DR. WALLACE: I'm writing in response to the letter from the young man whose mother thought it was beneath his dignity to work as a grocery bagger. I am now a sophomore in college and must pay for my own education. My first job was as a bagger in a large grocery chain. The work was hard but honest, and I learned a lot about the grocery business.
I am now attending college full time and still work part time at the same grocery store. I now work regularly at the cash register (it pays more), but, at times, I still bag groceries when it is needed at our store.
When I graduate from college, I'd like to continue working for this grocery chain and, hopefully, become a store manager for them at some point, if possible.
I like my company very much. They care about their employees. Please tell all teens and even your older readers that there is absolutely no shame in bagging groceries at a local store. If you take your job seriously, you'll have opportunities to advance to higher-paying jobs and, as a bonus, you will get to meet and know a lot of good people who are regular customers. —Started on the Ground Floor, via mail
STARTED: Your letter is an excellent response. You are fortunate to be working for a company that cares about its employees, and your company is fortunate to have such a loyal and dedicated worker. I have no doubts that you will make an excellent store manager someday. Hard, honest work should never be mocked, and no one is ever the poorer for learning an entry-level job and doing it well. You mentioned that it's a bonus to meet many regular customers: I agree with this wholeheartedly. And, should you ever decide to pursue another field beyond your grocery store ambitions, don't forget that within your store's base of regular customers exist many local business men and women who may provide you additional career-networking opportunities in the future, should you ever need them.
A SUPER STEPPARENT
DR. WALLACE: I'm writing to change the myth that stepparents are mean people who hate kids. About five years ago, my mother divorced our father. My father was an abuser. He beat my mother and us kids regularly. He was an alcoholic.
Six months after he left our house, he was killed in an automobile wreck. He was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Two years after my father died, my mother started dating a man whose wife had died, and he was raising a daughter my age. Six months after meeting, they got married. I was 12, and my twin brothers were 10.
It's difficult to put into words how wonderful this man is. He treated us all the same as he treated his own daughter and brought stability and love into our family at a time when it was desperately needed. My brothers and I love this man duly and thank the good Lord that he entered our lives. Having him for our stepfather was the best thing for our family.
Thanks, "Dad," for entering our lives and giving us all your love and understanding. I want to announce to the world that we all love you very, very much. — Grateful Stepchild, Topeka, Kansas
GRATEFUL STEPCHILD: Thanks for your inspiring story. Loving, caring, understanding people often come along in life just when you need them, but your case, as told here, goes far beyond this. It appears the entire arc of your home life will be markedly better due to this man. It's excellent to hear that despite all the rumors to the contrary, a good many stepparents are wonderful additions to the families they join.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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