I’ve told you all about my daughters “special day” breakfast.  When she has a big event, test, law team, match, she gets what she refers to as the breakfast of champions- egg and cheese on a roll with a nestle chocolate milk from the corner bodega. And I always get this for her- she tells me what time she needs it and I plan accordingly.

We had this all set up for the day of her college interview. I had gone to the gym and I was getting dressed (for the record- I know exactly how long it will take me to get dressed) After my make up was on, I was blowing out my hair.  In my bathrobe.  My daughter called to me that mass transit was screwed up and she needed extra commute time- could I get her sandwich early?

Sure. I threw on the clothes closest to me- which were my writing clothes.  Now, I have specific writing clothes- they are comfy.  And by comfy I mean loose.  By loose I mean at least one size too big.  Really big sweat pants.  Really big flannel shirt. And my scruffy dog walking shoes. I grabbed six dollars out of my wallet and ran across the street.

I ordered my sandwich from the same counter guy who has worked there forever. I heard him say $2.95 to the cashier.  Before I paid, I realized I forgot the chocolate milk, so I ran to get it.

Again I approached the counter and said to the cashier- egg and cheese- pointing to the sandwich. She rang it up.

“6.80$” she said

I’ve been buying this combo for nine years.  I have a pretty good idea what it costs.

“How much is the sandwich?” I ask.


“Really?” I look back to the price board

And then the cashier starts to back track. She says what’s the sandwich and starts blubbering all the things people say when they’ve been caught out.

See- I’m pretty sure she thought I was homeless.

So she tried to take advantage of this.

So here’s my message for today: Don’t judge people by what they wear, or how they look.

32 thoughts on “Looks do Matter

    1. I know. I was a little shocked, especially as I’ve been going to this place for years and have always been treated with courtesy and respect. I’d never seen this cashier before, but I was shocked

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Will you say something to the manager/owner? Seriously wrong! How can you overcharge someone who’s poor to begin with?
        Recently at Starbucks and Panera in more than one location I’ve seen an employee offer a free item to someone who appears homeless. I have no idea if it’s a policy or just very kind employees.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My guess is it’s just kindness. I’m not going to say anything because it becomes a who said what scenario. And I can’t prove it. But it’s my guess…they just don’t want them in the store.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I will never know…but I heard the counter guy say the price and I repeated what the sandwich was before I paid. To come back and say oh, no bacon?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s a strange story…I have an opposite type of a story like this:

    I wrote a story (for a newspaper, they rejected it) about a what appeared to me to be a homeless woman who got into my face at the bus stop with my son. I sat with him but wasn’t getting on the bus with him, and planned on returning home right after. The woman, who is a local and deaf and also very rude insisted I give her money. I said ‘sorry I don’t have any cash on me’ and I didn’t. I was walking my kid to the bus stop, I wasn’t planning on stopping in a store. She gave me the dirtiest look you can imagine. Then she looked at my kid who had a tennis racket in his schoolbag on his back. She looked back at me with a very determined look and said ‘tennis lessons’ in some jumbled words. I thought, how presumptuous. He was playing tennis at school…

    I’ve given her money before. I’ve also bought her coffee before if she was in the same coffee shop with me. But I didn’t have cash then and that entire scenario pissed me off. Mental health issues, or not, homelessness or not, that rubbed me wrong.

    So yes, the answer to your question is, people judge. On both sides of the ‘spectrum’.


    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’ve also had similar issues. When I first got out if college I didn’t make much money so I brought lunch from home. I remember being on the subway and woman said she wanted money to eat, so I gave her my lunch. Which she then threw back at me. So I admit, I am very leery from then on. It only takes one situation to sour you. I understand both sides

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you think that maybe because you had not seen her before she was just a newbie and not familiar with the prices yet? I’m sure that even in your baggy clothes you don’t really look like a homeless person. Sad to think that people would take advantage of the disadvantaged 😦

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s was her whole demeanor when I asked the price if the sandwich. When I asked price if sandwich she didn’t auto Cote the her response, she waited till I looked at the price board so it didn’t smell right

      Liked by 1 person

  3. THAT SUCKS. I wouldn’t go there anymore, personally, or would watch really carefully if I had it again and intentionally looked a little crappy. If the cashier was new or something and made a sincere error, that’s one thing, but ripping off someone, maybe to pocket the difference herself, sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think it may have been an honest mistake and she was didn’t know. It happens. I don’t think most people working and in a business setting would take advantage of the homeless. On the other hand, they may take advantage of the wealthy in an upper end area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, that happens to. My daughter goes to school in the upper east side and the deli charges the kids with designer bags more than others. Her school got them to post a price sign

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My son went to the corner store the other night. Its the same store we ALWAYS go to. Except this night he was unaccompanied by anyone. He also didn’t have exact change. I sent him with a $20 because that’s what I had. He bought a small bag of kitty litter. Tag said $5. He only came home with $12. I can’t prove that they shortchanged him because he didn’t get a receipt. But I AM going to be more watchful from now on. Its NOT OK to take advantage of anyone, but especially someone who doesn’t always think as fast as a typical person.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Unbelievable! especially as you’ve shopped there for so long! years ago I worked for a woman, she was well off, she went car shopping at the weekend, in sweat pants etc.. normally she wore high end business suits. The guy in the Mercedes garage couldn’t be bothered with her, so she bought the car from his colleague! just goes to show! you really never know!

    Liked by 1 person

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