Tawanna Petty, Detroit-based poet and community organizer
One of the things we are committing to in this new vocational season is taking a few temp jobs a month to (A) supplement our fundraising and (B) get out into the community and see what's going on. This month we worked at a grocery store and at the front gate of the rodeo in the little town of Sisters (a half hour from Bend).
We faced product at the store for back-to-back 8-hour shifts. We felt it in body and soul. We reached, flexed, squatted, lunged and pulled. The number of brands and types of mayonnaise alone is cause for serious concern on many fronts. The immense waste (of wrapping, shipping and unsold food) coming from this little store in this little town is mind-blowing. To be immersed in this world is lamentation in itself. The playlist was entirely country music, twangin' about places where there's "biscuits and gravy and the pretty waitress calls you 'baby'."