18 September 2006

A Long Walk for a Twelve Dollar Cup of Coffee

Friday was the dawn of our New Financial Way, where we carry a calculator with us to the grocery store and keep a tally of what's in the cart, we seriously tone down the "this book/ storage bin/ lamp/ baby gadget was on sale!" type of spending. It was also the first day of the allowance.

Meaning that A. and I each get $X.XX each week that is ours and only ours to do with what we please. I may have mentioned this before, but the reason I believe in this system is that when I sign a debit card slip, the total could easily be $15.00 or $150.oo-- I won't understand the abstracts of spending, but I will guard cash like it is actual bars of gold.

So, Friday morning, I went to the coffee shop near my office and purchased a piping hot cup of luxury coffee with my spankin' new allowance. And didn't realize until the afternoon that I handed the girl a $20 and walked away with change for a $10.

I went back into the shop on Friday and was directed to leave my name and number. I called late Friday afternoon. I called Saturday morning and was directed to leave my name and number again. Repeat on Sunday. And still, no callback. Still down ten bucks.

This morning, I went into the coffee shop. I explained my situation. The girl pulled down three little slips of paper with my name and number from the bulletin board.

Then she rolled her eyes, apologized, and sprung the cash drawer. She handed me my $10, no questions.

Victory! (a tiny victory, but still.)

In my excitement (seriously, you'd think I won the lotto), I said something to A. about the lesson to be learned from all this, which turned out to be:

If you are really annoying, people will give you what you want so you will just go away.

A.'s take on the lesson:

If you are broke enough that you will spend 4 days tracking down $10 from a group of surly coffee shop workers, you are totally broke.

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