2.10.06

Penny Cup

Reading El Chavo’s post made me reminisce about my youth. There was this one time that my mom and I had walked to El Bronco, a swapmarket, a couple of miles from where we lived. When we left, we were thirsty and hungry; so we decided to stop at the Good Times (a convenience store) to get a drink and a snack. They had some kind of deal that you could buy a drink and a hot dog for like $1.99 or something.

When the cashier rang up the total, my mom was two cents shy. The cashier was this tall guy who’d had part of his face burned, so the skin was shiny and waxy. He was always rude and never bothered making conversation like the other cashiers. On that particular day, he did a thing that would stay with me and forever place him under the jerk file in my mind. Because that day, despite there being a penny cup like the one in El Chavo’s post, he didn’t allow my mom to take the two cents she needed to complete the total. He made her give back the hot dogs and pay for the drinks.

I felt humiliated. I don’t believe there was anyone else in the store, but I know it made my mom feel really bad. Like many people, I’ve never been in the business of letting anyone humiliate or put down my mom. She got enough of that at home and at work. Why should anyone else do that to her?

For this reason, once, I was at Wal-Mart and there was this kid ahead of me buying car parts. Apparently, his car had left him stranded and he was trying to fix it enough to get home. When the cashier rang up his total, he was a short like a couple of cents, so I unzipped my wallet and gave him the money. He said thank you about ten times before he left. I thought it was no big deal, but I guess if someone had done that for my mom at the Good Times, I would have done the same.

3 comments:

cindylu said...

Yeah, he definitely goes under the jerk file. I've dropped pennies at the drive thru before, then reached for more change but the person at the window was cool with it.

Annette said...

Ah, another person with fond (or not so fond) memories of the Good Time stores. Apparently all the stores in El Paso are now going to be turned into 7-11s, which makes me kind of sad.

Cracked Chancla said...

yeah, he is a jerk. i would have had a hard time resisting the urge to remind him what he had done.