How Honest Would You Be?

My grandma is visiting us, so she paid for a takeout so we could all eat together. I went to pick it up. The total came to $65 and change. I give the guy $70 and he hands me back $15. I tell him he gave me too much, and he looks at me uncomprehendingly. I explain the math to him, that $70 – $15 = $55 not $65 and hand him back $10.

The annoying thing is that’s the second time this month that’s happened at a takeout place. My brother was basically livid that I didn’t just keep the money, saying its not stealing if he makes the mistake, but I dont think I’d feel right keeping the money just because he’s bad at math. I’m just mad because both times it was a frum person, who I’d expect to have some knowledge of basic arithmetic. (Well the first guy was a chossid, so maybe not.)

What would you have done? By the way, the guy at the counter was the owner, not just an hourly worker. I hope he doesn’t do his own books.

The one thing I’m really upset about is that I didn’t get a thank you either time, they just took the money back from me. That’s upsetting.

12 Responses to “How Honest Would You Be?”

  1. It was a test from Hashem, and you passed. Congratulations.

  2. Exactly what Child Ish said.

  3. I would definitely return it. I try and count my change when I can. I admit though I am notoriously bad at math even exceptionally easy stuff so sometimes when I’m in a rush I count on the store to give the right change and I stick it in my pocket without checking.
    The store owner should have given you a thank you. He knows better.

  4. I can imagine that is upsetting to not get a thank you, but you did the right thing by returning the money. I’ve had that lots of times, where mothers would pay me too much, and then I tell them. Each mother reacts differently, some refuse to take the money back and say to keep it and not tell them again when they pay too much. Others will drive back to get the money, and others will say I should add it on to the next time I babysit.

    But usually I just take whatever money I get and trust that the other person counted right. I figure if they pay me too less then I don’t want to tell them that they owe me money, so that’s why I don’t check how much they give me.

    But yea, you passed and did the right thing.

  5. And if it were a thousand dollars, would you give it back that easily?

  6. Mike: I cant say what I would do, but my cousin received $1600 extra from his bank teller and gave it back.

  7. Ahem…If I get home and notice some free shwag..I keep it.

  8. i always return it.
    when its from a jewish person i think u have to… and if theyre not jewish its just nice to.
    but thats pretty rude that they didnt even thank u!

  9. I would definitely return it, I’d be scared of getting hit by a bus on the way out.

  10. Whenever this has happened to me I give it back. It always bothers me that crisp little smooth voice saying “NO ONE KNOWS>>>>” . But so far I’ve passed. G-d knows.

    I’ve been thanked.

    There is a story about an anti-semetic railway workewr who gave a Jew the wrong change to “proove ” how bad they were. The yid returned it. Inworld war 2, the formerly anti-semetic worker saved Jews.

  11. You did the right thing and it does not matter if the other person was “frum” or not. Anyway do you expect a thank you or a pat on the head for mitzvot generally?

  12. Chris: No, but I expect a thank you from a favor done, regardless if it happens to be a mitzvah. I dont expect anything, but a thank you would be nice.

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