“Do you want $13.47?”
That’s the first thing she said to me.
I told her “no” and explained that I had money.
I was in Best Buy in an upscale part of town and after a long wait in line I’d finally made it to the cashier, a pleasant efficient girl, a bit on the plain Jane side, probably college age– totally confused about what to do next.
“But what do I do with it?”
She was holding the change from the transaction that had just taken place in front of me when two Kardashian-esque high school kids had purchased some candy with a twenty-dollar bill– and refused to take their change.
“I tried to give them the $13.47 back, but they wouldn’t take it. They told me to keep the change. But it’s theirs, not mine.”
I’d been watching and listening to these kids directly in front of me while standing in line. I knew them for what they were. Troublemakers. Snotty rich kids wasting Daddy’s money. Pointing at the cashier, snickering about her looks.
“But what do I do with the money? It’s not mine.”
As if on cue, we heard a car engine outside the front window of the store and turned to see the two high school kids in a convertible Mercedes, top down, driving by the window laughing and waving at us.
With that my cashier began to cry. Somehow being mocked by these two had really gotten to her.
So there I stood, waiting for the tears to stop and for her to look at me. When she did, still sniffling, I answered her question about what she should do. I said:
You’re ok. You did everything right. This is not your fault, no one is going to blame you. After your shift when you turn in your till tonight you explain that there’s $13.47 too much in there because some rich idiotic spoiled kids wouldn’t take their change. You’re ok. This is not your fault, no one is going to blame you.
And you know what? My words calmed her down so that she stopped sniffling, rang up my sale– and was back to her cheerful self quietly saying her newfound mantra.
“I’m ok. This is not my fault. No one’s going to blame me.”