Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Confessions of a bargain gone too good....

OK, I feel a confession post brewin'... grab your cup of joe, it's a long one. ;-)

Some of you may think I'm nutso. If so, you may say so in the comments, but please be polite. hehehe

It happened about a month or so ago. I hit the clearance zone at a big chain 'home' type store. They are way overpriced in general, but known to have killer clearances. So, I'm shopping and instantly drawn to a fabulous mirror. It's huge, round and bordered by a gorgeous braid. It would fit perfectly above my fireplace. Perfectly. Like an inch to spare.

I'm standing there, staring at it's beauty thinking, "If it were only a better bargain" because, you know, that's how my brain thinks. To be honest, the price it was dropped down to wasn't bad...Mama just loves a better bargain.

I ask the sales associate to call a manager over because I notice a nick in the frame that is completely noticeable, but not beyond repair. He basically says that she won't be able to do anything and it's not worth my (his) time to call her. I say, "call her anyway" because that's how I roll.

She comes over, I speak to her about the fabulous mirror and about 45 seconds later she tells me she'll drop the price another 20%. Better than what I was expecting.

I happily stroll over to the register with the manager's slip indicating the new 'better bargain' price invoice. The cute and oh-so-young gal rings me up. As she's totaling everything, I think to myself how I can't wait to call the hubby to tell him I got the mirror at a steal of a deal. Of course, I called him to make sure the purchase was OK in the first place. We're cool like that.

I hand the cute gal my debit card and realize the total is $30 less than the manager's price. SCORE.

I hesitate and think of the time that I have gone back to the grocery store after realizing that the 2 gallon water that was under my cart went unpaid. I think of the time when I corrected the checker gave me a $10 instead of a $1 in return for my payment. (See, I know how to do the right thing...this is me trying to tell you I'm not a scum bucket.) I think of the time when I saw a blind man pay for his purchase and having to trust the correct amount of change was given back.

I think of a lot of things in a short amount of time.

For some reason, I didn't think long enough because I just went home and relished in my purchase. Bad me. Bad.

A month later, I'm in my Bible study doing my homework. The topic of the week was truth and honesty. A story about President Abraham Lincoln was mentioned...before his presidency, while counting cash in his store he realized too much change was given. He immediately walked a long distance to return it to the person who was overcharged. Another time, he miscalculated the amount of tea a woman purchased. He took her the remaining amount as soon as he realized it. Such an honest fellow.

I was knee deep in my homework and noticed how Proverbs 11:1 struck me. It basically says how He abhors dishonest scales and delights in accurate weights. And I know we're (I'm) given opportunities to adhere to this. This was one of mine and I blew it for a 'good deal' because I'm the bargain lady.

Last Sunday, I went back to the store with thirty dollars cash in hand. I approached another equally cute, young checker gal at the customer service desk and explained my situation. She called a manager over who joyfully told me "Merry Christmas" and to consider it a gift.

How could me not paying the full amount of what I owed be a gift?

He went on to explain that it was against store policy to accept money from customers like that. I kindly explained my reason for wanting to return it (Abe Lincoln story, Bible study and all) and that I know a big store like this one wouldn't really miss $30, but it was the principle.

He still told me he couldn't accept it. He was so nice. I told him that he'd have to if I dropped it on the counter and ran. lol As I was dashing for the door, I told him to give it to an employee who needed it.

So, moral of the story. I'm 32. I know right from wrong. I need to stick to it even if it involves a 'better' deal. Tisk tisk. Hopefully, I'll pass lessons like this on to my child and it will stick with her.

Speaking of, I probably owe my parents a lot of 'extra change' from lunch money in school. lol

So in honor of the 'bargain gone too good' I'm not posting any deals today rather a question of the day that will either make you run for the door or lead you to answer...

Question of the Day
Do you have a confession? Have you...
-Ever realized the clerk at the store under charged
you or gave you too much change?
-Noticed that the waiter didn't charge you for an appetizer?
-Bumped a car in the parking lot and didn't leave a note?
-Let the blame fall on someone else for something you did?

What did you do?
Wow, intense, eh?


Unknown said...

i always tell them if they give me too much change..ALWAYS...
In the case of your mirror..You did the right thing... but as a Manager in retail...I know what a pain in the patootie it is to try to balance the $30 back in for the day.... So if I were you, I wouldn't feel too bad about it...

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I'm the same way! I'd feel to guilty not too! :)

Anonymous said...

I always tell them if I get too much change or if I didn't get charged for something. In the case of the mirror, I would have done the same exact thing! LOL

But I will confess (head hanging low) that I did back into a car THE BUMPER THO in a parking lot one time, no damage, but I felt like doodoocrap! LOL

Unknown said...

We had a pop machine at work that constantly gave double cans of pop. When that would happen to me, I would go give .65 to the receptionist (because they controlled the vending machines)... because that pop wasn't free....

lynette355 said...

Boy that was a hard one for a bargain watcher. I understand the temptation. Oh don't we all. I think if we think about it we all have done that somewhere. It can come in different forms. Like going out to eat but not having enough for a tip (scamming the waitress?? right?) or limit on items you can purchase on a sale so you split it up into two different sales. Guilt is actually good at times. To remind us yes we are human and make errors (even known ones) but we are able to change them too. Gotta say that after the manager said keep the money more than once, I would have.

Unknown said...

I perfectly understand your desire to return the monies and how the manager forced you to "throw and run". I admire you for doing the right thing as well.
As for me, I have been not charges for a can of cat food or two, but I cannot think of anything else that fits the bill.

Susie said...

Wow! You are a way better person than I am. Don't get me wrong, I do bring it up while I am there. But to make a trip back and basically force them to take the money back...let's just say I am not that morally motivated:-) Nice work:-)

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

When we were newly married with a baby....I was 17....hardly any money.....I used cloth diapers....I REALLY wanted some disposable pampers!!! We had some extra money so we decided to buy some. Well, they were on the bottom of the cart and I forgot to put them on the belt and the cashier didn't ring them up. I realized it when I got to the car.
I didn't go back in...I guess I kinda stole them! We took the extra money and went and ate at a pizza buffet called Mr. Gatties. HA

Mandy said...

Great story. Pat on your back for honesty. What a valuable lesson to the young kids working at the store.

I have to think about this one. ...

Heather said...

You are so honest. I have been in your shoes, at Kohl's, when we first bought our house and needed lots of "essentials"...towels, rugs, etc.

Kohl's has some great bargains, and my MIL had an extra 30% off, so when the total was really low, I thought, WoW, what an awesome store. The manager herself was training a new cashier, so we had two people doing our order. What none of us realized until later was that some of the goods stopped ringing up on the computer (a glitch of some sort). Did I go back and rectify the problem? Umm, no. But I sure have Kohl's tons of business since then. Obviously it's still on my conscience, though.

I am in admiration of your honesty. And determination to do the right thing.

Unknown said...

Hey lady! I followed you over from SITS this morning. I am a firm believer in karma and really feel that whatever you put out there, comes back to you. When I was younger, I'm sure I might have done something like this and probably not thought twice about it but not lately.

Just last week I was paying our cable bill in person when they over credited us by $100. I could have thought of all the years this stupid company had overcharged us, and how currently we'd been fighting with them about the wrong amounts that were billed month after stinkin month, and walked out of there with that extra $100 left on our account. But I didn't. I would have felt guilty about it and it would have kept me awake at night worrying that if I'd let this one go, what other bad luck would be headed our way. I'm just not willing to tempt fate that way so I stayed and made them correct the error. And I was still happy about it when the clerk snottily kept insisting the amount was correct and I had to explain it to her 3 TIMES!

At least I won't have that weighing on my mind right? Right? lol

Jess said...

Wowza, you are posting early today!


I noticed that I accidentally ''stole'' a bag of limes from the store. I debated going back in but they were something like 3 for $1, so I figured it wasn't worth the time.

But otherwise, I'm pretty straight forward and honest in those things.

Thanks for the comments momma!


Caitlin said...

Hello! I just found your blog and am likin' it!! Good for you for settling your conscience with the extra $30. That was probably the right thing. Although the frame WAS chipped- not like you chipped it! I would have felt guilty too though.
The other day I was at Target and found some shoes that I really liked. I tucked them into the baby seat next to my son and kept I noticed them still sitting next to my baby.
Free shoes! Free shoes! Free shoes!
I turned around, went back in, and gave them to the checker. Sigh. But I didn't really WANT to that much! I knew, though that every time I wore those dang things, I would feel guilty.

Hopefully you feel peace now when you look at your mirror! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, hmmm I'm trying to think here. I'm sure I've done something to that effect. I try to be honest with things like that and generally if it happens it's because I wasn't paying attention. But, I'm sure it's happened before. I certainly am not perfect! haha It's sad that if I did do it that it's not weighing on my concious like it should be!

Jennie said...

good for you... even if he didi not take the money you got it off of your concious....

~Trish~ said...

ahem...clears throat and starts to sing...

Now I've got a confession
When I was young I wanted attention
And I promised myself that I’d do anything
Anything at all for the boys to notice me

But I ain't complaining
We all wanna be famous
So go ahead and say what you wanna say
You know what it's like to be nameless
Want them to know what your name is
'Cause see when I was younger I would say

When I grow up
I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies

When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have Groupies

When I grow up
Be on TV
People know me
Be on magazines

When I grow up
Fresh and clean
Number one chick when I step out on the scene

LOL sorry when I read your question on confessions, the Pussy Cat Dolls song 'When I Grow Up' took over my brain :)

Meaghan said...

You're a better person than me! I feel like those stores and big companies do nothing but steal from us. Charge exorbitant amounts to put as many "pennies" in their pocket as they can.

And, I bet it was just priced wrong and the extra 30 was not you stealing but them pricing incorrectly. I have to say one of my favorite things is when I go to a department store and find that sales rack, 50% off. Then I realize I have a coupon for another 10% off. I go to the register and it rings up another 15% off because there is an additional sale I just didn't know about :)

Great post, great story and WOW you have great morals. Hope you have a fabulous week!


Ginny said...

Getting the wrong change or getting an unpaid item on accident is one thing, but the mirror was probably marked down a 2nd time & the store never tagged it.

I would never feel bad about a clearance item ringing wrong. I worked retail for several years & sometimes you miss tagging an item.

Ronnica said...

I'm glad that you did go back and make amends. Though when the manager rejected it, I would have given the money to my church instead.

oº˚ Homeschool Mom˚ºo said...

Good for you! The only thing I can think of is I found a ladies purse in the walmart parking lot money sticking out everywhere -- I did do the right thing and bring it in the store -- the manager called her and she came to pick it up she was so thrilled because she had just cashed a check! She wanted to give me money -- I turned it down and told her I would just hope someone would do that for me. End of Story! THanks for sharing today -- Much Love --


Huse Yo Mama said...

I'm so skeptical.... if that were me, I would have been mad that the manager PRETENDED to give me 20% off, when it was going to be more than the clearance price of the mirror. But, if you were convicted to give the money back, it was the right thing.

I always give money back if they give me too much change. But, I have noticed that when I'm at Target, I tend to give Lorelai one of the dollar items at the beginning of the store to play with, so she is well- behaved and by the time I get to the register, I forget that she has it. I've had to make a conscious effort to look through every nook and cranny of the cart (and Lorelai) before paying.

Tabitha Blue said...

I'm totally with ya. I try to make things right as well. I can't remember any specific confession about this... I'm sure there's a time or two that I've missed it as well... but as much as I can, I try to correct what I see, whether good or bad for me. Good job!!

Anne said...

I'm so proud of you!! When the mirror is old and cracked (not you of course) you'll be able to tell your grandkids the story! It is valuable to know that everyone makes mistakes, and that attempts to make them right are so very important!

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I think that we have to be as honest as we can in all things. You did do the right thing and I loved the running from the store to let them deal with the $30. I would have done that too, kinda like dropping off the 20 zucchini's from your garden on the neighbors doorstop. I think it is those moments that define us. We are all basically good and honest people but when we are faced with a test (for lack of a better word) do we stand up as what we profess to believe or be? I am not perfect and I have many stories where I did not do as well as I could but I use then to improve me. So that next time I am ready..... and I do not have to think, I just react in the positive.

Great question and lots of great responses too. So are we going to get to see this wonderful mirror?

Jen Sue Wild said...

I am going to sound like a mother butI am so proud of you!! the world is lackng pepole with integrety now days..

Jen Sue Wild said...

I am going to sound like a mother butI am so proud of you!! the world is lackng pepole with integrety now days..

Ash said...

I'm so impressed, and sure that story has made the rounds at employee meetings. I'm betting most of them think you're an Urband Legend.

My problem would be this, evey time I would look at that damn thing hanging over my fireplace, I wouldn't think how clever I was to get that extra 20% - I would think about how I didn't do the right thing. Then I would have to take it down and sell it for dirt cheap to some more deserving person at a garage sale in order to even out the whole Karma thing.

So just think of that $30 as saving yourself the hassle of a garage sale. Though, if memory serves, I think you just did one?

Kudos to you!!


Unknown said...

i am in love with this post...who hasn't had this happen? and when it happens and ur kiddos are aroudnt o see how you handle it (good or bad), there is always a lesson.

let's see...oh, when i was like I really wanted this army guy (i am such a tom boy) and Mom said no. i took it and she found out and i had to return it to the manager, who said it was okay...to which my Mom said, "no it's not. u could go to jail." ha!

Rhea said...

I have a pretty strong moral compass.I don't like the cheat people. I'm totally impressed you went back to the store though. That's awesome.

Rhea said...

BTW, how did you get Shutterfly advertising on your site? I love Shutterfly.

Michelle said...

One time after a long day of shopping I counted the cash in my wallet and realized that I had about $30.00 more than I should have. I had been to so many stores that day and I wasn't entirely sure which one made the error. I also wasn't even sure exactly how much money I started with. I felt so bad for the clerk that was going to get tagged at the end of the day for being short! But what was I to do?

I was at Old Navy and shirt rang up for $1.25! My response to the clerk was, "Seriously"?

TisforTonya said...

I'm pretty good about making sure I don't take incorrect change, I've gone back in when they forgot to ring up the lip gloss or something... If I notice it, I mention it!

but I will admit that I once got home from a certain box chain store with a bag and I couldn't find the price on the receipt (it was marked at $5 on the tag...) but while reviewing the receipt I did notice I'd been overcharged for 2 other things, by about $1 each... I took the receipt along the next time intending to clear it up after I checked out... and by the time they'd rung up those purchases another $1.50 in overcharges had happened... I pocketed the old receipt and called it good, deciding that in the end it all evens out.

I find it awesome that you "donated" it to a needy employee - good solution :)

Cynthia said...

Why can I not think of anything? C'mon...I gotta have something!


Sandra said...

I ALWAYS tell them if they're undercharged or if they give me too much change. I have never been able to just walk away and say nothing.

As a matter of fact just the other day I was at the shoppette on base, and had Nicholas with me. We picked up a couple of things and he asked if he could get some gum for his sister and I said ok. Without me even noticing he grabbed a second pack for himself but held on to it. When we got to the car I looked at his hand and back at the bag and realized I only paid for one.....we marched right back inside and showed them the receipt and the two gum packs and paid for the second one.

Now I could have just said "oh well" and drove off, but I don't believe in cheating people, I would hate it if someone did it to me, so I always speak up and take things back if need be :)

tiarastantrums said...

great post - and great luck you have! That never happens to me!! Happens to my hubs all the time - seriously - he gets free stuff - not paid for stuff, wrong prices stuff all the time!!! But he never says a word! I think I will have to tell him this story and see what he does the next time!

the pearson ANTiCS said...

you're good. i too am always searching for a better deal, and recently went to get a cart a meijer...found that it had a case of water left underneath...and put it in my trunk for my son's bday party! shame on me!! :( i still feel like i should go back, and now you've confirmed it. love your blog - thank you!

FROGGITY! said...

Hey there-- this post is too cute! And you know what, that's a great lesson. I once went to Old Navy and realized later that this pair of jogging pants somehow didn't get paid for! Bothered me for years! I mean, seriously everytime I see the pants I feel guilty (still have them). You know, someone probably really needed that $30 and maybe God used that situation to pass it along to them. :) He's cool like that you know. Cheers!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

For the record, I do NOT think you are a nutter. :)

I know not what I do. But I TRY to do what's right.

Becky W said...

Thanks for stopping by again - I have seen you around more lately - via BATW. I have loved your blog as well and I do try to be honest if I catch things!!

{amy k.} said...

Wow! I wanna know what store has that kind of policy! Stores like that are hard to come by these days.

And a blind man counting his cash and trusting it was the right amount- that's some serious trust.

I've had experiences like that... mostly at restaurants where I notice they didn't charge me for something, i tell them and they say "Oh yeah, it's "free root beer day" or something silly like that, basically to say- no biggie, I've got you covered.

Honesty does pay off... doesn't it?!

Jaime said...

I would feel guilty too. I have received the incorrect amount of change, the gentlemen gave me just 20 cents more than he should have, but I gave it back. I can't say that I've done this every time though, because most of the time my little boy is at his breaking point and I just shove teh change in my pocket, purse or wherever, and leave.

Good for you, for going back to make things right.

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

You go girl! There's nothing better than a clear conscience! I have been guilty of things here and there, but thankfully, God has forgiven me and has forgotten the sins of my youth.

Be blessed!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great story. I know right from wrong, too, but I don't think I would have even thought to take the money back since it was on clearance and all that. I would have figured it was just my lucky day, but you are totally right. Makes me think of life's little 'bonuses' that are really a test of our honesty.

Great post. :)

Brooke said...

Umm.....once I didn't see an item (it was inside a bucket...) but once I found it, I ran back in to the self checkout and paid for it :) I agree, I am not sure if I would have gone back in like you. I probably would have thought, sweet! It is on more of a clearance than I thought! :) ha ha

Us said...

You crack me up...leaving it on the counter and running out! Yes, I always tell them when they have given me back too much change. However, if an item rings up lower at the register, I just figure they forgot to mark the last markdown on it and it's a nice surprise! (does that make me dishonest? lol) Working retail for over 10 years, I know that a lot of times we can forget to mark something down, we may have missed it, or we just haven't gotten to it yet before someone buys it. I bought some shoes last week and they rang up $2.00 less than the marked price (yes I know it's only $2), but I told the girl, "Oh, that's lower than I thought they would be." And she said "Uh-huh, we ran out of that price sticker so we had to use a higher one." Oh well, all the better for me. Yes, you are a little NUTS, but I like you all the more for it :o)

Us said...

By the way totally sounds like you are talking about Kohl's. I wanna know ;o)

Aly @ Lip Zip said...

I just bought $137.46 worth of groceries the other day. When I swiped my credit card, I noticed the card reader thingamajig said my total was $13.74 and to click "YES" if that was correct. The cashier had missed the last number when she entered the total into the system.

That would have been a nice treat but the fear of lightning striking me down as I stepped out of the grocery store helped me be honest. The error probably would have been caught anyway but karma can be just as deadly as lightning!

The cashier actually acted like I bothered her by telling her it was wrong. Grr!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Way to go, girl! So easy to justify things like this and think no one notices, or it is a big store they can afford it, or it is my lucky day or whatever. When we feel that conviction, we know we are LIVING what we believe, not just saying it. LOVE THIS post!

Blessings to you,

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I've had a similar thing happen to me. I never did take the money back though. This is making me think that maybe I should even though it was over a year ago.

Thanks so much for being so honest and telling us your story. Very inspiring!

Rachel said...

I don't think you're nuts! A similar situation happened today at my grocery store. The change is automatically generated via some nifty little machine. When I grabbed it, I noticed it felt like a LOT more than what it should be. And, it was -- about 5 bucks worth (I don't know how no one had noticed it was there).

Now, here's where I'm ashamed -- my first thought was about how I could now stop for a soft drink on the way home. That was my thought -- great preacher's kid, huh?

Then, I saw my toddler in the cart, watching me as she always does. Instantly, I felt my face turning red, knowing that I had contemplated stealing. That was the example I had nearly set for my child.

I turned around and gave it to the very surprised clerk.

It's amazing how quickly we can be tempted, even by something so seemingly little.

Thank you for posting this.

Jen said...

yeah I have a confession but I plead the fifth.

Anonymous said...

What a great post...you are so good!

I have let some small things go and feel that karma came back and bit me in the well, you know.

I want to set a good example for my kids as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh Melody, I just love this post! I'm with Jen, I plead the 5th. This is really making me think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your confession with us.

I remember a very long time ago (over 25 years now) right after I got married the Lord brought to mind the times that I had shop lifted when I was a teenager at 3 different stores. I went to each one and shared my story and took out money to pay for the items I had taken years ago- they were all flabergasted and didn't have the slightest idea as to what to do with the money. I remember 1 asking for a receipt and at another store the manager said they would be a bench or something and put it in my name for which I politely declined as I didn't need the whole world to know the bench was given in honor of mary shoplifting when she was a teen!!!

I know God will use your obedience to touch the hearts of those at the store where you shared!

blessings to you!

mary :)

Melodie said...

No confessions here - I've never done any of that stuff. I don't know if it's because I'm such a good person or because I like to feel like I'm better than those who do those things.

I think if I had been in your situation, I would have just found something else in the store to buy that I felt I was paying $30 too much for.

Holly said...

Ooh -- I did the car bump thing as a teenager. I was trying to park my stepmother's huge car in this little spot. I didn't know what to do!

Anonymous said...

There isn't a person on the planet who is blameless. I love this story. Its so encouraging! I'm sure you spoke volumes to the people at the store. You never know the effects of your honesty. Someone out there could be blogging about you right now.

I've been following your blog for a while, but never dropped a note. My friend Leahanne sent me your link a while back. Just want to thank you for all you do! you've saved me quite a few pennies and make me laugh! You're a hoot! You've kept me 'company' during my sleepless nights. Like tonight. I'm surfing the net once again because I can't sleep. :)


Rhonda said...

WOW! Well, the best way to look at it is this...your integrity should never be sold. It's not worth the 32.oo or the .89 for a simple candy bar. My father always told me to never "sell myself short on integrity" and "you're either honest or you're not!"

YIKES! There was never any room for dishonesty! I guess it stuck with me all these years later as I still am teaching those same morals to my own children.

OklahomaMomma said...

You did the right thing! If more people would do the right thing, wouldn't things be so much better!!!

Unknown said...

Great post, I've been known to take back extra change even after leaving when I notice it, I know for sure it comes from my mom doing the same thing.
Sometimes I am in a real hurry and just stuff the change in my pocket or purse and have no idea if they rang up right or not.
Intentionally, though, I try to do the right thing.

Dana said...

Happy SITS day! Just found your site and I love it! I'll be back for sure!

Natalia said...

LOL! You're to funny. And honest...to a fault? lol Sounds like something I would've done, or been forced to do by those tired of hearing me worry about it. (I have the version of that mirror that is about 1/5 - maybe smaller, I'm not good w/ math & measuring -the size and it cost me 15 smackers.)

Michelle said...

Ooo, kudos to you! I've been charged the wrong amount before and corrected it. And in Costco not been given credit for a coupon that I should have and generally gone to get my money back -- but not the last time because it was too much of a pain and they always give me the big sigh... and I didn't have time. In general though, the idea of "getting away with something" is part of what I feel is causing a decline in our society.

jennifersusan said...

I found you through SITS and just love your blog. I definately see where you're coming from with this, and I think it's awesome that you went back (even after all the time had passed) and offered up the difference in amount. You're awesome!

Mer said...

Awesome, awesome post.

I think we've lost a lot of civility as a society...learned to accept things that would have made Abe blush. Kudos to you for doing the right thing. :)

Bonhomie said...

I don't have a story but I wanted to say that you are truly a wonderful woman!

Tonya Staab said...

I always tell the truth. It's a damn trait that I'm stuck with. I feel guilty. I feel like I look guilty if I don't. I feel like everyone's looking at me and knowing that I'm guilty if I don't. So I tell the truth. Good for you.