I was in a store the other day and overheard this:
“That’s all I’ve got. It’s close enough, right?”
The cashier replied with, “Uh, I guess? I hope our till was over this morning, so I won’t be short.” She gestured to the jar on the counter, which had about three pennies, as if to say she hoped it’d be enough to cover his deficit.
Listen, I’m all for doing people favors. I bought a guy’s Diet Coke and Reese’s Pieces last week, because he realized he forgot his wallet. Everyone falls a little short sometimes. I hope people would do the same for me. Lord knows I usually forget my wallet.
Y’all. Y’all. This was for a beer. A huge can of beer. It was one of those 1180-ounce cans of Olde English. Or is that furniture polish? It was a lot of beer. I get the “maybe he is an addict and has a problem and maybe you should’ve helped him” mentality, but I didn’t. I stood there stunned.
Any other time, given the same situation, I’d have offered to pay the difference.
My annoyance comes on the coattails of the recent rash of robberies in my area and on surrounding streets. We are fully loaded with alarms, cameras and motion lights, all connected to our phones. We get notified if a leaf blows by.
When we first got the system, it was set on ultra sensitive, which senses the tiniest of movement. My husband had his phone set so we’d get an audible voice notification anytime there was motion in the driveway. That night, it happened every 15 minutes or so. Unfortunately, his phone didn’t wake him, but I heard it every time. We had a lovely chat at 2 a.m., when we decided the motion sensors might be too sensitive. It wasn’t our prettiest marriage conversation. I would’ve ignored the, “there is someone in your driveway,” but who was I to guess if there actually was someone in our driveway?
We had to buy all of those safeguards to keep the cheaters out. So far, we’ve been lucky, but many of our neighbors have not. Wires cut, ladders used for entry, and generally quiet neighborhoods are on edge.
No one likes a cheater. Why do they feel like they can get away with it? Even if I had the guts to try, I’d never sleep again for the guilt I’d feel. Besides, it’s pretty satisfying to work for and earn the things we need and want. I know some have it harder than others. I’m sensitive to that. There’s never a reason for theft.
That dude in the store? While it was consensual, because the cashier gave him permission, he stole about 10 percent of his big ole beer. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s part of a big picture. Cheaters never win. Besides, if I can negotiate the price of my bottle of wine, why on God’s green earth have I been paying full price all these years?