Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Even The Least of Them

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" - Jesus

I do not get very religious on you here in the blog. What I believe, I believe. Sometimes I find the need to share, and I think this is one of those times.

Today at my happy little part time job, which I do not refer to as "work" but I call "awesome," my love Jo left me in charge of phones for two reasons. One, she has laryngitis. Two, she had to go run errands and shop for the classes. I was wheeling and dealing, marketing and helping, sending emails, answering phones, telling people how to book a birthday party, and telling the Groupon jerks to kiss my ass and go away because Jo wishes not to deal with them. 

Shortly before she returned to the office, the phone rang. On the other end was a woman who sounded as if she was maybe a bit intoxicated. Her speech was slurred, I had a hard time really understanding her. But I listened, because she was full of questions. Pretty soon I figured out she isn't intoxicated, she just is.

She told me that she was attending a cooking school in the Boston Area and was going to be flunking out because the classes are too fast and she cannot keep up, so she wanted to "transfer" to our cooking school.  

I explained to her that we are not a culinary arts institute like the one she goes to. We  teach cooking classes for fun... not for certification. She couldn't grasp that, and wanted to know what our application process was. I explained to her as clearly as I could, that we don't do transfers, we sell individual classes of 2-3 hours to individuals, and those classes are just those classes. She wanted to know what the classes were like, do the instructors work slowly so people can actually learn. She also wanted to know "Why do I need to learn French Cooking? I'm American!" which kind of made me laugh a little. I told her that is so basic! The skills in French Cooking are the foundation for all of modern cooking. Like if you go to become a doctor, you don't just go and take classes in just what you want to do, you have to take Anatomy and Physiology and all sorts of basic introductory classes. BEFORE you can become a specialist in just Otolaryngology or Podiatry. She kind of understood that. 

"The foundations. That's what I need. I need the basics. But for nine months I haven't learned anything so I need to go somewhere that I can learn."

She told me how much she loves to cook, she loves to make food that makes people happy. She wants to be better at it. So she knows she needs to learn things. She asked if she could come just look at our cooking school. See what it is like. I told her to feel free. But she can't transfer here. She can just take classes that make her happy. I explained to her three times how to find us if she took the T. She was laughing and happy when we finished the call; I was exhausted and a little bit sad.

It crossed my mind as I sat there sadly that I'm very lucky. My life may suck in a lot of ways, but when it comes down to it, how privileged am I?

When I call somewhere, I can communicate, and I communicate well. Heck, I've even talked my way into interviews for jobs that I am not even close to qualified for. I realized that this is a woman who probably just wants a better job, or a job at all, and she's just trying to make her life better. Aren't we all? I have a part time job, I have a wonderful family. I have a support system and network which does not allow me to fall through the cracks.

I am not getting financially raped by a culinary arts outfit that really should not be taking my money, at all. I'm getting financially raped by Bank of America, but I'm fighting that fight the best I can. In the back of my mind I recalled Jesus' words in Matthew, which I cite at the top of the page. And I realized that this my sister is really one of the least of them. It started to break my heart, started to make me cry a little.

As for me, I want to think that if we are truly judged by what we do "to the least of them," that this was my shining moment. I'm of the mindset that I always try harder to help those who are obviously handicapped, those who do not get the attention of others, I can focus on them... and help them. And I do it often. I don't do it because I think it will get me into heaven or anything, but I do it because I know that we're known by our love, by treating people the way we would like to be treated, and that it is commanded of us to do these things.

I doubt she will come visit our cooking school. But should she.... I hope she likes the facility.

Jo returned from the world and I told her of all my adventures, including this woman's call. She stated that the woman called on Monday and Tuesday. Jo spent a half hour with her on Monday and Renee had her on the phone on Tuesday. We agreed that she was being robbed by the particular school, and that if she made it to us we'd do what we could to get her to understand how our classes work.

My guess is she will call tomorrow. And maybe the next day. As annoying as it may be, treating her the best we can is all we can do.


  1. I really will be angry if LCB took her money. I shall endeavor to be as patient with her today when she calls again as you were. I just wish there were a way to get her to understand that we can't help her.

  2. be a blessing to her -- if she comes in in person she can SEE what you do and i think that it will sink in. i get the idea though that she is challenged in many ways and transportation may be one of them. if you're too busy to talk, hand her off to maria or something and see if she can talk magic.