Being given charity that I don't need

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Caduceus
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Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Caduceus » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am

I have gone to this small hole-in-the-wall place for many take-out meals over the last two years. Maybe it's because of the way I dress (I always wear the same shirt - I have many different shirts but all in the same design so perhaps it looks like I don't have money for new clothes) or perhaps because I always choose the cheapest option (which happens to be the one I like and the healthiest), but recently the owner has started giving me these substantial discounts in a kind manner. She will take 30% off the cost of my meals. I didn't know how to respond at first, but this has been going on for two weeks now.

I obviously don't mind the discounts, but I do not want to take advantage of another person's mistaken perception, and yet I don't want to have to convince someone that I do actually have money. What might be a nice way of handling this?

I have told her multiple times that I am happy to pay full price and don't understand why she's giving me the discounts, but she always rings it up at the lower price. I've also explained that I choose the vegetarian option because it's healthier and not because the meat is too expensive (in case that's what she was thinking). I am also very skinny, but not because I can't afford any food, so maybe that's partly it.

This is not about ego - I don't care if she thinks I'm poor. But her margins can't be that high, so giving me that discount means she isn't earning anything from the meals I buy from her. What should I do?

life in slices
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by life in slices » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:26 am

Has she specifically said it was because she thought you were poor?

More likely it might for other reasons - were you kind to her, made a connection? Most likely because she recognizes you as a long term consistent customer and is thankful for your business?

At the end of the day - you pointed it out and she still wants to give the discount

IMO just say thank you and enjoy the discount.

If it does bug you, take the difference in what you would have paid and give it to a soup kitchen, etc.

anon_investor
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by anon_investor » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:27 am

I would suggest giving her a good tip or bringing your friends so she gets more business.

doug1022
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by doug1022 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:27 am

It sounds like you've already explained to her your perspective - I don't think there's much to be done beyond that apart from insisting on paying full price now and again (for the sake of her business). Perhaps she is simply rewarding the loyalty of a repeat customer?

smitcat
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by smitcat » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:28 am

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am
I have gone to this small hole-in-the-wall place for many take-out meals over the last two years. Maybe it's because of the way I dress (I always wear the same shirt - I have many different shirts but all in the same design so perhaps it looks like I don't have money for new clothes) or perhaps because I always choose the cheapest option (which happens to be the one I like and the healthiest), but recently the owner has started giving me these substantial discounts in a kind manner. She will take 30% off the cost of my meals. I didn't know how to respond at first, but this has been going on for two weeks now.

I obviously don't mind the discounts, but I do not want to take advantage of another person's mistaken perception, and yet I don't want to have to convince someone that I do actually have money. What might be a nice way of handling this?

I have told her multiple times that I am happy to pay full price and don't understand why she's giving me the discounts, but she always rings it up at the lower price. I've also explained that I choose the vegetarian option because it's healthier and not because the meat is too expensive (in case that's what she was thinking). I am also very skinny, but not because I can't afford any food, so maybe that's partly it.

This is not about ego - I don't care if she thinks I'm poor. But her margins can't be that high, so giving me that discount means she isn't earning anything from the meals I buy from her. What should I do?
Simple - pay the full amount.

delamer
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by delamer » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:29 am

Since you’ve told her you are happy to pay full price, I wouldn’t be concerned about the discount.

If there is a tip jar, put the difference in it.

oldfatguy
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:30 am

Increase your tip by the amount of the discount.

MotoTrojan
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:30 am

anon_investor wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:27 am
I would suggest giving her a good tip or bringing your friends so she gets more business.
A $20+ tip every few months to offset the delta may do the trick. Make sure it’s a crisp bill :).

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TimeRunner
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by TimeRunner » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 am

Put the difference in her tip jar at the cash register. She doesn't even need to know unless you make a show of it.
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The Wizard
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by The Wizard » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:34 am

If you're paying in cash, just leave the change on the counter.

I get senior discounts on certain things and am quite okay with that, but they're nowhere close to 30%...
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Reb Tevye
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Reb Tevye » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 am

Maybe other repeat customers also quietly get a discount.
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neurosphere
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:40 am

This has happened to me in one form or another many times, maybe for similar reasons, perhaps because I 'look' poor based on my clothes, behaviors, housing, etc, relative to the 'average' in my daily environment.

I struggled at first, like you. Finally I have come to terms with it and say "Thank you very much. I will be sure to pay it forward." And I do.

Pops1860
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Pops1860 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:43 am

If you have explained your feelings to her (as you say you have) several times, and she still insists on being generous past your comfort zone (I would agree with you if in same situation), then maybe she is just a nice, generous person. Maybe because you're a regular, you help cover fixed costs which is a fine return on your continued business from her perspective.

I agree with increased tip approach, if tip goes to owner, which is your intent.

Another option for consideration, maybe you could approach her and suggest (maybe say you want to negotiate a mutual agreement) that every three months or so, you will send a check for half ? (2/3 ?) of the amount of the accumulated discounts, to a charity of her choice. Suggest that this would make you comfortable as well with what's going on. Then follow through, and give her credit for the donation when you do send the check. Just a suggestion. Maybe you might even have a better variation on this thought.

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niceguy7376
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by niceguy7376 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:43 am

Wear a totally different shirt(design and color difference) and have a fake gold chain or tooth the next time you go and order different food item and see if she recognizes you and gives you the discount.

On a serious note, you can gladly pay the difference as a tip (though you are only doing take outs) and dont think too much about it.

Thegame14
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Thegame14 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:44 am

how about tip her the difference?

Silk McCue
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 am

Given all the facts I wouldn’t deny the owner from being able to give you a discount. It’s a perk of there position and it may bring them simple pleasure by doing so.

Cheers

GoldenFinch
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by GoldenFinch » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm

I think she just likes you and is thanking you for being a loyal customer. It makes her feel good. Just say thank you.

bob60014
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by bob60014 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm

I have a uncle that goes to the same restaurant and orders virtually the same meal several times a week. Hes been doing this for years. The owners know him well now as they chat, and obviously know his routine. As he is a regular, he's getting the discount, though he too is definitely not poor, has offered to pay full price and can easily afford it. My take is, it's a customer loyalty thing and in some instances, people like you and my uncle become part of the owners extended family. You've offered to P.I.F. , I would let it be and enjoy the perk.

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devdude
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by devdude » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:11 pm

life in slices wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:26 am
Has she specifically said it was because she thought you were poor?

More likely it might for other reasons - were you kind to her, made a connection? Most likely because she recognizes you as a long term consistent customer and is thankful for your business?

At the end of the day - you pointed it out and she still wants to give the discount

IMO just say thank you and enjoy the discount.

If it does bug you, take the difference in what you would have paid and give it to a soup kitchen, etc.
My thoughts too.
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mhalley
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by mhalley » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:14 pm

I don’t know your ages and relationship status, but maybe she’s into you? If not, it is prbly the loyal customer thing. Enjoy it and tip generously.

investingdad
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by investingdad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:04 pm

Another +1 for a gratuity.

There's a strip mall Chinese restaurant near me that has remarkably good sushi. I often order the same combination of sushi along with whatever my family is getting. I've noticed over the years the size of the sushi I get has gotten steadily larger. When I eat in at one of their 4 tables, it's even bigger.

I tip generously when dining there and suspect there is a reciprocating relationship on the tipping. No chit chat when dining in and the staff isn't the friendliest. But I've noticed that I no longer get an order number when I call and they know which is mine as soon as I walk in.

rkhusky
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by rkhusky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:13 pm

Or you could send an anonymous note now and then saying how much you enjoy the restaurant and include some cash or a gift card.

Minot
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Minot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:48 pm

Or you could assume that this is not a charitable act, but rather a business decision by the owner to encourage your continued regular and valuable patronage by rewarding you with a nice discount, and "pay" for it by continuing to eat there frequently.

Cody6136
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Cody6136 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:55 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am
I have gone to this small hole-in-the-wall place for many take-out meals over the last two years. Maybe it's because of the way I dress (I always wear the same shirt - I have many different shirts but all in the same design so perhaps it looks like I don't have money for new clothes) or perhaps because I always choose the cheapest option (which happens to be the one I like and the healthiest), but recently the owner has started giving me these substantial discounts in a kind manner. She will take 30% off the cost of my meals. I didn't know how to respond at first, but this has been going on for two weeks now.

I obviously don't mind the discounts, but I do not want to take advantage of another person's mistaken perception, and yet I don't want to have to convince someone that I do actually have money. What might be a nice way of handling this?

I have told her multiple times that I am happy to pay full price and don't understand why she's giving me the discounts, but she always rings it up at the lower price. I've also explained that I choose the vegetarian option because it's healthier and not because the meat is too expensive (in case that's what she was thinking). I am also very skinny, but not because I can't afford any food, so maybe that's partly it.

This is not about ego - I don't care if she thinks I'm poor. But her margins can't be that high, so giving me that discount means she isn't earning anything from the meals I buy from her. What should I do?
I'm a full time fundraiser for charities (raised about 35M so far and counting) and I can confidently say that charity is not based on need.
Instead, learn what Meister Eckhart, German theologian said:
"If the only prayer you ever said in your entire life was Thank You, that would be enough."

ER2023
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by ER2023 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:15 am

This reminded me of when a woman behind me in line at the grocery store gave me a coupon for $5.00 off the entire purchase. It wasn't a coupon for a specific item, it was off the entire purchase with no minimum amount to spend. Without thinking of why she wouldn't use it, I thanked her and went on my merry way. But then I realized she was taking pity on me! I was wearing my very dirty and worn gardening/dog walking coat and probably didn't look so nice. Indeed, I paid that one forward many times.

She is probably just valuing you as a repeat customer. +1 on the gratuity jar or paying full price

hicabob
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by hicabob » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:20 am

A place I used to work for had 3 Vietnamese sisters that worked in assembly. Their family ran a restaurant which was very good and being a Vietnamese food aficionado I used to go there when in town. The bill was always silly-low so I used to tip about 200%.

lexie2000
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by lexie2000 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:31 am

Maybe she just inherited a bundle, loves what she does, and is paying it forward by giving people discounts.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:38 pm

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

SrGrumpy
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:47 pm

Moral of the story: dress down before you go out.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:38 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:47 pm
Moral of the story: dress down before you go out.
That’s pretty funny! :beer

not4me
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by not4me » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:02 pm

I only skimmed other posts & didn't see this specific & hope not a duplicate. perhaps next time tell the owner that since they've been so generous with you that you'd like to pay for a few other customers meals. Give an amount you'd feel comfortable with & let the owner select who the lucky recipients are.

furnace
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by furnace » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:07 pm

Maybe the owner is clairvoyant, and can see that you're about to fall on hard times. Should you worry?

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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:09 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm
I think she just likes you and is thanking you for being a loyal customer. It makes her feel good. Just say thank you.
That ^, or she thinks the OP is single and available, telegraphing her signals to him in the form of a "discount". :twisted:
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

ohai
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by ohai » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:14 pm

Unless you look like a real hobo, I doubt that they think you're really poor or something. Probably the owner just likes you for some reason. I'd just give a big tip that is not necessarily equal to the discount.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:07 pm

Seems you have explained your side to her. Why not ask her why the discount? No where does it say you have done that. Pretty simple.

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GerryL
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by GerryL » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:24 pm

I was going occasionally to a local burger joint (Burgerville). Didn't know they had a senior discount … and didn't figure out for months that the young people behind the counter had actually been giving me the senior discount. I was in my early 60s.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:04 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm
I think she just likes you and is thanking you for being a loyal customer. It makes her feel good. Just say thank you.
+1
Sometimes we can take away a person's benevolence and kindness, sincerely given.

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megabad
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by megabad » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:14 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am
This is not about ego - I don't care if she thinks I'm poor. But her margins can't be that high, so giving me that discount means she isn't earning anything from the meals I buy from her. What should I do?
I have similar situations and can't stand charity. I have what I call the "Holiday true up". Basically, I end up giving all of the discount back at various holidays throughout the year. I have never had someone turn down a "Merry Christmas keep the change" ploy, especially when I use cash and walk off quickly. My $21 chinese order becomes $40 bucks a few times a year. I go there about every other week, get a few bucks off. It ends up right about regular price after the year is over. Makes me feel good, makes them feel good.

I also negotiate with people deliberately to pay them a lot more than I should sometimes...I told the dry cleaner last christmas that I would pay her triple if she had mine done early. I used to go to another restaurant where the owner made pies. I used to request a pie when I sat down and say I would pay double since mine was special order on demand and I wanted a whole fresh pie before I left. She would slave away all dinner and have it ready by the end. I suppose she earned that. With the florist, I would do the same "rush special order" thing. "Gosh you are really doing me a solid--keep the change" Drop an extra bill or two, and then walk off quickly. Definitely helps to have cash.

123
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by 123 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:29 pm

hicabob wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:20 am
A place I used to work for had 3 Vietnamese sisters that worked in assembly. Their family ran a restaurant which was very good and being a Vietnamese food aficionado I used to go there when in town. The bill was always silly-low so I used to tip about 200%.
+1 When my regular barber shop closed an elderly aunt suggested I go to a beauty shop she used. It primarily served an elderly customer base in a older part of town and the prices were low. They did excellent work. I tipped two or three times the cost of the service and still felt I was getting a good deal.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:31 pm

Make it up with a big tip - simple.

It could be she just discounts all the regulars thinking it will keep them coming back.

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AerialWombat
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by AerialWombat » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:35 pm

Just make the check out to “Wombat” and mail to..... :)
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aspirit
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by aspirit » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 pm

A good friend owns, no bank loans, a breakfast-lunch operation off Commercial St. in Boston.
He's been there about 40ish years.
He now holds notes on almost the whole blocks Real Estate.
Quick search shows over $1000.00 for a sq. ft.in that area.

I see eggs retail 18eggs /.99 cents on sale.
IIRC his lowest counter option is 1 egg, 1 slice toast, 2.99. No beverage.
Those margins look attractive to me. :happy

:oops: Its probabaly your plate or the trash.
Do you know how much food is thrown away in this country?
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iamblessed
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by iamblessed » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:16 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:30 am
Increase your tip by the amount of the discount.
+1

domoi
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by domoi » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:36 pm

Maybe she has a crush on you? :)

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celia
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by celia » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:45 pm

You want to turn down the ‘senior citizen’ discount?

(You’re a citizen, aren’t you? :) )

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by JonnyDVM » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:48 pm

I think you should consider buying some new shirts
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Caduceus » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:54 pm

I have solved the mystery. I mentioned this in passing to my boyfriend only today and he said that maybe it was because he had given her a ride to the emergency room a while back and stayed with the lady for the entire afternoon to give her a ride back to her home. He did not mention to me that he had done this, and I did not mention to him that I had been receiving discounted meals ... until today.

Nothing to do with my bang up shirts. What is hilarious was that after I posted this, I actually tried as an experiment walking into the shop with my Brooks Brothers shirt/suit/shoes wondering if she would still give me the discount (she did), and feeling even more mystified about it afterwards.

Some pretty funny responses on this thread though - thanks. 8-)

Herekittykitty
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Herekittykitty » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:59 pm

What a lovely story all around. Your boyfriend was kind to her. She is being especially kind to you. You are being kind to her.

It can be a kindness to accept the kindness of someone.

This thread made my day.
I don't know anything.

Scrapr
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by Scrapr » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:13 pm

GerryL wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:24 pm
I was going occasionally to a local burger joint (Burgerville). Didn't know they had a senior discount … and didn't figure out for months that the young people behind the counter had actually been giving me the senior discount. I was in my early 60s.
Why I never....(said in Jack Benny voice)

I was just in Burgerville today for a raspberry shake. I never received a SC discount! Maybe i should add more grey in my hair color. Those shakes are da bomb. But i only allow myself a shake after a workout. I had a nice 30 mile bike ride so I earned it

SrGrumpy
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Re: Being given charity that I don't need

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:23 pm

Thanks for the followup, @caduceus. My pet peeve at BH is that we never get a resolution to 90% of the threads. Still wondering if that guy's daughter survived her cross-country drive across America.

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