Wrong change

Recently I bought a few cigarettes from a local store. I gave the shopkeeper a 100 note and he returned me 90, when he was supposed to give me 10 less. I felt no compulsion to point out his mistake and left the shop 10 bucks richer. If he had called me back, I would’ve happily returned him his change, but he didn’t and I didn’t really mind. It was then I realised that wrong change does not bother me as much as it did a few years ago.

Even for a single rupee, or sometimes more,  I usually return wrong change given to me. Well, back home, I wouldn’t want to be labelled a dishonest customer, and the shopkeeper would always tell you if you’ve paid him more, or given you less.  And its HOME afterall, nobody is trying to cheat you, at least not always, trying to squeeze every penny you have left. Everyone’s trying to make a living and at the end of the day, somebody has to pay the rent.

Further from home, in a place which is a Second home, the scene is different, and I think I’ve grown accustomed to it. Earlier, I would return the extra change to the shopkeeper, who would take it without any sense of gladness or relief, taking for granted that you WERE supposed to return it anyway. Sometimes, they may even eye you with suspicion as if you were the culprit here, and quickly grabbing the returned cash, afraid you might have second thoughts. But I never seemed to mind it, cos’ it always gave me the inner satisfaction and peace that I did a good deed, doesn’t matter if the person on the receiving end didn’t really seem to appreciate your act. It felt good inside.

But now, I don’t get that satisfaction anymore, knowing that the shopkeeper is not going to do the same for you. There’s a certain rule here that goes something like this:

1. If you make a mistake in calculation, its your fault and you have to pay for it. The shopkeeper is not obligated to return you your money unless you realise your mistake before leaving the shop. Period.

2. If the shopkeeper makes a mistake and gives you wrong change, you are expected to retun it back, but doing so will not make matters any better, if not worse. Also, you may not expect any favors/discount from him just because you gave him his money back.

3. If you fail to return the wrong change and the shopkeeper realises it before you leave his shop, then you are in for a few moments of humiliation, the length of which will be determined by the amount miscalculated. But if the error is not realised, then you are free to keep the money at your own moral risk.

I’m not necessarily a person who remembers to count his change each time, but now with having a job and earning a living, I guess things have changed. My mum would always give me long lecture about the practice of counting what you receive back, which I seldom paid heed to while in college and before. I guess it wasn’t really a priority for me at the time. But lately I always remind myself to calculate the change I am about to receive back and check the bill when swiping a card, cos’ as the rule goes, there is a limited timeframe when you can refute the charge and actually expect to get your money back without spending much time, energy and with the mininum body temperature. I guess, at least, this is a change for the better, the right change, if you will.


12 Responses to “Wrong change”

  1. May 9, 2009 at 10:32 am

    True meaning of adaptation… After all aren’t we all animals???

  2. 2 NotGood
    May 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Yes… we are all animals, but only if we wanted to be.. hehe.. Welcome to the blog, always nice to see new faces. Im going to throw a grand party when my readership reaches a 2-digit number :p Do drop by again..

  3. May 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    To each his own, but I think you should stick to how you were before. Paying back someone in their own coin just makes us same as them. That’s just my opinion, hope I’m not being offensive on my very first comment 🙂

  4. May 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Not trying to sound like Miss goody-two-shoes, but I always point out and return the money if wrong change was given to me. And if I discover I’ve been shortchanged, I always go back and demand my money, no matter how small. Many a times I’ve extorted a rupee from a grumbling auto driver, but again there are times when I’ve given them a few rupees extra.

  5. 5 NotGood
    May 11, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    @ Diary: I guess you’re right, but being tricked, duped and swindled for almost half a decade outside of Home now has kinda made me numb. I dont really care anymore, if I make a mistake, Im screwed, if he does, he’s screwed! :P.. BTW, thanks for visiting.. and do drop by again, Im trying to make up in Quantity of post what I can’t do in Quality..

  6. 6 NotGood
    May 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    @Aduhi: I’ve been there and done that, and sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t, even though I know I was right.(For guys, its difficult to win an argument when it turns into a matter of Ego, for ladies, no one wants to make a scene with a female, so I guess you may have it a bit easier). Finally, I would end up more angry and pissed off than I started off, wasting my time and money for a few bucks which I could’ve avoided by being careful. So I make a rule for myself to be careful or be screwed, and the same applies for the shopkeeper too. >:|

  7. May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Well i guess honesty is still the best policy
    Nothing wrong in being assertive but there’s also nothing wrong in being meek(in deed only not in thought) after all the good book says The meek will inherit the earth
    so dont be such tightwads making a scene fighting for a rupee or two
    Like Russel Peters said..take it…and..go, Take it and go

  8. 8 NotGood
    May 12, 2009 at 2:31 am

    @opa: Sometimes its just really, really, really difficult to be the sane one in a world full of insanity.. hehe.. BTW.. I can’t comment on your Blog cos’ I dont have a google account?? Thats racial profiling dude.. lolzz.. but seriously, enable the Guest comments or sumthin’ so that us google-account-less bloggers may post unwanted gibberish.. 😀

  9. 9 tochh
    May 13, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    ur outlook i share..if im sceptical, i have a reason to be

  10. 10 luliana
    May 14, 2009 at 2:52 am

    I still don’t have the habit of counting the change I receive back. “Chawmhlawm” disease..ehh?!! 😀

  11. May 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    sure all gibberish welcome now…
    Luliana hi chu a chang chuan pawisa kir lak na chang a hre lo
    Tochh sounds very assertive…a lot like someone i know

  12. 12 NotGood
    May 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    @tochh: Hey, thanks for the support, after all the disagreements, its nice to see someone who thinks like me.. hehe.. Guess you, too, have been duped once too many, eh? Welcome and drop by again, and again, and yet again..!

    @Luliana: Took a comment from me on your blog for you to visit mine! Very resourceful indeed.. Welcome to the blog!! Be back soon..

    @opahmar: Great! Now I can post some comments on your blog which I’ve thought about for quite a while, only problem is, I don’t really remember what I had thought.. I think! BTW.. “Tochh sounds very assertive…a lot like someone i know”, Its enough that you hit on guys/girls on your blog 80% of the time, but do you have to do it on mine as well?? :p

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