Monday, November 10, 2008

A Charitable Donation

Yesterday, as I was driving home from church, I decided to make a pit stop at my favorite hole in the wall Mexican spot that sells the best breakfast burritos this side of the border. I had been craving one since the previous night, but had been too lazy to make the drive at 2 in the morning. This might have been the first time I’ve ever ate a breakfast burrito during normal breakfast hours so I was hoping they were as good as I remembered them to be.

I’ve had this large bill that has been burning a hole in my wallet for a while now and I figured that it was time to break it, since cash really doesn’t create interest sitting in my purse. So I paid for my $4 burrito and as is habit, counted the change when it was handed back to me. However, I think I must be more accustomed to seem like I’m counting money than actually making sure all the money is there. Because I counted it, and while something told me it wasn’t quite right, I stuck it in my wallet anyway. Part of the problem was I wasn’t really sure how much change I was supposed to get; so going through the motions didn’t really do me any good. And with this much change, I perhaps expected it to be counted back to me, but it was not.

So in the seconds that pass, I am thinking to myself that there is probably a discrepancy here, but I am unsure how to handle it. On the one hand I’m thinking I should take my money back out of my wallet, make sure that my kindergarten math skills haven’t failed me and prove that I did in fact get short-changed, and say something to the guy. On the other hand, I really hate to embarrass people and cause a scene. This is probably extremely irrational on my part, as it is my money and all, but I don’t want to tell him he made a mistake or call him out for purposely not giving me my change. And I really think this might be the case the more I think of it, because I did find it odd how he didn’t count my change back to me.

So as to not make the guy feel bad for stealing my money, I kept quiet. Sure, it could have just been an honest mistake, but I think somehow it makes me feel less retarded that I kept my mouth shut if I convince myself that maybe he just needed the couple extra bucks more than I did at that time. Like I did some sort of spontaneous charitable giving without even being asked. Lame, huh? And what is lamer is that I’m still thinking about it. Luckily, the breakfast burrito was thoroughly enjoyable so that partly makes up for it. And to punish myself for being a mute I have decided that I am banned from Starbucks this week to make up for the cash I should have had in my wallet still. Next time I’ll just stick to my debit card.


Anonymous said...
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John W. Davis said...

That's a sad story. Stick to the debit card next time. I consciously use that when I don't want the hassle of getting coin change back.

Jon Lustig said...

Finally, a situation where being blind helps! I always ask for change to be counted out, even though they've recently started printing bills with markers on them in an attempt to make things easier for us.
I don't see how depriving yourself of your Starbucks will be a good thing. You'll remind yourself of why you're doing it, which combined with the fact that you're skipping something which presumably makes you happy in the morning will probably just turn you into a grump for most of the day. Do some extra reps in the weight room, do another lap around the track when you really don't want to, that sort of thing. Don't punish yourself because someone took advantage of you when you were trying to be nice.

Liz said...

I found my way here from 5th Time's blog... I've enjoyed your perspective!

Next time, think of it as a learning opportunity for the employee... no reason for you to get short changed. And the employee needs to learn from mistakes so that mistakes don't get repeated!

Totally jealous... I'd love to find a place with a good breakfast burrito.

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
That’s not stealing! Think of it as “Re-directing the Wealth”. The “spontaneous charitable giving” (albeit, without consent) should be thought of more as “an Economic Stimulus program”.
You too funny girl!

PS. And to think some commenter’s have tried to imply you’re a little ‘self-focused’. I trend to think you’re rather soft-hearted; maybe even a little to generous about some things …

the Gamelord said...

Perhaps the hombre sensed how you were salivating over the thought of consuming the breakfast burrito and decided he was "entitled" to a tip or maybe the restaurant has a small (albeit undisclosed) surcharge for large bills. :-) Did you drop a Benji on him? Whatever the case, I think you were right on in not raising a ruckus. The universe has a way of balancing itself out. Just view it as a lesson learned. Always count your change or like you said, use your trusty debit card.

Christy said...

You're a lot nicer than me - I've said it before, but it's really a fact. There's NO WAY I would've let that go. I wouldn't have "made a scene", but I would have definitely said something. Of course, you didn't mention exactly how much money we're talking about here, but considering you're foregoing Starbucks, I think it’s safe to assume it’s more than a couple of dollars.

Personally, I almost always use my card, which drives my husband crazy. But I do that because A) I hate carrying around a lot of cash and B) I seem to lose track when it comes to having cash (which I understand is not the norm, most people spend too much money on credit because it’s so easy to use).

Bianca said...

Who is this and what have you done with my best friend?

Seriously. YOU didn't say anything? YOU didn't ask any questions? I'm shocked :)

Like Daniel said, we are "redistributing" wealth :)

Anonymous said...

You should be okay with redistributing the wealth, since you're such a big obama supporter!