Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Keep the Change"

At work today I pointed a guy over to the help desk to find some books on coin values. I was working register, so I got to see him when he came up to check out.

I can understand that he was in a rush, but he just spent about 20 minutes finding these books. Did he really have to run out without a bag, or his receipt, or even his change? I know, I know, it's just a quarter, but that's gotten me thinking: "Keep the change," has always been an expression of generosity and benevolence.

Too bad cashiers get just as much flack for their drawer being over at the end of the night as they do for being short. Great job, guy. You acted all cool, like 25¢ doesn't even matter to you (anyone?), but I've got to stand there and deal with a new moral conundrum. Do I pocket the quarter? Is that stealing? From who? Would I be caught? Unlikely. But if I was, wouldn't I be punished worse for that than for leaving it out and/or reporting it? Would that have acknowledged my guilty intention to thieve? Should I leave the quarter on the counter and risk the assumption that I shorted somebody only to sneakily fix the drawer later, only to be branded both incompetent and unscrupulous?

Jesus Christ, guy, just take your fucking quarter and leave me alone.

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