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    A Centless Journey

    | Fort Wayne, IN, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (A customer places a book at my register to check out.)

    Me: “Did you find everything alright today?”

    Customer: “I did! I’ve been waiting to get this book for a long time. Wait a moment… Oh, no. I think I left my coupon at home.”

    Me: “What a shame! How much was your coupon for?”

    Customer: “It was a special coupon for 25 percent off any item.”

    Me: “Well, you’re in luck! I happen to have an extra coupon under my register. It’s for 20 percent off any item.”

    Customer: “But mine was for 25 percent. Your coupon won’t save me as much money.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, take a look at the price tag on the book. It’s only $10. With your coupon, the price would drop to $7.50, and with mine the price would be $8.00. It’s only a fifty-cent difference.”

    Customer: “But my coupon would save me more money! Can you hold the book for me? I’m going to go home and get my coupon.”

    Me: “Where do you live?”

    (The woman gives me an address on the other side of town, probably a 40-minute round trip at least.)

    Me: “Are you sure you want to drive all the way home? The time and gas alone are probably worth more than the 50 cents you’d save with your coupon. Why don’t you just use this 20 percent off right now?”

    Customer: “No. My coupon would save me more money than your coupon would.”

    (She leaves. An hour later, she’s back with her coupon.)

    Customer: *smiling* “Look how much money I just saved!”