Worker Solidarity

At the grocery store, a very young man tries to withdraw $40 from the ATM. Two $20 bills come out and then a crumpled third bill emerges. The young man panicks, tried to push it back in, but the bill won’t go back.

“I’m sorry, do you know what I should do?” the young man asks the store worker who is passing by.

“Take it,” the worker replies.

“It’s not mine,” the young guy explains. “I only withdrew $40.”

“Take it. It’s a bonus the machine is giving out today,” the store worker says.

“Oh,” says the young guy. “Oh. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thanks!” And he runs away, beaming.

The worker turns around and sees me waiting in the corner with the stroller.

“Of course, the bank gives no bonus,” he explains. “Like it ever would. But the kid looked like he could really use the money.”


8 thoughts on “Worker Solidarity”

  1. The clerk wasn’t being generous — he was being practical and saving himself (and his store manager boss) unnecessary work. If he hadn’t told the kid to take the bill, the clerk would have had to take the bill out himself, set it aside and later turn it in to the manager, who would then have been legally required to turn it over to the bank operating the ATM.

    His boss would have probably thanked him for his diligence by saying, “Idiot! Why didn’t you just tell the kid to take it with him?”


      1. Just speaking from life-long experience. When I was stationed in Germany as a flight surgeon, I was assigned as the team physician on several aircraft accidents that occurred in the dead of the German winter, and the team had to go out in the freezing weather to find the bodies and gather evidence for the grim accident investigation. Because of the weather, we were issued heavy-duty fur-lined parkas that would have kept us comfortable at the North pole. For some reason the Air Force issued me TWO parkas, and they obviously cost the government $$$$$ each.

        When I retired twenty years ago, I did my duty and tried to turn both parkas back in. The military supply depot personnel told me that they couldn’t find any record of issuing me the items, so they couldn’t take them back — that I’d have to keep them (or throw them away, or sell them, whatever).

        So now I have two very expensive fur-lined military parkas hanging in my spare-bedroom closet here in the Arizona desert. If I ever get married and move to Alaska, they’ll be very useful for me and my bride.


        1. Just visit Alaska. You don’t get solicited to go on tours to see the Northern Lights?

          As for the ATM, it’s possible the store called the bank about the ATM glitching already. If they don’t say to put an out of order sign on the machine and they take their own sweet time in getting there, how is anyone at the store responsible?


          1. “Just visit Alaska. You don’t get solicited to go on tours to see the Northern Lights?”

            When I was on active duty, the military flights that I was assigned to made several stops at civilian airports above the Arctic Circle. I remember one stop where the stewardesses of a Swedish airline got off their airliner and relaxed in the Swedish lounge area by taking off their blouses and running around in their bras. Who cares about the Northern Lights?

            “How is anyone at the store responsible?”

            Obviously, you’ve never worked for the U.S. government (federal or military), which rolls responsibility downhill in strange and mysterious ways.


            1. Excuse me, forgot to state in my second paragraph that robbing a bank, or its ATM machine, is a federal crime. The FBI would be right on it.


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