Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Other Side of Being a Nice Guy

It seems that a lot of my posts are inspired by other posts, and this one is no different. Having just read Restaurant Refugee's post about the kindness of Metro employees and doing the right thing, I thought I'd pass along a little experience of mine from the other side of the coin.

I dropped by World Market the other day to pick up a bag of my favorite coffee, Costa Rican Terrazzu, on which I've been hooked ever since my vacation in Costa Rica. I go out of my way to get that coffee there because A) they carry it, B) it's cheaper there than anywhere else I've found it, and C) they have a coffee club which gets me every 7th bag for free.

The total for my coffee came to $9.01. I handed the lady a twenty, she handed me my change, and I headed out the door. Now I'm one of these anal-retentive people who has to have all of my money in my wallet in a certain order. All bills facing forward, sorted from smallest to largest. Needless to say, my change is never handed to me this way and I spend a few seconds turning bills around and rearranging them before putting them into my wallet.

I was doing this as I was strolling out to my car when I realized that I had $19.00 in bills in my hand. I had already put away the 99 cents. I must admit that my first thought at this point was an evil one: Wow! A pound and half of coffee for a penny!

Then I started thinking. I know, that'll get you every time. This lady's cash register is going to be $9.00 short at the end of the day. At the very least, she'll probably have to make it up out of her own pocket. If she has a history of this sort of thing, the consequences might be even worse for her. And I'll just be damned if I'm going to screw up my karma for a lousy nine bucks.

I turned around, went back into the store, and got back in line. When I got to the register, I told her that she had given me way too much change for twenty. I showed her the receipt and the $19.00 I still had in my hand. She was completely perplexed and got out a calculator. I told her that the correct change from a twenty for $9.01 should have been $10.99 and that she had given me an extra $9.00. From the way she thanked me, I'm guessing that this is not her first offense.

So she may not be the best cashier in the world, but if she gets in trouble, it won't be because of me.

Not expecting a pat on the back here or anything, it was just the right thing to do. Just sharing a glimpse into an otherwise uneventful life.


Mike said...

Anal-retentive? No it's not. That's just normal.

Wv: anmeexc - A skinny mexican.

Gilahi said...

Mike - That's what I thought, but I've been assured otherwise.

Scotus said...

A cashier with a limited grasp of English once gave me $10 too much in change. I tried to give it back to her, but she thought I was saying she'd shorted me $10 and got irate.

I thought about trying to explain it to her or even just shoving the $10 into her hand, but I took her attitude as a sign from God that He was cool with me keeping the money and walked out.

Gilahi said...

Scotus - At least you tried to do the right thing. Sometimes even our best efforts to be good guys get quashed. Lots of people would have just taken the money and run.

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