Guest post by Caroline Allen from The Modest Mom
Last Thanksgiving, I decided to hit a few stores during the early morning hours of Black Friday. When checking out at one store, I noticed that the checker wrapped up a candle I was buying and was putting it in the sack.
The problem? She hadn’t rung it up yet.
I had an instant battle going on inside of me. My first thought was “Oh, it’s only $3.99, just let it go. It’s her fault, not mine.” Then I chided myself, knowing that wasn’t the right thing to do.
I told her that I didn’t believe she had scanned the candle yet, and she looked up at me surprised. I could see it all over her face. She was tired, and people had probably been very difficult to work with that morning.
To her amazement, I was right, and she thanked me as she scanned the candle. It would have been so easy to just let it all go, but I felt so much happier I felt knowing I had done what was best.
Another time I was shopping at a local grocery store. Upon arriving at my van I found that a package of cream cheese had not been paid for. I was with all four of my little children and my baby was crying. I decided to just leave, as the thought of going back in the store to pay for it was exhausting.
But the next time I was in the store (which was actually several months later), I grabbed a package of cream cheese, and asked the cashier to scan it twice, telling them what had happened previously. Once again I received a look of amazement, and a heart felt “thank you” from them.
As shoppers, if we stand together on principles of honesty and truthfulness, with how much more respect might we be treated? Sure, there will always be those crabby cashiers who dread coupons and treat you badly. But we must be sure that our endeavor to be frugal (which is a worthy one) never gets in the way of our endeavor to be honest in all we do.
Dishonesty costs all of us more money in the long run.
Consider this: the stores that we shop at lose thousands of dollars — some hundreds of thousands — each year in either stolen merchandise or merchandise that simply “slips through the cracks,” such as the examples I gave above. They cannot completely absorb these losses, but instead they must distribute them across their product lines in the form of price increases. This may only result in an increase of a few cents, but, as we all can attest, those few cent price increases here and there quickly add up!
So, the next time you go out and shop and you anxiously watch the computer screen as the clerk scans your items, don’t watch just to make sure you aren’t paying too much for an item, also check to make sure you’re paying enough.
Caroline is the wife of Sean and mother of four children seven and under with a fifth blessing on the way! Besides homeschooling and supporting her husband in his business, she runs a business from her home where she sells modest maternity and woman’s clothing — The Modest Mom, and is a consultant for Lilla Rose. She also enjoys blogging at The Modest Mom Blog!