Tuesday, 13 November 2007


My shopping came to £8.04. I looked at the woman on the checkout, a little confused. "Are you sure that's right? I added it up as I was going along and I thought it was more than that."

She looked at me like I was insane. "Yeah, that's right."

"Are you sure? OK," I said, still hovering, not giving her my money yet.

She nods and smiles, but she starts checking through the list on the till and suddenly exclaims. "You're right. Your wine didn't go through."

I pull it back out of the bag and pass it back and she scans it. But the wine comes up as £4.99, and I thought I picked up the £3.99 bottle. (Yes, I'm a cheapskate. Hi, I'm B! It's still nice wine though.) I asked her to check the price, sending apologetic smiles to the people queueing behind me, who make comments about how nice it is some people are still honest.

When the guy comes back and tells us the price is right, I smile even more apologetically and say I want the £3.99 bottle. The display is only feet away, so I ask if I can just nip over and pick one up, but the woman sends the price-checking guy out again. He goes over to the display, looks confused, then wanders off with the bottle. He's gone for a minute, who knows where, but finally returns with the correct bottle. The woman scans it. I pay, thrust the wine back in the bag, and apologise one more time to the people behind me.

This time they don't meet my eye.

As someone in my office pointed out when I got back, if I'd kept my mouth shut I could have enjoyed the £5 bottle of wine for free. Damn my conscience.

But then, if I had no conscience, I would never have discovered Co-Op Fair Trade wines. Highly recommended; good for your self respect and your palate!

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