I had a really weird thing happen to me today at the supermarket. Something that has NEVER happened before in my 26 years of life, although it may have happened during the first few years of life when I didn’t know what the hell was going on around me. Who knows?!
I walked out of there with a confused look on my face and a nagging feeling that I should have done something to correct the honest mistake that played in my favor. But I went on my merry little way, all the while having that condescending little angel on my shoulder telling me, “Ohhhh, you did something bad!”.
So, I decided to clear my conscience and blog about it. FYI: It may seem a bit long-winded, but you’ll see the point of my scrutinizing on the details & the big kicker at the end!
I’m in the supermarket, ready to check out. I push my cart filled with SIX items to the Express Checkout lane and load my stuff on the belt. In front of me is a sweet old lady, MAYBE 50-60 years old (if she was older I’d feel EVEN WORSE than I already do).
Her groceries were all rung up and bagged, she had swiped her credit card in the machine, all the while talking to the cashier and the bag boy (who, btw, did NOT stick around to help me bag my groceries, the bum), put her credit card away and then pushed her cart right out the door.
I didn’t even give it a second thought.
The cashier didn’t seem to either.
She continued to ring up my groceries, asking me if I had my club card with me, I did not, and I responded by asking if I could type in my phone number as I usually do when I don’t have my card on me. By that time all SIX of my items were rung up, mind you.
I go to type it in and the machine says “Please wait…” and I look at her all confused and tell her the machine won’t let me enter my phone number. After seeing this, I immediately thought back to just a few minutes ago and asked if the lady before me had used a credit card to buy her stuff and if it went through okay. I don’t think she heard my question.
Do you see where I’m going with this?!
She proceeded to enter my phone number via her side, which obviously didn’t work, and she spouted something about getting the manager to fix it in a minute while I took out my debit card ready to swipe it once I knew the total. Then she told me my total was around $50, to which I was shocked to hear because even though I suck at math, I knew there was no way my SIX items could have equaled $50.
To be clear, my items included: bread, bagels, milk, Edy’s ice cream (on sale), and two bags of Lay’s potato chips (on sale).
Anyways, I gave her that “Are you serious?” look and glanced back and forth from her to my groceries, until she finally got the hint and looked at the screen and noticed that I had been charged for the previous lady’s items! She then had to go back and delete all of that lady’s items, eventually bringing the total down to around $20, which was more like it, yet still confusing because I hadn’t even entered my club card information yet! But I figured I was just using the system’s discount code, which sometimes they have in the machine already.
So I’m about to swipe my debit card while the cashier simultaneously presses some button on her end and then suddenly the machine starts printing my receipt! Before. I. Even. Swiped. My. Card.
The cashier happily tears the receipt from the machine and checks to make sure the discounts were applied before handing it to me and saying “Have a nice day!” and continues on to the next customer in line. I, of course, look at her incredulously because I know I didn’t pay yet, but she and the machine seemed to think I had, so I shrugged, thought I was going mad, and walked out the door.
After inspecting the receipt, however, it looks like the machine did not finish processing the other lady’s purchase and the cashier mistakenly and absentmindedly rang up my items along with hers and did something that made her credit card pay for everything! Which means I walked out of there with free groceries.
Now, my conscience is telling me I should have went to Customer Service and resolved the issue, paid for the groceries, and be done with it.
I did not.
My conscience is also telling me I basically stole from an old lady.
If you remember correctly, the items that lady purchased were deleted from the transaction, so when you do the math, in reality, I actually saved her $10!
And lets face it, that’s just a blip in that supermarket’s system they won’t even notice. It was an honest mistake made by a careless employee. Not my fault!
Plus, it’s too late to do anything about it now so I should just laugh about it and revel in the fact that I have a hilarious anecdote to tell around Christmas time. Right?!
What would you have done in this situation? Am I in the wrong? Should I donate $20 to some kind of charity to ease my guilt and prevent Karma from biting me in the ass? Or should I just chalk it up to good luck on my part and her repaying me for that one time or other in my life when she bitch-slapped me?!
I. Have. No. Clue.