$20 cash back and forgetting

Nothing in here is significant but brings up a few questions:

First, the factual background. Last night while having trouble sleeping, I noted that I had only $60 to pay a friend for a prior obligation and needed $20 in cash this morning (I owed him $80). I went to the grocery store, and as usual forgot about it. As I am checking out, I paid with a card and the POS asked if I wanted cash back. Hell yes, $20, I almost forgot. The clerk handed me my receipt and $20 and I carried my groceries to the car. I’m closing the trunk when a manager is flagging me down.

“Sir, you forgot your cash back!”

I immediately thank her and take the money, but start to remember that I got it. I stop her. I look in my wallet. The $60 from the night before, my receipt and a fresh $20 next to it. I tell her that the clerk gave me the cash back. Thanks all around for diligence and honesty. So questions are in my mind:

  1. Am I suffering from some dementia that I didn’t immediately remember getting $20 less than one minute before?

  2. Was this some some of local news “honesty” piece?

  3. Is the clerk suffering from dementia? (He was barely 20 if he was a day).

  4. Is the clerk going to be in trouble?

  5. Am I suffering from a Memento-like moment where I will find hundreds of $20 bills in my sock drawer?

  6. If I wasn’t financially secure, would I have lied and kept the $20?
    Those are only six questions, but I have thought of a couple more. Any thoughts or ideas that stem from this mundane moment?

I’ve done it before at Kroger at the self check out a couple times. I’ll punch yes, cash back. Grab my bags and walk right out. Some lucky so and so was probably thrilled to find that $20 in the change slot.

Now I force myself to stop and check the change slot before grabbing my bags. It’s been a few years since I messed up and forgot.

My worst oh heck moment was at Burger King. Paid at the window and just drove off. :smack: Without my sandwich. I realized it about a block later. sigh.

But here I really did get my cash back…


We all go through life on autopilot. We may walk up to a cashier and check out. But our mind is focused on something at work or home. They hand you your change, you put it in your pocket, and it doesn’t even register.

At least that happens to me a lot. When I’m working through a problem at work my mind just barely registers everyday things like shopping. I’ll pour a cup of coffee and forget it. Stuff like that. I’ve done that all my life.

I’ve never left anything, but I’ll admit that I’ve FOUND money a few times.

Once I was able to reunite the cash with the proper owner (saw her walking away when I came up to the checkout), but no one was there the other times. I swear.

Maybe that’s it. When I was 17, I would have remembered in a heartbeat. I posted this partially because last week I stopped at a gas station, used the restroom, got a soda, walked to the car, started it, checked my email, replied, and had a feeling like I should have done something.

That something was pay for the fucking soda. I walked back in and paid. I’m only 37. I shouldn’t be doing old man stuff. :wink:

Yes, you should; you’re middle-aged. (What’s 37 times 2?)

You might have saved that young clerk from an upbraiding and having to cough up $20 to cover the shortage.

No, even if you were poor you probably wouldn’t have taken the extra $20. You’re honest. Don’t worry—it happens. (Good on ya.)

You are normal. Several months ago at the grocery store I bought a book of stamps with my groceries, and the clerk gave me my receipt and the book of stamps, upon check-out. When I was leaving the store, I threw out the receipt and my book of stamps (accidently) in their trash can. Lo and behold, when I got home, I did not have my stamps! Every time I go to this grocery store, I throw out my receipt in the trash can, and my mind was on something else when I accidently threw out the book of stamps. Things like this happen. Most people don’t have dementia, unless they are at an advanced age. I have read taking turmeric can help with memory problems. In addition, it is best to take it with black pepper, as it is absorbed better.

Brain farts happen - that’s life.

We were watching a program on TV the other night about a study of multi-taskers. It turns out we’re not as good at it as we like to believe. So if we’re thinking about one thing and doing another, it’s entirely possible that we’re not doing either particularly well or that we overlook something trivial. It doesn’t mean we’re necessarily losing it - rather, we’re pretty much normal.

And no, I don’t remember the show we were watching. I was crocheting at the time, so I was more listening than watching. That explains the occasional errors I made in my work and the parts of the show I missed while fixing the errors. So much for multi-tasking. :wink:

Just wait. I’m 55. I don’t even remember what I forgot.