Qualms of Conscience

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Sometimes I feel like a layered onion of neurosis. Let me elaborate.


Scenario One:


Tonight I made a return to Walmart. There was a clearance price tag on the item that said $7.00. So that’s what I expected to get for the return.


However, when they rang the SKU up the price was $13.00. Before I knew it I was the proud owner of a $13 + tax gift card and the transaction was complete.


But I know there’s a $6 discrepancy in the price. I’m dying inside. I don’t know whether to go back to Walmart and tell them and ask them to take the $6 or just let it be.


I’ve faced this situation with Walmart before and I know it’s a huge amount of paperwork to have them make the price adjustment and they’re usually mean to me.


So I continue with my internal struggle.


Scenario Two:


Last week, I made a deposit at the bank. Everything was fine, but as I was leaving I saw a dime on the ledge on my side of the counter. Without thinking, I put the dime in my pocket.


As I got into the car to leave I realized I had just stolen a dime that wasn’t mine. I began to wonder if my integrity can be purchased for 10¢?


The strange thing about the dime is I pick pennies up off the ground all the time without any qualms of conscience. I feel like those pennies are discarded and unwanted, so I have no problem claiming them for my own. (I was highly impressed several years ago with this story of an Indiana man who purchased his truck using change he’d collected over the years. I want to be that guy!)


The difference between the unwanted pennies and my potentially compromising dime? The location. What if that dime was needed to balance the cashier’s drawer? The dime wasn’t on the floor, it was on the ledge. Maybe someone needed that dime.


I guess it’s a sign of my obsessive personality, but I’m really struggling with these situations. I feel like they’re an indication of character and I want to have a truthful personality and attitude.


To be fair, over the years I’ve given money back to cashiers and helped people count change correctly. (But I’ve also argued with a Taco Bell clerk about how they ring up my order so the extra sour cream comes up at 32¢ instead of 75¢. Yes, I am embarrassed for myself.) Do all of these situations even themselves out over time?


What’s your attitude about found money? Would you recommend I’d just get over it?



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One thought on “Qualms of Conscience

  • December 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Hm. If it was me, I’d go back to Walmart and at least give them the opportunity to say, “Nah. Keep it.” As for the dime…in the moment, I think I would hand it to the teller, but after the fact, I think it might put you under suspicion… 😉

    I’m totally with you though, on both counts. 1)Yesterday, I was at Taco Bell and returned an extra taco they gave us (that we didn’t pay for), but they let us keep it anyway. I think they were shocked at the honesty! 2)I also pick up change in parking lots. I think that if you have the opportunity to return it to its rightful owner (or someone who could contact them) then you should try, otherwise, “finders-keepers!”. 🙂


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