el cheapo

I’d previously written about my grievances with the nonperishables that occupied space in our basement and how I valiantly tried getting rid of them. There was the episode with the high chair that required a separate post, and here it is.

So one afternoon at the coffee machine, conversation skipped over a few different things as is wont and landed with how babies are about scarcely 20 inches but occupy about 20 feet of our home with their stuff. Naturally, since am the grand-mama of all moms out there and I could easily set shop with all the kid stuff we possess, I related my woes on trying to get rid of baby seats. Most wouldn’t buy a baby seat due to safety concerns, and neither would Salvation Army take it, and it’s such a shame to waste a perfectly good one.

Then a colleague (C1) asked if I still had the high chair. I jumped. Said sure! Come on over and pick it up, you live like what 10 minutes away? She said yes, but timings are different, would you mind bringing it over? That meant bringing in the van as opposed to the car I usually drove and required some juggling for the kids. I said sure, one day isn’t gonna hurt. I did the next day. She doesn’t show up, and then tells me, o just leave it at work, I can pick it up tomorrow.

Er? Drag a high chair from the 2nd level in garage onto the 2nd floor in the building and then keep it where? In my cube? Maybe not I think. Will just bring it back next day. Did. She picks it up, says, great, thank you! I say, great, sure, you welcome.

Cut to a month later.

Work’s peaking, and couldn’t take a break to pick up lunch. She (C1)and another colleague(C2) were stepping out and this C2 asks if I wanted anything. I said sure, depends where you girls are going? Firehouse subs probably. alright, they have a veg sub, pick one up? Drink? Nope, nothing. I fish a $5 bill and hand it to her. From what I remember I know it’s $4 something. Let me know?

C2 appears 20 minutes later, sub in a brown bag.

C2: You lucky, that veggie sub looks delicious!

Me: aw, thanks! Hope it tastes half as good. I owe anything?

C2: O I don’t think so, just about. C1 paid though, I used my card as I was picking up for C3 and C4 as well.

Me: Oh, alright, will check with her.

C2: No, it was just about right I think. No worries. Alright, bon appetit.

10 minutes later, popping her head in:

C1: hey, you got the sub?

Me: Yep! Thanks!!

C1: Yeah, it was $5.20, with tax.

Me: Oh!

Uncomfortable silence. C1 standing at the door not moving.

Me: So I owe you 0.20 cents?

C1: Yeah.

Me: Digging through my bag for change, find a bunch of cents, a few quarters, no dimes. Handing a quarter: Here!

C1: Cool, enjoy your lunch!

Me: ?!

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24 replies on “el cheapo”
  1. says: Priya

    aaah!! I really don’t know how these ppl do that! For me its just mentally taxing to keep count of every single penny that way, being lazy helps too 😀 I cannot get my self to ask ppl money they rightfully owe me, I have to nudge, push and shove myself into asking them.

  2. says: maxdavinci

    Everyday at lunch, i never collect change esp if it is under 5 cents. So lets say 5.47, I pay a $10 bill and then just take the $4 and 2 quarters leaving the loose change. This has been goin on for a year and half now!

    Last week I rang up 5.27 and luckily I had a quarter and $5 bill, they guys stands there and doesnt ring me up! Your short two cents sir!

    bleddy son of a thief!….

  3. says: Bg

    Oh Gosh!! That was bad.Maybe next time you should charge her for juggling your kids schedule cos u had to drive the van!

  4. says: rads

    OMG! That sure stirred a few nests 🙂

    bg: Finally, nice to see ya. Totally! For all my effort.

    max: LOL, well, see the way they look at it is, you choose to not pick up change, but it’s their business, they can’t cut you slack. You should pick from the ‘add a penny, take a penny’ jar no?

    Apple: Avuna? So much happiness when others are in same boat no? 😀

    Stitha: Totally man. I didn’t say a word about the high chair, and not that I was ‘selling’ it to her, but cmon, the least she cud’ve offered was a lunch!

    sands: yep! There are more such incidents. I am forced to laugh with these antics.

    Archana: I know! I was reading this comment and she was right next to me. Adu oru CT! 😀

    Priya: That’s the plan. In any case she’s no fun. 🙂

  5. says: rads

    Adithya: This is nothing. People take it to extreme lengths!

    Schmetterling, Pavan: sadly, such comebacks don’t hit me when I need them. *sigh

    Dinesh: Right! 🙂

    Priya: It really depends on the amount right? I have huge issues asking for what is owed to me too, but this is ridiculous!?

    CW: Now, aren’t you being the devil’s advocate? 😛

    La Vida: Lol, yeayea, Rads the ripper :p

    Praveen: yeah, the lengths people go to is amazing.

  6. says: terri

    I think it’s a cultural thing. I’ve never met a Caucasian who didn’t ask for hisaab-kitaab. They can be the nicest people in the world (C1 may not fall in that category), but they want their change back. I know a father-grown daughter who do that. If they go out for ice cream, they split the bill down to the last cent and remind each other about IOUs of 5 cents at their next meeting.

  7. says: zeppelin

    namma ooru bashai la sonna – “Chilre” 🙂

    you should have calculated gas expenses and said “kooti kazhichu paaru, kanakku seriya varum” in the best possible ingilees translation. hehe… 😀

  8. says: Deepa

    loved your post. you really have a way with words and making it interesting to read. And of course can create long posts without giving that feeling 😉
    hmm..Wish you had not told her that you are giving the chair away for free, you could have charged her for the chair when she asked for the change and enjoyed the expression on her face !!

  9. says: rads

    Deepa: welcome and thank you 🙂
    I should have rt? 😀

    Lakshmi: Well, I don’t like confrontations of any sort, and this would be of the mild kind, but still…

    Zep: LOL. I know, majorly chilre only 🙂

    Daisy: Yeah 🙂

    Terri: dad-daughter? Really? wow.
    This was a 2nd generation desi 😀

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