I went to the post office today to get a $900 money order, all in $20 dollar bills – the only headache I find in money. I prefer $100 bills because they’re easy to count unlike the $20 bills. Actually, the money wasn’t mine but my mom’s. So on my way to beat the 2pm bank deadline she hands me eight hundred dollars in twenty dollar bills which she never tells me the amount. I get to the bank at 1:59pm, making the same-day deposit deadline – I felt like I was in a movie, especially as I made my turn to the road the bank was located at a high speed, a damned cop was sitting at the traffic light which for a moment gave me heart-pounding few seconds.
After I finished with the bank I went to the post office to make the money order. I get in there and give the nice lady at the counter the money and tell her I don’t exactly know how much it is so count it carefully. She counted just like I did: 1, 2, 3,4,5 – $100, 1,2,…$100. The only thing this technique of counting results in is confusing, at least for me anyway. She finishes counting and says it’s $900. I tell her to count it again, but this time put each hundred dollar she counts on the counter so we know exactly how much there is. Before I finish, she mumbles something like ‘I counted 40 twenty dollar bills,” but I somehow only hear part of it and as she is not going to count it again, I leave it alone. I pay the fees and she gives me the money order but I’m still confused if the money was really $900 and not $800 as I suspect.
I take the money order and receipt and head for home, although in the back of my mind there is this feeling that I may have taken money that doesn’t belong to me. As soon as I drive home, I call my mom to ask her how much money she gave me but before she answer my question she manages to ask me why I didn’t count the money as she asked so I tell her that I was rushing when I left home so I didn’t get a chance to count it. I ask her again how much money she gave me and she says $800. Now clearly there is no doubt I’m taking money that doesn’t belong to me, I make a swift u-turn in the middle of the street to go back.
I get back to the post office within minutes of leaving thinking the lady may have figured out the missing $100 but surprisingly she has not and I get in line for my turn. So when my turns comes I tell her in my nervous voice that I just realized her saying she counted 40 twenty dollar bills which is only $800. She goes ‘oh my god, you are right, I did say that.’ She takes out the now bundled money (which I think is USPS policy) and starts following standard operating procedure so I tell to just take the $100 from my debit card and leave at that. But she tells me that she has to follow the SOP and have to void my money order then make a new one for me.
In the middle of redoing the money order she starts thanking me for saving her job and $100 from her pocket, which I didn’t even think about it at that time. After I left I realized that $100, had I kept it, could’ve ruin that lady’s life. Still, it doesn’t come natural to return a money that technically you didn’t steal, rob, or con. But good deeds are a hardwork indeed.