My wife had a good idea yesterday, and that was to pull out an older-but-goody article from this blog every now and then and re-post it. A) Because only like 5 people probably saw it back then, haha… and b) to give me a break from thinking all the time ;) I told her it was so good that I was going to start today! (At which point she threw on the shocked face knowing that I usually just smile and nod at her ideas and then carry on ;))
Sooooo… I present to you today, a post I first wrote back on June 27, 2008! Albeit a much cleaner, more punctuated, version, haha… I wasn’t much of a grammar care’er back in the day, nor apparently altogether now either ;) The interesting part, though, is that this post still applies today as much as it did back then. Hope you enjoy it! And that it sparks some discussion!
One of my all time greatest annoyances (I refuse to use the saying “pet peeves”), is getting cheated by cashiers. It’s one thing to have it done to you every once in a while, but it happens allllll the freakin’ time for me! I could just be super unlucky, but I seriously have to question a receipt at LEAST once a week.
Just the other day I was picking up a bbq sandwich with mashed potatoes, and it rang up as $13.00. Being in DC I didn’t think much of it at first, but then a co-worker’s meal rang up at $11.00, and he got MORE than I did. WTF?
So I asked the cashier why mine was so much more, and I got in return a very annoyed “well I’m sorrrrr-y! I thought you got something else!” Wow. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a pretty non-confrontational guy (you know, those who curse people out in their head, but never to their face?), so why this girl had to get all uppity with me was beyond my understanding. It wasn’t like I was calling her out or anything, I was just confused.
At any rate (a saying that I do like), she had the manager correct the bill and I gladly accepted my $3.50 back. That’s a HUGE difference!
So, what do YOU do when this happens? Do you go back, cut in line, and begin your questioning (others call this “bitching”), or do you simply let it slide and go about your business? I don’t think there’s a solid answer here either way, but I DO know there’s a way to avoid it altogether:
*Review your total BEFORE you pay*
That’s all there is to it. No one else is gonna look out for your wallet, so making it a habit to pay attention can go a long way. And if you slip, don’t worry about it – you’re only human. That being said, it’s not always easy. A whole bunch of variables can play a part in speaking up:
#1) The point at which you notice this discrepancy.
For me, this is the determining factor. If I’ve made my purchase and am now sitting on my couch back at home realizing that an error has occurred, there’s no way in hell I’m going back to raise a stink about it. I usually blame myself for not catching it earlier, and try to take home a nice little lesson from it ;) (Which I will no-doubt repeat again at another time anyways, haha…).
If I notice it while mid-swipe of my credit card, however, you better believe I’ll bring it up! These occurrences are the best because I don’t even have to think about it – I just react naturally.
#2) The actual amount in question.
I’m willing to guess this is the biggest one for people. If you got cheated a couple of pennies, I doubt you’d bring it up no matter where you notice it as it’s just not worth your time. As the amounts go up though, I say from about 50¢ and more, the odds you’ll speak up go along with it.
For me, this amount is usually around 75¢ – once it hits that mark, I’ll start asking questions right away. Now if I’m at home realizing this as I alluded to above, then forget about it. I’m not gonna waste my time going back. BUT, if that amount was a good $4.00+, then heck yeah I’d be tempted to turn around! Or at the very least call the store and see if they can do something about it over the phone.
#3) The strictness of your budget.
A couple of dollars to one person can mean a whole lot more to another, especially if you have a family to look out for. At least that’s what they say ;) [Editor’s note: it’s crazy to think I now have my own little family these days!] I think your age also plays a big part in this. My grandma would hold up a line for 10¢, bless her heart, while I was too lazy to pick up a dime off the street yesterday (sorry to hurt your ears, Mr. Change Race!).
#4) The Confidence you have, or don’t have, in yourself.
It takes balls to speak up when this stuff happens, no doubt about it. It’s one thing if you’re the only one in the store on a weeknight, but you drop that person downtown in DC/NYC during rush hour to complain about 25¢ and you better know how to take it! Every once in a while I can pull this off, but I wouldn’t stake any money it. (No pun intended)
In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to worry about this, but unfortunately employees have been known to smoke crack every now and then.
This time around I happened to stand my ground, but I’ve been known to let more than a few dollars slip out of my pockets in the past… And the only thing I can do to cope is to hit myself upside the head and tell my self I shoulda had a V-8! :)
How do you guys handle these situations?
(Photo by _rockinfree)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!