The Wolfpack Files

My Life in My Words

Saturday, October 13, 2007


This past week at work has been simply ugly. The power-that-be feeling the need to micromanage things they don't really understand since they're not involved in day-to-day activities. This of course causes large groups of people to have to scramble to make the higher powers happy for a couple of weeks before they crawl back into their offices and forget about us lowly people for a while.

In the midst of all this, we had a couple of massive downpours last week. It made life a little more miserable than it already was. One night I walked for 15 minutes in the rain which lead to me having to dry my shoes for two days before they got back to normal. The next night, as I walked in the rain from the subway station to my apartment, I decided to swing by McDonalds to get some dinner. McDonalds is normally busy and the people working there - well, let's just say they're either not very smart, or are so annoyed and depressed at having to work at a McDonalds, have stopped caring. Lines were long, people were wet and on the edge. I try to understand how people feel and give them some leeway, so I stood there, quietly waiting my turn.

I place my order, pay for it, and then stand aside to await my food as the next person in line orders. I didn't hear what he asked for, but it must have been a lot because his total came to $20.06. He handed the cashier a $20 and said something to her I didn't catch, and neither did she. She looked at the money and looked at him and said, "It's $20.06." He then repeated what I imagine he said earlier which was, "Can you give me a break on the six cents? I only have another $20." He held up the other $20 bill to show her. She looked at him and said "It's not my money" meaning, it wouldn't be her giving him a break on the six cents, it would be McDonalds giving him a break on six cents. Now, there are a couple of ways of looking at this. One, chances are all registers at the end of the night are counted and people have to explain why something is over or short. This happened to me when I worked at a video store. If it's under, by a reasonable amount, it comes out of your pocket. So I can understand the cashier not caring if it was only six cents. That kind of thing can add up. The other way of looking at it is, its six cents to a multi-billion dollar company. Considering the amount of times I've gone to McDonalds and not gotten correct change, I think they can afford it.

So anyway, upon hearing this exchange I reached into my pocket and fished out a dime and handed it to the guy. He looked at me and said thanks, and handed it to the cashier. While we both sat waiting for our orders, the guy kept talking to me, saying thanks and whatnot. Then he said "Karma man, it's all about Karma. See, I did something nice earlier, and now you're doing something nice for me. It's raining right? And I stood in the rain and held the door open for a woman before, and now you're doing something nice for me. Trust me man, something good is going to happen to you." I smiled politely and said I hoped it would. I got my order and turned to leave, and as I did I could hear him still say, "Karma man, Karma." Before you start imagining what this guy looked like, he wasn't a hippy. He reminded me more of a frat boy, only one who wasn't all that good looking.

As I walked out of McDonalds and crossed the road to go home, I kept thinking about what he said. He did something nice for someone; I did something nice for him, so that meant something nice would happen to/for me. It wasn't that I felt I deserved something nice to happen (not that I'd complain if it did of course) but I wondered if the world really worked that way. All I did was something I hoped someone would do for me in the same situation. I knew how I'd feel if I had to break a $20 bill for six cents. It would be a little annoying. So I handed a stranger a dime. I can afford a dime here and there. It was such a small little thing to do, but he seemed so touched by this that he felt the need to tell me over and over that something good would happen to me. And I started to hope that maybe he was right. I walked into my building and into my apartment. I went to the fridge to pull out a drink, then went and sat down on the couch and opened my bag of McDonalds. As I pulled out my food, I thought about everything that had happened in the last few minutes and smiled to myself. Then I looked down at my food and realized something...

They gave me the wrong order.

Karma man, it's a bitch.


Post a Comment

<< Home