Something happened to me yesterday that has never happened to me before.
Banjo Man and I spent yesterday afternoon doing errands about twenty miles north of our house. A grocery stop and a Christmas-present-pick up at Kohl’s were the highlights of the trip.
It was almost 5 PM and, after Banjo Man announced he wasn’t going to eat dinner when we got home, I decided to stop at Subway for my favorite Spicy Italian sub. I hadn’t eaten lunch and after a painful session at the dermatologist’s office earlier in the day I figured I deserved a treat.
There was a young, twenty-something man wearing a hoodie, working the counter all by himself. The store was empty, although located in a busy shopping center. I ordered my sandwich and the kid easily assembled it. He’d obviously worked there a while and knew the drill.
He wrapped up my sandwich and we moved to the register. I had my wallet out. He stared at the cash register and then said, “It’s your lucky day. It’s free.”
As he walked away toward the back room, I leaned over the counter and yelled, “What? Why?????”
He turned and shrugged. “I just don’t feel like ringing it up.”
What do you say to that?
Flustered, I left a tip even though he protested. I went out to the car where Banjo Man waited.
“You won’t believe this one,” I said. “My sandwich was free because the guy didn’t feel like ringing it up on the cash register.”
“What does that mean?”
No idea. Except the kid didn’t want to be there. Or something more interesting was happening in the back room (though it was very quiet and the store felt empty).
Work ethic? Don’t think so! I feel stupid for having left a tip. He shouldn’t have profited by giving away free sandwiches, but I felt weird walking out of there without paying for my dinner.
Has this ever happened to you? And what would you have done?