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    Getting All Hancocked Over A Lincoln

    | GA, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a rather short young man who has just paid for lunch that I am sharing with a friend. Upon taking my seat at the table, I realize that I have been given $5 extra change. I go back to the register to return the excess money. There is one other customer in line behind me.)

    Me: “Sorry to bother you again, but I just wanted to return the extra change I was given by mistake.”

    Cashier: “Really? Well that’s a first.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but what is, ma’am?”

    Cashier: “Well, incorrect change is given out every now and then, and we always hear when it is short. However, we never get approached when we give too much.”

    Me: “You would think otherwise, wouldn’t you?”

    Cashier: “You’d be surprised. Unfortunately, when the register comes up short, we are either charged the difference out of our own pay or dismissed.”

    Me: “That’s terrible! Maybe if people knew jobs were at stake, they would be more honest.”

    (The customer in line has heard the whole thing and decides to speak up.)

    Customer: “Hey buddy. If you don’t want it, I’ll take it.”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “That $5 bill. I could use the money if you’re just giving it away.”

    Me: “I’m not giving it away. It’s their money; I was just given it by mistake. Did you not hear that she could lose her job?”

    Customer: “Look man, times are hard. People that actually have to work for their money need all of it they can get. We can’t all be spoiled brats like you!”

    Me: “I have a part-time job and go to college, so I work for what I have, too. Now I’m giving this money back to her, who it belongs to, not you. That is final!”

    Customer: “F*** you punk, and f*** that b**** too! If you won’t give it to me, I’ll take it along with all your front teeth!”

    (The customer is a full grown and muscular man, nearly twice my size. He grabs me by the arm and lifts me into the air. I see a swift motion in front of my face and brace for impact, but suddenly I feel myself dropped. The customer is cowering and holding his face. The cashier has sucker-punched him while he is holding on to me.)

    Me: “Thank you so much! I don’t know what I would have done without that!”

    Cashier: “No, thank you. If not for your honesty, I would have been fired. It’s the least I could do.”

    (The customer has recovered and quickly leaves. The manager comes over and is told the whole story.)

    Manager: “I’d like to offer you a free meal the next time you come.”

    Me: “I have to politely turn you down. I think the food is more than worth the price, and I’m happy to pay!”

    (I eat there regularly and have even become friends with the cashier. The best part is, because of this and her track record of great service, she later gets promoted to assistant manager!)