Going to hell – €2 at a timeSep 7th, 2006 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
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 â¬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 â 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 â¬2.
The next day I went to the supermarket. The self-service checkout told me that my purchases were â¬16.89, so I fed a â¬20 note into the machine. It gave me â¬1.11 back. I looked at my change and the woman, supervising the checkouts, whom I knew, said, âThat checkout has probably short-changed you â it keeps on doing thatâ?. She opened her till and handed me a â¬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 â¬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 â¬2 at a time.