A Watered-Down Gesture

| Working | July 7, 2016

(I work at a shipyard. It’s July and the company owner has decided to provide water for the convenience of the workers, who are toiling in the sun with very little opportunities for a break. Two pallets of bottled water are placed in the workshop, leaving the workers free to take as many as they need. Bear in mind these are half-liter bottles, easy to carry around but highly impractical for domestic consumption. At five pm, a worker comes in.)

Me: “Hi, [Worker].”

Worker: *somewhat embarrassed* “Hi…”

(He then proceeds to take at least three six-bottle packs, too much for a single person, especially since his shift just ended. I have a realization.)

Me: “[Worker], you aren’t taking the bottles home, are you?”

Worker: *yelling* “I’m poor! I have a large family!”

(Sadly, because of this guy and many others like him, the following year the workers were left to fend for themselves regarding water…)

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