We stopped off at a garage on the way home, I needed diesel and the fridge needed milk. And we all needed a box of Tunnocks Tea Cakes. £56-odd at pump 4, you just have to blank it out really.
There were a few other comings and goings on the forecourt while I was at the pump and as I faffed around in the shop, which wasn’t the best stocked. But when I’d had enough aimless shuffling I just decided I now had all I needed and went to the till.
Naw, it’s pump 4.
Er… what’s happened to pump 2…
What, has someone done a runner? I saw someone at pump 3 next to me but…
She was too distracted to hear me.
How much was…
£56-something, pump 4.
Oh my god, I know what I’ve done, that last customer’s paid for your fuel.
Ah. I said.
I waited to see what was going to happen next, I had a sleeping four year old and a Joycee with a rapidly draining iPhone battery in the motor outside, I wasn’t hanging about at the counter while a drama unfolded that I didn’t buy a ticket for.
She looked outside, back at the till, at me and back outside. I know… she said slowly, You can pay for their fuel…
Oh aye? I enquired, preparing dig my heels and wallet in at the boundary.
That’s £58 in total.
Sold to the man in the Black Sabbath t-shirt. £52 for their fuel plus my groceries, I made money on the deal.
The lassie behind the counter couldn’t get me sorted and out of the shop fast enough and I wasn’t going to fight her for the right to pay the extra, how could I anyway? The computer said it was all done at pump 4 before I even got to the counter, the computer said no.
Will the other motorist notice? Unlikely, I know how many times I’ve arrived at the till barely remembering what pump I was just at never mind how much fuel I’d just put in. So there’s a lesson for us all here, concentrate or you might just get humped.
On Monday, I saw a purse lying on the road when a car drove over it and it bounced in the air shedding some of its contents. I pulled over, reversed back and scooped it up, sticking the cards and keys back inside. I took it straight to the polis office just up the road to hand it in, hoping the owner might be local and head to the same place.
The boy behind the counter looked slightly dismayed, “I’ll get the book…” “Sometimes it’s easier to just leave it lying…” He murmered as he wandered off.
While I was waiting an old boy staggered in banging the doors, kicking the furniture and breathing like a man making the most of his last few breaths. “You okay?”
“Bastards” he said “Bastards, making me come down here to answer a summons, they should come to my house and get me, bastards”.
Indeed. Old hard men are rubbish. I went back to watching for the boy coming back which he did with expert timing.
“I’ll just ask you a few questions… Are you claiming any reward?”
He looked up and my expression answered the question for him.
“Sorry, we have to ask, you’d be surprised.”
Just imagine you’ve lost your purse or wallet, your cards, cash and house keys are in it, the panic and desperation that would instantly set in. Who the hell would want to profit from that situation?
We filled out the rest of the form and he was pleased to tell me that by doing so that I was protected against the owner claiming that I’d stolen anything from the purse before I’d returned it.
Marvellous. What an entirely unpleasant experience doing the right thing turned out to be.