Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some People Never Change...

And some people never pick up change... but I do. (See Rule #3)
Today I found a dime on my way out of the subway-- whoohoo! And then I picked up some change in a different way-- the deli where I buy my morning coffee and bagel gave me an extra 20 cents in change. I noticed it at the time, but didn't say anything. Not because I am a dishonest sleazy person but because there have been a couple times in the past where they short-changed me and I figure this evens the score a little. I'm usually pretty good about noticing errors and trying to correct them, especially in food service establishments where I worry that the server might have to make up for the mistake out of his or her tips. A few months ago, I had dinner with a friend and as we were walking away from the restaurant afterwards, we were marvelling at how cheap our meal had been. At some point we realized that it had really been impossible for it to be that cheap and that something was really wrong on the bill. My friend was inclined to just let it go but the waitress had been really nice so I went back and straightened things out, paying an extra $10 or $15, I think, and the server was really appreciative.
One other memorable error in my favor that I did NOT correct: an ATM machine once gave me a $50 bill in place of a $20. I suppose some bank clerk could have gotten in trouble over that, but I didn't think my returning the money would make any difference so I kept it, and was the envy of all my friends!

9 comments:

Yasser said...

it happen to me too only I got a 100 dollar bill instead of a 20.

Bitty said...

Not long ago I found a $20 on the ground on a windy day. I looked around. No one was in sight. Who would I have returned it to?

Clearly it was mine.

Anonymous said...

You're lucky no one found out. It's actually a crime to keep extra money doled out by the ATM.

Natalie said...

I once withdrew money at the bank once. As I was walking out looking at my receipt, I noticed that the balance looked unusually low. Then I saw the account number wasn't mine. They had given me money out of someone else's account! I had them fix it.
Then more recently we noticed that there was a $3000 withdrawel that neither of us had made(We are not in the habit of taking ot $3000 in cash). It turned out that someone came in to withdraw money and the teller gave it out of the wrong account. Crazy, I know, but that is why it pays to be vigilant.

samerwriter said...

To be honest, a lot of this sounds like rationalization. Maybe that's the point of your post.. To show how easy it is to justify to oneself taking other people's money?

Picking up a dime on the street is one thing. Keeping an extra 20 cents from a coffee shop is pretty questionable. It would have taken zero effort to return the extra change. Taking the extra $30 from the ATM is pretty much over any line I can imagine.

At that point I'm having a tough time imagining when you would return the change. If the ATM gave you an extra $100, would you return it? What if a little girl with a lemonade stand gave you an extra $100? If the answer is different, why the double-standard?

udandi said...

I don't think I could keep the ATM $, the bad karma would catch up with me for sure.

Empty Spaces Inc. said...

my dad found a roll of 100 50s once and dropped them off at the police station. 3 months later they called him saying no one claimed it so it was his.

thats the best of both worlds!

Anonymous said...

i'd never pick up change on or near the subway. the exchange of germs is not worth 25 measily cents.

Anonymous said...

I got an extra $20 from an ATM once, and gave it back, because I am not a thief.