That Bag Of Chips Ended Up Being Costlier Than Ever

, , , , , | Friendly | September 4, 2019

I am working as a shift leader at a movie theatre. Concession closes about ten minutes after the last shows start and the crew leaves once the tills are counted and everything has been cleaned and refilled for the next morning, leaving only two people to spend the time doodling around and checking theatres as the films drop out.

This evening has been slow but fun, as I got to work with two of my favorite coworkers, friends I also hang with off of work. Being a shift leader gives me power over them at work and more responsibility but it has never really affected our friendship until now. [Coworker #1] and I are the ones staying tonight, so [Coworker #2] comes up to us after she has changed out of her uniform for some small talk before leaving. As she’s beginning to walk away, she tells us that she will take a bag of chips with her but pay the next time she works. I sense alarm bells ringing and tell her I am not okay with that. 

The chain we work for is very generous with staff discounts and lenient with us. They trust us, and I am of the opinion that such trust should be respected and not taken advantage of; I do not want to see that trust disappear. [Coworker #2] taking a bag of chips might not seem like a huge deal, but it puts a lot of responsibility on me and [Coworker #1] to make sure she actually pays for it later, which she could claim to have done on a day when [Coworker #1] and I don’t work, and she could easily forget it, as well. I trust my friend, but I am not comfortable with this and I tell her that if she’s craving chips so badly, there is a gas station ten minutes away by bike that’s open 24/7.

[Coworker #2] throws a huge fit, but I stand my ground, and it is with sadness that I watch her flounce off. 

The next day, she sends me a text apologising, telling me I was right and she was wrong. She has talked with another friend who works in retail who had agreed with me. The apology is accepted, but clearly, something broke between us that evening. We used to hang at work and off of work several times a week. Afterward, we only hang at work. We still chat like before, but our times together off of work dwindle to maybe once every two months, often when [Coworker #1] is with us. Later that year, I am not even invited to her birthday party, and while she says the party was a surprise for her and others were organising it, they still know that I was one of her closest friends and I should have been on the list by default. Some might claim I was too harsh — it’s just a bag of chips after all — but even though I miss the friendship we used to have, my conscience is clear.

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