24. January 2006 · Comments Off on On Idiotic Retail Clerks, And The Ethics Of Short Change · Categories: General

Let me state here, in prelude, my apologies to all of you out there who, like Sgt. Mom and myself, hold, or have held, second jobs as store clerks while you were/are in, as well as all of you whom, like Cpl. Blondie, were/are store clerks while growing into greater things.

That said, let me state as well my preconception that retail clerks are, by-and-large, the Deltas of the world – just one jump above ambling home from work every day mindlessly muttering “soma… soma.”

Well, a couple of decades ago, my current GF (an accountant) and I, in one of our innumerable midnight musings, were arguing the ethics of short change. The question before the court was, “if you were loading your groceries in the parking lot of a supermarket, and found you had a penny too much change, would you return it?” Her position was that morality dictated that you must. Mine was that economics said you would cost them (as well as yourself) far more than the value of the penny to transact the return.

Anyway, to bring this to date, I was just at the local Rite-Aid, and my bill came to $6.45. I had five loose Washingtons in my pocket, as well as a whole handful of change. I threw down the paper, and four quarters. And then I specifically counted out three dimes and three nickels.

The clerk then said “no – six forty-five,” and pushed back a dime and two nickels.

There were three people in line behind me: I took my purchase, the three coins, and left – muttering in my wake, “oh G_d, free me from this world of idiots.”

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