Receiving Change In A Store


#1

I went shopping today to get a discount on some Christmas cards for next year. My total purchase came to $12.02. I handed the clerk a $20 bill. As is common these days, the register indicated my change was $7.98. The clerk took out of the draw a $5 bill and 2 ones, he then looked at the register again and started to count out the 98 cents. Less than half way through, he put the loose change back and pulled out another dollar bill and gave me $8 in change for my purchase. I can only assume, he was a little lazy and didn’t want to be bothered to count the 98 cents in change. I didn’t say anything because I knew he knew exactly how much I was to get back as he looked at the register several times to see what my change was. Now that I am home, I am feeling a little guilty because I accepted more change than I should have. Do I need to confess this the next time I go to confession?

Thank you and God Bless,
Mark


#2

No need to assume the clerk was lazy. Especially since he had the coins “halfway” counted out.

The clerk probably got halfway through counting out your change and realized he had too few pennies to give you correct change. Perhaps he didn’t want to inconvenience you by making you wait while he broke a new roll of pennies (perhaps he didn’t HAVE another roll of pennies). Instead he just gave you the extra $.02 and dealt with it after you left.

If you REALLY feel guilty about it just drop the $.02 in the poor box at Church, or in the “got-a-penny-give-a-penny-need-a-penny-take-a-penny” tray next time you see one.

By the way, what “sin” do think you might have committed in this encounter?


#3

Often, when customers purchase an item for, say, $9.98, they tell the clerk not to bother with the pennies in change. This creates a small overage in the clerk’s till. Sometimes the clerk will apply this overage to other purchases which are a few pennies over a dollar to avoid giving change. It’s not necessairaly “lazy” to do so - it can sometimes be difficult to keep a till’s change compartments properly stocked (if you run low on a denomination of coin, you need to get the manager to convert currency, etc - which can take time and slow down the clerk’s line, because managers aren’t always immediately available). 98 cents is a lot of coin.

Some registers have a “leave a penny, take a penny” tray. In the event you described, the clerk was running his/her own such system. You did nothing wrong.


#4

Dear Mark,
This sounds pretty serious, my man! I’d say you definately have committed a BIG mortal sin, and I mean BIG. Waste no time and make an appointment with a priest ASAP because your soul is in danger :eek: Think of the dire consequences! :wink:


#5

Once, my bank didn’t deduct the cents on a check I had written for about 14 dollars. Say it was $14.12. I can’t remember exactly. I went into the bank with my statement and told them that they needed to deduct the 12 cents. They had only deducted the $14. They said, “Do you how much more it will cost us to trace the error?”

In your case it could have been that the clerk wanted to keep the change for other transactions. Three other sales with change due such as 34 cents, 12 cents, 24 cents could all be given with the 98 cents they saved in change by giving you a dollar. So in the long run, you were doing them a favor.

  • Kathie :bowdown:

#6

By the way, what “sin” do think you might have committed in this encounter?

Isn’t this like stealing, taking something that is not rightfully yours? Yes, I took something that was given to me but should not have been. I usually am a very careful shopper. Many times I have told a clerk that they gave me back too much money. This usually happens when they are not paying attention or it is really busy. But in this case, he knew exactly how much I was supposed to get back because he looked at the register with the amount due several times.

Reading yours and other replies to my question, I think I will take the advise and drop some money in the poor box at church. At least I will be able to sleep tonight.

Thanks for all the advise.


#7

Dear MTH,
2 cents is more trouble than it’s worth. Truthfully, I vacuum up pennies in my house. If one drops on the floor of a store, I don’t bother to pick it up. In fact, that’s probably why the clerk didn’t bother. When they balance out tills I doubt if they do it to the penny. In the time you spent writing this thread, you wasted way more than 2 cents in time spent that could be used to help a little old lady across the street, did you think of it that way?

Do you suffer from scrupulosity???


#8

[quote=MTH]Isn’t this like stealing, taking something that is not rightfully yours?
[/quote]

No. You did not take what wasn’t yours. If anyone committed a sin, which is still very unlikely, it would be the clerk – not you.


#9

You did not take anything that was not yours; the clerk gave it to you.

Look at it another way: if you knew that the item you wanted to buy was going to be on sale tomorrow at 30% off, would you feel that you cheated the store by waiting for the sale?


#10

[quote=MTH]I went shopping today to get a discount on some Christmas cards for next year. My total purchase came to $12.02. I handed the clerk a $20 bill. As is common these days, the register indicated my change was $7.98. The clerk took out of the draw a $5 bill and 2 ones, he then looked at the register again and started to count out the 98 cents. Less than half way through, he put the loose change back and pulled out another dollar bill and gave me $8 in change for my purchase. I can only assume, he was a little lazy and didn’t want to be bothered to count the 98 cents in change. I didn’t say anything because I knew he knew exactly how much I was to get back as he looked at the register several times to see what my change was. Now that I am home, I am feeling a little guilty because I accepted more change than I should have. Do I need to confess this the next time I go to confession?

Thank you and God Bless,
Mark
[/quote]

I think if I were you I would simply offer a prayer of thanks to God that your life is so full that this issue constitutes a cause of concern to you.

Phil


#11

[quote=Philthy]I think if I were you I would simply offer a prayer of thanks to God that your life is so full that this issue constitutes a cause of concern to you.

Phil
[/quote]

LOL, this made me laugh. I’d say, this poster must be a veritable saint if this small matter troubles him. I have much bigger concerns, myself. :o


#12

Sometimes I find that if I’m worring about every single little thing I am doing that’s wrong, or could be wrong, or what if its wrong? I become frustated and soon begin to slip from dis-couragment. But when I tell myself I’ll do the best I can do and do NOT bother worrying about "What if this is wrong, or right? Then I live a better cleaner life. At least I feel like I am.

Trust God


#13

[quote=The Catholic]Sometimes I find that if I’m worring about every single little thing I am doing that’s wrong, or could be wrong, or what if its wrong? I become frustated and soon begin to slip from dis-couragment. But when I tell myself I’ll do the best I can do and do NOT bother worrying about "What if this is wrong, or right? Then I live a better cleaner life. At least I feel like I am.

Trust God
[/quote]

Sounds pretty good. Hey, if I can just get images of naked men out of my mind, I’ll call it a day… :rolleyes: 2 cents ain’t nothin’


#14

When I was growing up the clerks knew how to count. Today many of them do not or are hardly facile in that art. About ten years ago I picked up 4 ten cent items and took them to the check out. The young lady took out a pen and paper and wrote down four 10’s and proceeded to add them up. I used to correct people who made mistakes and gave me too much change. The last few times it has been a major battle to try and give the excess back. You know that the computer does not make mistakes and therefore I must be wrong, etc. etc. Sometimes they even get nasty about it. I have finally come to the point that unless it is major bucks I just take my change, say thankyou, and walk.


#15

On a slightly related note -

What about if someone accidentally gives you more change, or forgets to charge you for an item, or something like that - do you have an obligation to tell them? Or can you take the money in good conscience because it was their mistake?

I always tell them when they give me too much or too little change or something like that. I figure, 50c or something is a small price to pay to make sure I’m being honest. But it has cost me quite a lot before… once, I got paid $200 for overtime I hadn’t actually worked. (Turned out there had been a mix up and a guy who had done overtime hadn’t got paid for it). I pointed it out and so they took the extra money from my paycheck the next week and gave the other guy the money. Another time, at a stroe I was refunded for 2 items when I had only returned one. Actually, at first they refunded me for the wrongt item which meant I would have got $10 more than I should have. Then he fixed that up and made me go to the counter, where they tried to refund me for both, which would have got me $45 more than I should have. Maybe the second mistake was God’s reward to me for being honest the first time about the refund - and I turned it down not realising it?


#16

[quote=spiritblows]LOL, this made me laugh. I’d say, this poster must be a veritable saint if this small matter troubles him. I have much bigger concerns, myself. :o
[/quote]

No, I am not a saint (although I would like to be one someday). I have problems and sin just like everybody else. The reason this was bothering me was because I can remember a saying my mother used to say. She used to say about this or similar situations, “It’s not worth going to hell over a few pennies”. I guess that has been stuck in my mind all these years and now that I am at the half way point of my life, I want to make sure I am doing all the right things in order to make it to Heaven.

Thank you are for all your posts and guidance. This has really helped me out and after reading everyones answers, I really feel better. Well, I’m off to Mass this early in the morning (I try and go to Mass whenever possible on my days off). I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Thanks again and God Bless.

Mark


#17

Mark, God bless your honest heart. We should all be as conscientious as you. :thumbsup:


#18

[quote=MTH]No, I am not a saint (although I would like to be one someday). I have problems and sin just like everybody else. The reason this was bothering me was because I can remember a saying my mother used to say. She used to say about this or similar situations, “It’s not worth going to hell over a few pennies”. I guess that has been stuck in my mind all these years and now that I am at the half way point of my life, I want to make sure I am doing all the right things in order to make it to Heaven.

Thank you are for all your posts and guidance. This has really helped me out and after reading everyones answers, I really feel better. Well, I’m off to Mass this early in the morning (I try and go to Mass whenever possible on my days off). I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Thanks again and God Bless.

Mark
[/quote]

God loves you Mark - don’t forget it! Rejoice in it…and smile!

Phil


#19

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