Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Honesty is over-rated - and over-charged... er.... or was that under-charged?.......

I realize that after not having blogged for a bit, beer is probably not the topic that should first be on my mind to share with you. (Then again, why the heck not!?!) But I can't help it. This has to be shared.

On my way from walking the beach I stopped to buy my sweet man some beer. I thought the bill was awfully low considering what I bought. One small bottle of apple juice, one large bottle of white wine, and a 12-pack of Fosters. The total came to $13.14. Sweet! Once I looked at the receipt more closely (on our drive way, all of two blocks from the liquor store), I realized he had only charged me for a single bottle of Fosters. Damn! I knew I should go back. Then I thought,
"Oh well, too bad. Their mistake! Yay for us."

But then the other voice always has to keep on, not letting me off the hook so easily,
"You know it's stealing, right?..."

"Fine...Right. I know. Alright, fine! I'll go back. But is it actually stealing if THEY make a mistake? I didn't deliberately TRY to take it without paying for it."

"C'mon now. Be a grownup. You know better."

On top of this my husband helpfully chimes in, "It's your Karma." I point out to him HE is the one DRINKING the Karma.

"Oh, alright! I'm going already."

What follows was just too funny to keep to myself.

I go in and explain to the elderly sales clerk what he had done. He looks at me in disbelief and says, not relieved, "Ooooh noooo.... Oooooh..... What an honest lady..." I make a face that says "I know. I just wanted to keep the twelve pack for $1.59 and I think you should let me." He doesn't. He proceeds to get a second 12-pack to ring it up. After ringing up that but deducting what I had already paid him for the one beer he tells me I now owe him $18.45. I regret having come back more and more. Morals. Bttthhhhh! I point out that the 12-pack was on sale for $9.99. He assures me it is not. It is.

"Why, I'll be darned."

He punches the cash register keys long enough to write a short story, turns the little key, punches some more and then tells me he owes me $9.31. He actually takes money out of the register to start counting it. At this point I am SOOOO tempted to get another $9.31 off of them and RUN! But I don't. I must be stooopid!

I tell him, "No. I owe YOU $9.10." (What is WROOOONG with me?!? I could have paid $3.84 for all of this if I kept my mouth shut!)

"Ooooooh, well, hmmmm........... Oooooooooooh, let me see now..... what on earth...?..... I'm not sure.......... Oh for goodness sake...." He ponders some more.

Then he starts punching again. Heere we go.

"So do you by chance have the apple juice with you?"

"No. I went home and came back."

"Ooooooooooooh... Well, I do appreciate that.... I do. It's just that it would have been easier for me to do this if you had the juice with you."

Why didn't I just stay home and start drinking the damn beer!!??

After a few more moments (and another short story later), he told me I owed him $2.45.

I assure him I owe him $9.10. The difference between $10.69 and $1.59. I wanted to rip the cash out of the drawer and bolt.

He has receipts and voided receipts flying about wildly and he has clearly lost it. I think I see his hands shaking and sweat beads forming. He rips out a piece of paper off the receipt roll and exclaims, "It's time for long-hand!" After a time he decides I owe him $9.10.

I tell him I will have to use my debit card. His eyes begin to roll back and he cries out, "I'm waaay beyond that by now!.... How much cash do you have?!"

"I only have $7 dollars."

He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his wallet, puts two dollars down on the counter and says, "Why don't we call it even?" I think he wanted to add "Please?" to that. I'm just happy to get out of there before I lose my desire to drink.

So much for being honest. Next time I'm staying home and drinking the damn beer! And I'll try not to feel guilty about it.


kunzang said...

What a great story!! i can totally see the flustered old guy. But you know if you hadn't gone back it would have niggled - this way, you got a good laugh as well as the drink! (and perhaps a teaching in patience!!!)
But for me, the odd thing was seeing a six-pack of Fosters: took me back home in a flash (pre-ordination, of course)

Anonymous said...

Where was this guy when I was there??? ;)

That's funny. Hope you learnt you lesson?


Anonymous said...

I hope THE beer was cold when you arrived at home and also the wine (which you really paid). In your case I`d have some vodka and get drunk.
We finns are TOOOOOO... honest. And what we get... hangover

Jessica said...

The beer may have been $10.69... but the story is priceless! :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets in these wierd pickles.

keda said...

grrrrrr. arrrgh. guffaw ;) no good deed goes unpunished, so i've heard.

Bobealia... said...

I once ran away from my college bookstore having paid 6.95 for the Norton Anthology of English Literature instead of 69.95. I didn't even look back.

Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer that Karma can come back and bite you in the butt(all learned from watching The Amazing Race) did good...and got a great story to tell ;). Hope all is working out well for you both....must be since you purchased wine and beer...everything needed for a dandy celebration! Enjoy!

hanulf said...

Too funny! Loved this story. Just last night I had to return to Super Target after emptying my cart and realizing some jewelry had accidentally made its way to my car (it was underneath my handbag in the cart) without being paid for... they had no problems taking my money and have me be on my way...

Melly` said...

Oh Tia - you are just gorgeous! Really the stocktake and register would of showed his mistake..and he would of got introuble. Maybe mild.. but who cares. I.. think your honesty .. your actions show something very special.

Dara said...

You absolutely did the right thing and as Kunzang said, got a great story out of it as well. It's the moments like these, when no one is watching and we still do the right thing, that are a testament to our character.