Tearing Down The Rounding Up

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2019

(At the store chain I work for, we ask customers if they are interested in donating to local charities so that we can better help the people in our community. Considering the state of our local economy, people often don’t have much to spare so we completely understand if they say no. Some people, however, seem to think they need to justify their decision. One notable example comes from a middle-aged woman who had just come in for a few small things.)

Me: “Okaaay, your total is [amount]. Would you like to round up to help support [Local Charity]?”

Customer: “No, I won’t. Not after last time.”

Me: *confused* “Oh? I’m sorry. What happened?”

Customer: “Well, I was checking out at another one of your stores and I decided to let the man checking me out round up since it was only a few cents. But when I got home, I saw that he’d added $15 to my total. I was so mad.”

Me: *horrified* “That’s awful. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I hope he was properly punished after you complained about him.”

Customer: “I didn’t complain.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? Why not? What he did was wrong and it reflects badly on the company. You deserved to get your money back and he needs to be held accountable for his actions.”

Customer: *starts looking agitated* “I was just so mad I couldn’t bring myself to go back to that store. That’s why I come here now. Just to be safe, though, I have sworn off ever donating to your store’s charities.”

(What I say next, I realize I probably shouldn’t. But I just cannot follow her logic.)

Me: “So, you’ve vowed to never help others to spite a man who wronged you that will never know you are spiting him and will never have to suffer the consequences of his actions?”

Customer: *staring at me like a deer in the headlights* “I just feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

(After she left, I talked to one of my senior coworkers about the exchange and she said that the woman probably just didn’t want to donate and made up the whole thing to justify it. I can’t say for sure how real her claims are, though. I know there are employees out there that would no doubt take advantage of someone like that but if you catch them doing it, you have to call them out on it. Claiming to be “so mad” but doing nothing about it will not fix the problem and only leaves the bad employee to hurt someone else later. Also, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to donate. Lots of people every day turn us down. But we do appreciate the people that do, since these charities do a lot of good. I dunno, there are just too many unanswered questions and the logic behind it doesn’t quite add up.)

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