A French woman living in France was shocked when she received this cheque for 1,200 USD of American taxpayer money signed by Donald Trump to help her through the COVID lockdown.
At first the young woman, who has studied journalism in Bordeaux and who lives in Bouscat, on the outskirts of the city, in the south-western French department of Gironde, thought it must be some kind of joke.
She said: “Honestly, I thought it was a prank. But some of my friends who were in the States at the same time as me also received this amount…”
Salome B. worked at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in the United States in 2019 for six months and received the cheque as part of the US Treasury’s plan to send taxpayers money during the coronavirus crisis to help them make ends meet.
Salome worked at the Epcot Center, which was the second theme park built at Disney World after the Magic Kingdom. It is a slightly futuristic park and is dedicated to human achievement.
Salome told Newsflash: “It was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I was working in a French bakery owned by Chefs De France, a company created by Paul Bocuse, the famous French Chef, in the French Pavillon of the Epcot Center.”
She said that she had “found the job via a company that finds work for French people with Walt Disney”.
Asked about her reaction when she opened the envelope, Salome told Newsflash: “I was surprised because I didn’t expect it at all. One of my friends discovered the previous evening that she had received the same amount on her American bank account. But I never thought that I would receive it too. To be honest, I thought I was a joke, or a fake. I was shocked and called my mum immediately!”
Salome is a little confused by the 1,200-USD (970-GBP) cheque. She told local media: “This money is officially to support American taxpayers. But I am not one anymore. And I received it at my French address.”
She added: “A friend of mine received it too. She was saying on Instagram how it had been transferred straight into her American account, which she hadn’t closed yet. I did not think I would receive it too. I was over there from February to August 2019. She returned home a long time after I did…”
Salome told Newsflash: “When you work in the USA, after some time, you can ask for your US tax return. You have to provide some personal and financial information about your time in the USA to the IRS [ed: the Internal Revenue Service; the American tax office]. I sent mine in early 2020 so I guess the government must have found me in their system.”
Asked what she is going to do with the cheque, she said: “I won’t cash it just yet. I can’t be sure it’s not some kind of mistake. So I’ll wait and see.”
Asked about her experience of the coronavirus pandemic, Salome said: “I spend time helping the homeless in my city with the association La Maraude du Coeur. This association cooks meals and gives them to Bordeaux’s homeless, every Sunday. I suppose in such hard and very weird times, they need even more attention and help.”
She added: “I’ve also been trying to avoid sitting on the couch watching TV shows. I prefer to do crossfit and work out.”
Salome has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and loves travelling and writing. She is currently looking for a job in the media that would allow her to travel.
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