So, I’m going from checkout aisle to checkout aisle looking for these Altoids Smalls. The cinnamon-flavored ones only, mind you. I’m having little miniature fits under my breath, because all I’m seeing are the peppermint ones. I could sense I was under the influence of an OCD spell, which’ll hit me from time to time, especially when I’m out in public.
I’ve adopted these little mints as my stress-relieving pills. Sucking on them calms me down, especially at the height of a busy day. This store was not very good at keeping the item stocked on a consistent basis, so I felt the need to buy several to last me for the next two weeks.
I managed to gather up 12 little canisters of the things after going down 11 of the 12 aisles. I left two total on the shelves just to remind these people that they sold the item. When I got to checkout, the young lady who was ringing my stuff counted them and dropped them in the bag.
As she quickly scanned the next grocery items, the OCD struck me again. “How many of those Altoids did you scan?” I interrupted. Her youthful mind thought for a second, said thirteen, looked at the screen and somehow verified thirteen. She offered to recount them, and when she did, she counted twelve and apologized. I thought so. Never trust their counting.
She deleted one from the computer, and gave me a reassuring smile. She was nice about it. A point for her.
I paid for my stuff, and as I walked toward the exit, I checked my receipt. Lo and behold it read: 11 @ 0.99¢
‘Got – – – -!’
I stopped in my tracks. My mind started racing. ‘Okay, now this isn’t my fault. I was ready and willing to pay for all twelve of these things. She made a mistake, so I am supposed to fix it? I am not going back in line to pay for one Altoids canister. It’s only a dollar. Now, if it was two dollars, there’d be no question, I’d go back . . . but I’m leaving. I’ve got things to do today.’ I proceeded to walk toward the exit staring at my receipt.
But, it was bothering me. It was like an alarm was sounding in my head ( same as the sensors at the store’s doorway). The voices in my head started campaigning:
Go back, go back. For a dollar, no! You can’t walk out with that, suppose they catch you in the parking lot. They’re not going to catch you. There’ no way they could have realized a mistake was made. Just go! Go, and stop being ridiculous over a dollar. After the money you’ve spent in this store? They should be happy you choose to shop here. Listen, you need to go back and pay for it. It’s the right thing to do.. . . (I was five feet from the doorway. People were coming and going. I took my bags out of the basket.) You’re probably being tested!!!
Tested?? That did it. That voice was right. I was probably being tested. God or maybe some of his angels were probably watching and waiting to see if I’d pass or fail. This could be the impetus that decides my life over the next two years! Without further ado, I beelined back through the store and headed to Guest Services. I told the young man that I had twelve cannisters and was only charged for eleven. He nonchalantly took the receipt and charged me for another one. No biggie to him. I was no hero.
Total @ 0.99¢ plus tax = $1.07
Whew! I walked out of the store, glad I did the right thing. I’m no angel though, I sure thought about walking straight on out of there (mainly because of the inconvenience of going back.) I’m glad I possess those little voices to help me decide.
Yay, I passed!!!!! (I hope)
WOrD oF tHe daY
Etymology:Latin cogitatus, past participle of cogitare to think, think about, from co- + agitare to drive, agitate
transitive senses : to ponder or meditate on usually intently
intransitive senses : to meditate deeply or intently
synonyms see THINK
(from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary)