Thursday, January 13, 2011

3 cents

today i filled up the motorcycle at one of the gas stations i usually go to. there are two am/pm-arco's near my work, so i usually hit one of them up because the victory runs on premium, and they've got good prices. for those that don't know, am/pm takes cash & debit, and i usually pay cash. you can insert your money out at a terminal, and after you're done pumping you get change inside. my bike usually takes about 4 gallons to fill, and so that's always going to give me change off a $20.

such was the case today. i prepaid with a $20, and filled it up. when it was done, i noticed that my total was $13.37 (that's right geeks, 1337). i walked in and waited in line for my change, $6.63. when it was my turn, the salesclerk gave me my change and i walked out of the store.

as i put my change in my pocket, my mind turned over, because the change just didn't seem right. i hadn't looked closely at what the cashier had given me, just sort of glanced and put it in my pocket. did she give me only 3 coins? how could she have given me correct change with only 3 coins? so, i reached back into my pocket and could only feel 3 coins. i pulled them out - two quarters and a dime. i reached back in my pocket, no other coins to be found. the cashier shorted me three cents. i stood there dumbfounded for a second, wondering if i should just move along with my day, or go back and get my 3 cents. i mean, it's only 3 cents. and as i stood there thinking, i got a little bit pissed. it wasn't about the actual worth of the money, it was about the principle of it.

i went back inside and stood in line for the same cashier. when i got to the front of the line, i said to the cashier, "you shorted me on my change. it's only three cents but..." and before i could finish she was handing me the three cents. she didn't check my change, didn't check my receipt, didn't let me finish and tell her how much it was. it really seemed like she knew exactly how much she had shorted me, and was quick to fix the error.. it felt like she had intentionally shorted me and probably does it regularly to customers, but most of us just stuff our change in our pocket without checking. sure, it was only 3 cents to me, but over thousand of transactions it adds up nicely for the business. shady.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Shady, indeed. Although, in my experience, they just as often write off the pennies owed to them on small purchases, so maybe it evens out?