I made a wee bit of money yesterday. Unexpectedly.
Joe and I were heading into Barrie yesterday to see a movie and do some grocery shopping. We decided that it was time to bring the change jar to the 'sort and count' machine that sits by the checkout tills in Sobeys. We got me in beside the machine with the change jar and then Joe headed off to get a buggy and to start shopping. The jar was very full so we knew it would take at least ten minutes for me to dump the change into the tray and then scoot it down into the counter.
I enjoy this job. It's been mine for years, ever since Sobeys installed a change sorter and counter. We always bet how much the tally will come to and we are always far short. So I sat there dumping change, sliding it through the slot and watching the electronic counter add up the money.
"Clink, clink," came the sounds of change that I didn't add in.
Some old guy, much older than me, threw his change into mine, smiled and then rushed away. My cheeks grew hot with embarrassment. Suddenly I realized that I might look like some poor crippled guy turning in my earnings from my tin cup.
"Clink, clink," it happened again. This time it was a young woman with a baby gazing at me as she sat in the basket of the cart. "I hope this helps," her mother said as she walked by.
Believe it or not, I was too stunned to say anything.
Now I'm rushing to get the change in and sorted so that I can get out before anyone else gives me change. I am so conflicted. How dare they think I need their change? Isn't it nice that people want to give to others. HOW DARE THEY THINK I NEED THEIR CHANGE? I have to stop thinking about it and just get the damn change into the machine.
I'm watching others to catch anyone as they approach. I don't want any more change from anyone. I see a young guy, pants hanging low on his hips, approach. "No, thanks," I say and he looks at me confused. Rushing, I explain, "People have been dropping change in here, I'm not a begger, I've got a job. If you were going to give me change, I really don't need it." I can't believe how embarrassed I am. I'm stumbling over my words.
He leans over and glances in the bin and at the amount, "Well got any extra in there for me? I'm not to proud to ask." Now I see that he looks like he could use the money, "Sure," I say and thrust a handful of twoonies and loonies into his hand.
"Thanks, man," he said and strolled on.
I think I gave him more than they gave me.
Balance has been restored to the universe.