The same treatment was repeated with me. She stabbed the flat screen with dagger-like motions, rang up two-fifty-five, and I handed her the blue ten euro note. I held my hand in place hovered in the air as she groped around for the money. She handed me back the small change, along with a red twenty euro note.
Caught off guard for an instant, I hesitated slightly before gathering up enough courage to react. I told her politely that I thought perhaps she had mistakingly given me back the twenty euro note when it should have been a five, because you see I had paid with ten.
For the first time she raised her eyes and looked at me directly with pierced vision, her grumpy glance becoming even more irate. She had been trained well to beware of bums like me trying to short change the store.
"That's impossible," she snapped back at me. I responded with a smile, "Excuse me but I originally gave you ten, so I think you meant to give me five back, not twenty." Trained not to think, she kept her lips sealed and just shook her head back and forth. She waved me off and tarted helping the next customer in line.
I'm normally a pretty honest guy. I should have insisted until she called the police to take me away, but that look on her face combined with the growing line of impatient customers and their rattling overflowing shopping carts hinted that I should just accept this turn of fate and continue with my life.
I walked away wiithout making a big deal, accepting my good twist of fate although underneath I still feel a little guilty about it all.