Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Which Chana Is Not A Thief

Today I went shopping for Shabbos. I have a two-step routine. First I go to the Dominican supermarket to buy all my fruits and vegetables. Then I wander on down to Key Food for everything I can't get at the Dominican supermarket.

Today my purchases at the supermarket came to $14.93. I handed the lady at the checkout station a twenty-dollar-bill. She handed me back $14.93. Thus, instead of receiving the $5.07 in change she ought to have given me, she had given me the amount of my purchases. In her quick glance at the machine to calculate the Total & Change, she had mixed up the two numbers.

I saw her count out the ten-dollar-bill and the rest of the money. First I was simply perplexed. Then she handed it to me. This was the conversation my mind had with me.

First Thought: Oh, it's a simple mistake. Everyone makes mistakes like these; it's an unexpected windfall that I can totally accept. Think how great this is! This way, when you divide up the money you spent on purchasing Shabbos, you're only dividing up $5.07 for all these vegetables. That means it will be much cheaper for everyone in the apartment to pay and everyone will be happier.

Second Thought: WTF (aka What The Frabols? Frabols, for those not in the know, are a kind of gourmet bubble gum discovered at The Food Emporium which now serve as my new curse word.) Chana, you are not a thief!

I took the money and the receipt and explained to the lady in excellent English that she had meant to give me $5.07 in change, not $14.93. I showed her on my receipt where that was my change. A look of horror crossed her face as she realized she had given me three times the amount of money she ought to have given me. Then she thanked me excessively and gave me the correct change.

Heady with the thought that I had made a Kiddush Hashem, I walked over to my apartment building, where I saw the following sign posted in the lobby:

Was God talking to me or what? I thought He was. And happily, I was not a thief.

In other news, this is the beverage upon which I am currently making L'chayim:

Thus Chana is not a thief and engages in NyQuil parties, all is well in the world, and God is pleased with His daughter. Huzzah!


Malka said...

Kol Hakavod!
(However, I still maintain that Frabols are altogether too joyous to be a curse word.)

yosef said...

Which Dominican supermarket do you go to? I'm trying to find a market in the Heights with decent fruits and vegetables.

Anonymous said...

"I love NyQuil; it's like crack!" ;-)

Chana said...

Anon 4:25,

Ah, my fellow NCSY Advisor, where would we be without your remembering my everlasting love affair with the wondrous cherry medicine?

What can I say- some people use Windex; I use NyQuil...and I still want to thank you for buying it for me that time.

Anonymous said...

ta'us akam is not genaiva. did the clerk know you are jewish?

Chana said...

Anon 5:50 PM,

Ta'us Akum nowadays is stealing. See R' Aaron Soloveitchik's 'Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind' for more details.

As for knowing I am Jewish, she definitely knew I wasn't Dominican or a Spanish-speaker, so I would assume yes.

RaggedyMom said...

Let's hear it for Chana!

Anon 5:50, another consideration is the likely reality that the clerk has to balance the contents of her register with the day's receipts, and would herself have had to make up the nearly $10 difference.

Chana said...

Anon 5:50 PM,

I wrote a post with the sources regarding this matter. Not to return the money would have been absolutely wrong per Torah law.

harry-er than them all said...

nyquil! are you underage that you cant drink like an adult?