmart at 11:30 at night. Just watch yourself!

  15. Lorie Shewbridge says:

    You are SO right. As someone who IS on Social Security, I would be on the phone the first day the check was missing and at the office the next day before it opened.

    It really annoys me when people do crap like that. BTW, you don’t have stupid on your forehead, people that bold will approach anyone.

    1. Maybe I should have offered money for a pay phone, then? It was just so crazy!

      Thank you! I just can’t imagine being THAT bold, I guess!

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