Saturday, May 2, 2009

My 2 Cents

I'm about to tell you a little story and by the end of it I will have exposed myself to be a fucking cheap-skate. I don't care. I've had it with these fuckers.

Every morning I buy a cup of coffee and a bottled water at Dunkin' Donuts. It comes to $2.98. Well, I hand the cashier $3.00, the cashier takes my money and puts it in the drawer and then closes the drawer. I stand there for a second or two and the cashier looks at me blankly until I walk away. For a while, I didn't even know what it was that was holding me in the spot. I'd walk away feeling like a moron. And then it occurred to me. These fuckers have decided that they don't need to give me my change. Yes, I'm aware that it's only 2 pennies. I'm aware that my annoyance at being denied 2 pennies in change qualifies me as a penny-pincher, and puts me in the same league as my grandmother, who still feels excited when she finds a discarded penny on the sidewalk.

I don't even know if the issue is even about the pennies themselves for me. Although, if you think about it, two pennies stolen, 5 days a week is a dime per week. At 52 weeks a year, that's $5.20. So Dunkin' Donuts is basically stealing $5 a year from me. How many more people are they ripping off on a daily basis? It's the principle of the thing. If you want to charge me $3.00, then charge me $3.00. Don't tell me it's $2.98 if you're going to charge me $3.00. Fucking fuckers. Give me my god damn pennies. It's bad enough they leave a little tip jar out begging for extra money. Like why in the name of fuck should I pay them a tip for pouring my coffee? I pay for coffee and now I'm supposed to give a tip to the cashier for actually pouring it and giving it to me? I don't get it.

The other day I had had enough. The cashier said, "That'll be $2.98." I handed her $3.00. She took my three dollars, put it in the drawer and closed it. I stood there with my hand out. She stood there staring at me blankly. She looked at my hand, then she looked at my face. She was confused. A fellow worker sidled up next to her and said something in a language I don't understand. The cashier sort of chuckled and finally, after about a minute of utter confusion, took a couple of pennies out of the tip jar and handed them to me. And she laughed while she did it, with such disdain and mockery. As in "this woman actually wants her own fucking money! Oh the nerve". I felt like shit for wanting my 2 cents.

Whatever. Maybe I'm cheap. But I shouldn't be made to feel like an asshole when I ask for my own change. In fact, I shouldn't have to ask for my own change. They should automatically and without mockery give me the change that is fucking owed to me. That is all.


  1. Of course they should give you your change. I can't imagine that they don't. I wonder what the threshold for cheating is? Three cents? Four? I bet they'd give you back a nickel. I go to Sonic every morning. My order is always $1.08 and I always give them $2 because I do think you should tip them. But the person behind the counter, not so much.

  2. I'd hold my hand out every time, just to make a point. Sometime when things are really fucked up like this, I find ways to do things to make people really uncomfortable. I suggest next time you argue that you gave her a ten. "Three cents? No, I'm waiting for my other seven dollars." Then just argue for awhile. Good times, good times.

  3. I'm with you. And I always get my change back.

  4. I don't think you sound like a cheapskate. I think for them to *assume* that you want them to keep *your* change is rude. I would politely put out my hand and request "MY change" please.

    Or, yeah, start paying with a ten and THEN see if they are still so cavalier about keeping YOUR change.

    If I was just a little bit ballsier, I'd probably ask WHY they think it's okay to keep my two pennies? And would they keep MY change if it was three pennies? Five pennies? A dime? What, exactly is their ethical threshhold there?

    It's not the .2 cents. It's the principal of the thing.

  5. Always count my change and check the reciept to make sure I have the right amount, a bit anal on my part, but yeah. A local diner near me, automatically adds extra, so the tip is included. My family wasn't notified until recently, so we've been paying an extra two bucks for every meal for a year now. Have a great weekend!

  6. I would be pissed too. It's not about the money. It's about the fact that they think it's okay to keep yours.


    I hope they don't spit in your coffee next time you go in.

  7. That's just like that waiter or waitress thing where they don't even look to see that you've put $20 into the little bill thingy for a $9.73 ticket and ask, "Do you need change?" Now I always say, "Look in there and see what you think." I've only had one with the balls to look and say, "Oh, thanks!" Fucker didn't get a tip.

  8. On occasion, and not very often, I have had occasion to be at a register where the total is something like $3.05, hand them a $10, and get $7 back. In other words, in that case, the hassle of digging out $.95 wasn't worth five cents to them. If one of these folks were to presumptively keep my $.02, I'd probably be okay with it.

    But that precendent would have had to have been set.

    Other than that, and I'd be pissed. Probably enough after the first time that they wouldn't get repeat business from me. It ain't the two cents (I can afford to lose $5 per year) -- it's the presumptuousness of it.

    In my case, generally, I don't have this problem because I have stopped paying in cash for almost anything -- I use my debit card. Yes, even for $3.00. I feel a bit stupid, but if I have $20 in my pocket, I spend $20. If I have to use my debit card, I buy only what I need.

    Of course, then I have to deal with those places who have a minimum transaction amount. They don't get my business, generally.

    Oh and for what it's worth, I don't like Dunkin' Donuts' coffee as much as Starbucks'. But hey, to each his/her own.

  9. Unless I like the person that waited on me, I always get my change. Especially if they took it upon themselves to just take it. Oh, I dont fucking think so!

  10. Here in Australia we dont have one or two cent pieces anymore. So every transaction is either rounded up or down to the nearest five.

    But... If we did still have them I would be standing there with my hand out waiting for MY fucking change.

    And how dare she mock you.. Now I am pissed off and I am sitting here thinking dark thoughts about corporate greed.

  11. I don't care if it's 2 cents or 2 million - it's YOURS. And if they neglect to give a couple pennies to every customer, what may be 2 cents to you is a whole lot of extra cash for them. Assholes.

    Also - I remember reading a similar story elsewhere, so it is clearly not just one cashier or one location. So they probably ARE raking it in.

  12. Sometimes when I go through the drivethru at dunkin donuts they take a very long time to come back with my 10cents change. I always think they are hoping I would just drive away. Sometimes I do because I feel like an idiot sitting in my car waiting for 10c. Anyway what is most disturbing is that they still insisted on stealing your 2 cents by not taking it out of the register, but the give a penny tray. Isn't that for use of the customers if they are short not the business with a whole register full of money??? Next time I say short them 2 cents and see how they react. Pay with exact change 2 cents short.

  13. I completely understand what you're saying: it's the principle of the matter, not the money itself.

    However, for me, ultimately, the extra $5 a year isn't worth the aggravation. I know that's what they are going for, and that pisses me off, but it's true.

  14. Thanks for all the comments guys! It's good to know I'm not a complete cheap ass for feeling the way I do. I really don't care about the money itself. It is the audacity of the cashier just assuming I don't care. And Alisha, you are so right about the fact that if I shorted them 2 cents that wouldn't be acceptable to them. Double standard. Oh well. Just talking about the issue made me feel so much better. I feel validated! What would I do without you guys?

  15. Why should you feel bad for wanting your change? 2 cents, even 1 cent add up. I imagine there are others that order similar and if they do that to you, they certainly are doing it to others & with that it adds up fast.

    I don't care of how little it is, you work for that money, if you are paying 2.98, the 2 cents is yours and the rest is the businesses you purchased from.

    Don't feel bad about it! I don't get why you have to tip a counter person who only gets you coffee. McDonalds don't have tip jars, hell Culvers where they bring the food out to you don't have tip jars either and don't expect tips.

    I was a waitress at an actual restaurant (have also worked in a coffee shop with no tips) and I will tell you what if they think pouring coffee into a cup is such a tip worthy job I dear them to serve half a restaurant during dinner rush.

    Your not at all cheap! Remember to get your change each time and put into a change jug and when you have enough for something nice buy it and tell them SEE what you deprive me from when your too lazy to pull out 2 pennies.

  16. There are no more pennies in Australia. They round to the nearest 5 cents. Every time they round up, I think about the fact that I'm getting screwed.

  17. You need to save all those pennies. All of them, and just keep coming back. Once you've collected the $2.98 again, pay entirely in pennies.

  18. Oh, nuh-uh! That's your damn money, even if it's only a little bit.