One-Liner Wednesday – Sad

Tip Jar
The service is usually quite good.

I don’t use the Drive-thru lane for coffee. I prefer to go in the store. I like to see what donuts are available and whether they have the brand of orange juice I like (which is any brand other than Tropicana). When I went in last Wednesday, I was behind one customer, a woman who was not standing at the counter. We did that awkward little dance that you do when you’re not sure if you should go around the person or stand behind. I opted to stand behind.

The woman ordered a small coffee and some kind of toasted thing that required moving to the Pick-Up window at the other end of the counter. After she received her coffee, and the request for payment, she reached forward and deposited a huge pile of change on the counter. She turned back and looked at me as if I had a disapproving look on my face. I didn’t. I’ve seen lots of people pay with change. No biggie, legal tender and all that.

When I got to the counter, the clerk, a nice young lady who I had had a conversation with the week before, was still counting the change.

You should know that I’m not the kind of person to randomly strike up a conversation with a sales clerk. It usually takes a couple of visits, a couple of thank you’s exchanged before I even start saying “hi” like I know them. I had broken the ice with this woman because she was wearing an Air-Cast. The bold step was driven by the fact that I had been in an Air-Cast for several months after breaking my foot in 1988.

Anyway, when she finished sorting, counting and depositing the change, she turned to take my order. I noticed that she had a very sad look on her face. I wasn’t quite sure that I knew her well enough to ask, but:

Are you OK?

She shorted me 25 cents…”

I was angry. It’s not like coffee is a requirement. Well, OK, it is, but you can brew your own at home, you don’t have to stop at Dunkin Donuts. And, it’s not like that woman was screwing Dunkin Donuts out of 25¢ – cashiers are responsible for the money in their drawer. I knew the clerk was probably trained not to say anything to the woman. I also knew that I probably shouldn’t confront her either…but I wanted to.

When I got my coffee and donut, I paid with the Dunkin Donuts app, which has no provision to include a tip, or pay a different amount. So, I put a dollar in the tip cup. The resulting smile on the clerk’s face was priceless.

I searched my Flickr photostream for “sad” and, to my surprise, I’ve tagged quite a lot of photo with that word. Here are some that I don’t think I’ve used before:

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday.

One Liner Wednesday

81 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday – Sad

Add yours

  1. Mean, dishonest and cheating people are sad, so they make others sad. It’s nice to know you could make the clerk smile. There needs to be more Dan’s in the world! I know the world is still beautiful and there are good people. However, some days its draining to have to find the good among the bad. Thanks for being one of those good things:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michelle. I think most of the people I normally see at that shop would have done the same thing. Similarly, if the woman had said “oh, I’m a little short…” I think many people would have ponied up the extra. I do think that most people are basically nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to think that most people are nice. We just hear about that bad. It is like news. Everyone says journalists are all bad and only point out negative. Well, as someone with a journalism degree who really never worked at a civilian paper, I’d like to think that is just the cycle of news. If things are working well and all is normal, there is nothing to report. But when things are odd and amiss, well, that is newsworthy. Of course, that may be from an innocent perception of my young journalism training. Some places clearly have bias and goals…just like come folks. I guess like reading the news, we need to read people carefully to see their content.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree that many newspapers, not all, can go in depth. I agree that TV is so short that they just entertain. Except for things like 60 Minutes or extended shows that can really dig on hard issue. I got to escort a 60 Minutes reporter around Iraq back in 2006. Man, she asked some tough questions!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to believe that the customer didn’t really intend to short-pay. Maybe I’m pretty naive that way. Your comment that the sales person was likely trained not to ask for the shortfall, yet still be responsible for it, surprises me. Either way, it was very kind of you to cover it plus some!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joanne. Maybe the woman was just bad at math. Maybe Dunkin Donuts was the least expensive place she could eat breakfast. I try not to judge, but the clerks in these places make minimum wage, at best. Some fall under the weird law that say, if your servers can receive tips, you don’t have to pay minimum wage. In any case, she’s on duty before 6:00 am, hobbling around in an air cast, and stiffing her stinks.

      I think in places like this, they are trained not to confront. There’s nothing they can do anyway. They can’t put the donut back on the shelf or pour the coffee back in the pot. I guess they can refuse service in the future, but it would be the manager’s job to deliver that message.

      Like

  3. Love this! I wish the lady with the change had of just been honest and said she was a little short, but good on you for making the chashiers morning, that is nice! :) I was laughing at your VCR pic,i had a large collection of these wiuth “buffy the vampire slayer” written on them…. ah the good old days lol!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. If the lady had said she was short, I would have offered to chip in. I would hate to see someone going without coffee. I think most of the people who normally visit this store would do the same.

      I also threw out a pile of 90210 tapes my daughter had recorded when in high school.

      Like

  4. I’m curious why the clerk didn’t finish counting the change before letting this woman walk away. Did she pay in nickels and pennies? You are a good person, Dan, to have given her a tip so that she could cover the shortage. I’m sure that made her day!

    I was behind an elderly gentleman on Saturday at my coffee shop, who brought out his rubber coin holder to pay for part of his purchase. He was taking a while and the lady at the counter was looking at me like, “Sorry!” This man was also talking a lot and then proceeded to haul out his singles and ask her if she needed paper change for the till. The counter lady had to finally (but gently) tell him she had to wait on other customers. I wouldn’t count this has sad because it actually put a smile on my face.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The pile did include a lot of nickles and pennies. The system also puts these orders in as they ring them up, so the coffee was poured and the toasted thing was already in the oven. I periodically toss something in the tip cup. I used to put my change in. My normal order results in a small amount of change and I don’t like to be jingling all day (that’s part of the old-man role I don’t want to play).

      I’ve been behind people like the man you were behind. I try to remind myself that we don’t need to hurry through life. I’m way early for work, so it really doesn’t matter.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. How timely – I have a coffee themed post of my own “brewing”. Thanks for a quote with which to head up my story! “It’s not like coffee is a requirement. Well, OK, it is, but you can brew your own at home, you don’t have to stop at [Tim Hortons].

    As for the petty thievery – the fact that the cheat looked at you as if bracing for an argument tells me that she’s held up traffic before – I wonder if she doesn’t know how to count.

    Either way, I’m glad that you were the follow-up customer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maggie – There are a lot of possible reasons for the insufficient funds. Realizing that is what made me think twice about saying anything. I try not to judge people when I don’t know the story. The easier way to fix things was to cover the shortage.

      I’m looking forward to that coffee post :)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The ying and the yang of people. :-) That woman either intentionally or unintentionally allowed you an opportunity to be the good guy that you are. We, humans, are a strange lot. :-) On the beach the other day, there are two sweet little girls, both under five, playing at the water’s edge while Mom talks on her cell phone. All of a sudden one little girl strikes out. I’m watching to see where she’s going because Mom wasn’t paying any attention. She streaks across in front of me, turns around, comes back, and asks me “will you watch me so I’m safe”? I was dumbfounded. I looked back at Mom, and she’s still talking on the cell phone paying no attention. So, I walk in the same general direction as she is streaking. She picks up a pail and shovel, and says that her little sister wanted her to get these. She starts heading back, I turn around, and there is Mom still on the cell phone but at least is waving her hand at the little girl. I stop, she heads back at a trot, stops, turns around, and says to me “thank you for keeping me safe.” I told her she was very welcome and off she went. That must have been one really important phone call because she risked one of the most important gifts God gives to a person. Sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy. You were sweet to watch the little girl. I see people lose track or almost lose track of their kids all the time while yacking on the phone. I shake my head when I see apps that you can put on your phone to help you remember that your child is in the car seat in the back.

      I like the way you look at my situation. I was given an opportunity to be the good guy. It felt good, and it felt wonderful to see that young woman smile. There isn’t much better than knowing that you made someone happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are days — especially those when I’m feeling a bit blue — I make a conscious effort to get cashiers and others I encounter to smile. Not only do they usually seem to appreciate the break in their typical tedium that I offer, but I end up feeling better myself.

        So you’re right: there isn’t much better than knowing that you made someone happy. Especially when that someone is yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I like to think that for the sake of a mere quarter the short changing was a mathematical error rather than petty fraud. However, if every customer was even that deceitful or careless with their counting it could add up to a short fall in the register and, as you point out, the difference comes out of the cashier’s wage. As a student, I worked night shift in a fast food place and whenever one particular supervisor was on the same shift, I could guarantee someone’s register would end up down by quite a chunk. I was actually given a warning and had my pockets and bag searched – and of course they still took the money from my wage packet – and that was when I decided I would not allow that supervisor unsupervised access to my register. If he needed to switch out notes for coins then he did it while I watched. Strangely enough, my register was never short after that. So – on behalf of all people who currently or in the past have been subject to such things – thank you for your act of kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura. Sorry that you worked for such a jerk (I’m not judging the woman in the store, but I’ll judge him). It might have been a math error, but the mess she left those coins in on the counter indicated that she didn’t count them first. I’ve paid, at least partially with change, and I’ve always counted it out to the cashier. I’ve been responsible for a cash drawer, and I know that sad feeling of being short.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing the story about the 25 cents and the tip, Dan. Way, way back in the day, I was that cashier, counting the pile of change, and the next person being rudely impatient. Good for you.
    Mimi looks very disapproving of her tree being packed. =^-^= Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. I never really worked retail, but I worked behind the counter at the bowling alley my dad managed. I know the sadness of being short. MiMi is never happy when we pack Christmas back in the box. I’ll give her you hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Its quite interesting that we directly assume the woman did it on purpose. She most ght have just miscounted. Saying that: if I pay with change I always wait and make sure its the right amount.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but like you say, I think I would wait and see if the amount was right. I also would count it out to the cashier, not just heap it on the counter. I’m not saying it was intentional, but it certainly didn’t seem like she cared one way or the other, and I don’t think that’s fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have always been a bit conflicted about putting change in the tip jar at a coffee shop. I know the clerks don’t make much but the clerks at QuickieMart and gas stations don’t get tips either. My rule of thumb is if they are pleasant, helpful and get my order right, I leave them a tip, then again if the person in front of short-changes them, I would pick up the difference too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree on the odd places that tipping show-up. This tip cup actually says “for exceptional service” which, it isn’t always. Some of them go out of their way to make the experience a little better. I always felt bad when my medium coffee would be $2.05 until they gave me the senior discount, which brought it into the $1.90-something range. Putting 8 cents in the tip cup seemed cheaper than ignoring it. These days, I pay with the app and periodically toss something in the cup.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great story, and I’m so happy that you were able to turn around that clerk’s morning!

    Great selection of “sad” tagged images. I felt the same way about tossing out all my Disney VHS movies. Some of which I still need to replace with DVD’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I still have a collection of reel-to-reel tapes and I still have a tape deck. You have to manually shove the rubber wheel against the capstan, but it still works and they still sound OK. I don’t use it very often.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’d like to think the woman just miscounted when she put down all the change, but you never know. At the tea shop, one of our regulars came in one day and was $.25 short. I told her I’d take it out of my part of the tip jar not to worry about it or she could repay me the next time she came in. I know I could have just let the owner know and it would have been fine, but I like the register to come out right. The woman told me I’d get a big surprise one of these days and shortly after, my boss called on a day I wasn’t working and said someone had come in and left me a $20 tip! The usual procedure is that all tips go together and are shared at the end of the day, so I’m pretty sure it was from this woman, even though my boss said she wasn’t supposed to tell me who it was.

    I would have done what you did and covered the difference. Even if the cashier didn’t have to make it up, it seems to me the right thing to do. Good for you.

    Tipping is interesting as well. My s-i-l from Europe can’t see why you would tip people for doing what they’re getting paid to do. In Europe, you might leave a tiny tip from any loose change you get back from paying, but that’s it. I have no idea what workers there are paid, so I can’t compare, but it’s a different outlook. Here, I don’t like the assumption that you are “supposed” to tip 15-20%, no matter the service. Tips were meant to be for good or great service and while I understand that in some places, the wage is less than minimum because of that, a tip is still for good service, not a given. However, for good service, a good tip should be given.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know what you mean about pay, Dan, but it’s also not as cut-and-dried as we’d like it to be. Where I work at the tea shop, no one works full-time, so no benefits. We get tips, but they’re incidental. We also get paid decently for retail. But I wouldn’t be able to live very well on what I’d make even working 40 hrs/week. However, if my boss had to pay us all $15/hr., she’d be out of business and we would have no jobs. Somewhere there’s a tipping point (no pun intended) and not all jobs are jobs that should support a family. One of my s-i-l’s worked for years as a waitress and for many of those years, made more than my husband did (and we were four living on his salary.) Her tips did that. There are plenty of small businesses that are in similar situations to my boss’s. Is it better to have a few people making a “living wage” and others unemployed, or all working but not enough to support a family, or ??? I don’t know the answer, just pointing out some problems.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I liked your sad photos and the reasons for same. I also am sad that woman used change and then shorted the clerk. If she didn’t have the money she should have made her own. It would be much cheaper. Good for you on the dollar. This reminded me of a time when I was ten and just lost my father. One of my newspaper customers stiffed me after six weeks of floating him. I always took that one very personally since he complained that he didn’t like the service. (You know the drill, paper always in the door etc)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan, you are a man with a heart of gold. I think having Faith and your Editor the wife, you feel extra protective over women. Maybe not outwardly, but inwardly. :)
    Such a great thing you did, too! I like to leave tips wherever I go, even if just a small amount. (Always 20% or more for fine dining.)
    For example, I left a dollar on the counter at Speedway once, for a girl who stopped what she was doing, (filling cups) and I observed her helping someone with their hotdog toppings, the man had shaky hands. Possibly alcoholic; but could be Parkinson’s or a stroke. . . The girl was more than kind in her tone and smile towards him. I set it down as I paid with my credit card for my coffee and gas. I said, “That was nice of you, how you treated that man earlier.” She grinned and said she might buy a lottery ticket. I said, “I hope you win!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was kind of you, Robin. I think it’s little things like that that make the world a better place. I can’t solve the big problems, but I can fix some little ones. And, yes, I do feel protective toward women. Except when they glare at me the way change-lady did. If she had said “I’m a little short” I would have made up the difference for her.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The waffle did look sad. If it had been toasted, I would have drawn a sad face on it with syrup. I’ve just never liked the taste of Tropicana. I’m not a big fan of OJ in general, and I’m pretty particular about the ones I will drink.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. absolutely fun to see those sad pics….
    and hi-five for the tip – also – my huns LOVES dunkin donuts coffee.
    when we used to have a keurig – don’t miss it at all – but had that season of loving it – well he was always disappointed that dunkin donuts K-cups were not sold in regular stores. hard to find. they had “donut shop” blends, which were ok – but not the same at all…
    anyhow, it is one of his top coffees… that and Pike’s Place from starbucks…

    Liked by 1 person

          1. got it…
            and side note, we used to enjy Dunkin Donuts when we had to leave our car with our mechanic – or if he needed an hour before we could get it back… we would walk down the road and indulge. and seriously, garage coffee is the worst ever – so it made Dunkin even better

            Liked by 1 person

  16. First, Dan, what does an air-cast do for you? The reason I ask is my right foot has what is known as “drop foot” and was broken several years ago and was never set. Now I have the ugliest gate when I walk.

    Second, maybe that woman who short-changed on the order didn’t have any more money. True, Dunkin Doughnut isn’t the place to go if you’re having financial difficulties, but if you’re hungry you’re not thinking as clearly. Anyway, you were a saint to make up the difference and then some.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s go backwards. I felt very bad for the clerk. She’s working hard, starting at 5:00 am, to make a modest living. I know that the woman may not have had enough money, and I tried not to be judgemental. I’ve helped people cover the cost when they didn’t have enough cash – always small amounts, but it happens. I have a hard time reconciling how one person’s bad situation is worse than anothers. I don’t consider the girl behind the counter as being lucky. I’m not suggesting that that’s what you meant, but it’s hard to know that 25 cents isn’t a lot of money to her.

      The Air Cast partially immobilizes and supports your ankle while still letting it move a little. When I broke my foot, they put it in a cast for 6 weeks. My ankle “froze” and it was very difficult and painful to walk afterwards. They had me in the Air Cast for several months to provide enough support to relieve the pain but let my ankle move enough to loosen-up. I still have it. I wear it every now and then if I twist my foot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a route doctor’s appointment coming up in February. I’m going to ask him about the air-cast. Thanks for the info.

        Working at a coffee shop isn’t high income. That I know. I’ve done that type of work and I can tell you it isn’t for people who don’t like being around other people. However, Dan, you are a saint. You stopped a nasty scene from happening between the two women and kept the books straight from Dunkin Donuts. You’re a man definitely worth knowing.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Ouch to the old foot injury. BTW, I still have favorite VHS tapes and finally we have nothing to play them on. So many good family memories either on them or attached to them to give up. I mean I have my original Star Wars set if tapes!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m way behind in the comment list, but I’m suddenly so busy. I believe sadness is a part of our lives. When I am sad I’m broken, depressed and vulnerable, but I also have people around me and sadness in a way reminds me that I am not alone. If happiness brings the world together sadness brings your true friends together. By the way why you don’t like Tropicana? I usually prefer fresh juice made right in front of me. Not canned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadness does bring true friends together – that’s a good point. Someone else asked me why I don’t like Tropicana. I wasn’t able to answer them, as I haven’t had it in a long time. They had it at a hotel I was staying in earlier this week. I tried a bottle and I don’t like the texture. It seems overly processed and more like a cross between juice and “drink” but I couldn’t finish a small bottle.

      Like

          1. Yup, but a spoonful of sugar can balance the flavor. To break it up into phonetics it would be Gung-ga-Jam-moon-na. I once had this idea in my mind to teach you guys few Hindi words, but then I dropped it because I was not sure if you guys would be interested.

            Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts. Start or join the discussion. Sadly, links require moderation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: