Thursday, 11 February 2010

Don't spare the change

"How much is your hot chocolate?" She asks.
"$2.89 with tax," he responds.
She counts her money.
"Ahh, I don't have enough! Thanks anyway."
I pull myself into the conversation, "Hold on, how much do you have?"
"No no that's fine." She's hesitating, her body is moving closer to me yet backing away.
"No seriously, c'mon, I offered, it's just a few dollars, cents," I respond.
She observes me. Maybe my face isn't friendly enough. "It's okay, no don't worry, thanks though."
"Alright," I tell her.
She rushes out.

This reminded me of the kids at the store, that's why I offered. They were always short change and the sadness that filled their eyes when they came up to the counter and were missing $0.10 or something was almost heartbreaking. Most owners and employees won't bother taking it out of their own pocket to put a smile on that kid's face, they're too selfish. At his store, my dad always let the kids have their candy, no matter how much they were short. They loved him for it, and they never did it purposely because he trusted them, and they trusted him. After seeing the excitement they get from getting away with the candy, it's worth it, no matter how many times you do it. This small act will make you smile no matter what mood you're in.

I offered, I don't want anything in return. If you're short $0.25, $0.50, $1.00 it's not a big deal. I'm trying to help you, because that's what humans should do, help each other. But I guess adults, unlike kids, panic when another commits a nice gesture, we're not used to it.

1 comment:

  1. I was at this convenience store once, and in front of me there was a little boy and his Dad waiting in line. They were Afghan and speaking Dari, which is pretty close to Farsi, so I could pick out things here and there. The little boy was translating for his Dad.

    When the cashier rang in their stuff, they were short by a dollar or so. The Dad asked his son what the problem was, and his son told him that they didn’t have enough to pay. Without missing a beat, the boy told his Dad that it was okay, that he didn’t really need the chocolate bar and put it aside.

    And rather than offering to help them cover the cost, I just stood there and froze. A part of me felt that, had I offered, it would offend the father. Another part of me felt like an ass. The worst thing is that I had been in the same situation as that boy once.

    That moment in the convenience store is one of my biggest regrets.