Going to hell – €2 at a time

Sep 7th, 2006 | By | Category: Personal Columns

I looked at my watch. Seven minutes past three, not enough time left to get to the bank, it could wait.

I drove into the town and pulled into the multi-storey car park. There were three shops to get round. I had to wait for ten minutes in the schoolbook shop, so it took longer than expected.

Returning to the car park, I put my ticket in the machine and it told me I owed €4. I couldn’t understand how it had taken me so long to get around the shops. I looked at the ticket and it told me that I had arrived at 1438. I couldn’t have done, I didn’t leave home until 1507.

I thought for a moment about going to complain – but what was the point? What proof had I that I hadn’t been there since 1438? I didn’t want to create a scene about €2.

The next day I went to the supermarket. The self-service checkout told me that my purchases were €16.89, so I fed a €20 note into the machine. It gave me €1.11 back. I looked at my change and the woman, supervising the checkouts, whom I knew, said, “That checkout has probably short-changed you – it keeps on doing thatâ€?. She opened her till and handed me a €2 coin. I thanked her. Normally I would have just put the coins in my pocket without checking. I should have gone to the customer help desk and complained that they shouldn’t have machines that they knew were short-changing customers, but it would have been a lot of fuss about €2.

Driving away I realized that the world becomes a bad place not by us letting some great evil take over, but by letting things get worse bit by bit – even €2 at a time.

Leave Comment