Jan 11, 2018

musings from the Haredi supermarket

I ran into a supermarket this afternoon to get 2 things, and I experienced 2 things...

1. I stood in line as the person currently paying his bill of 352nis tried to do so entirely with small coins - 0.10, 0.50, 1, 2, 5 and 10 shekel coins that he was pulling out of sandwich bags and his pockets.

He was holding up the line as it took time to count out, and they had to recount and made a mistake in the count, etc, and the cashier was getting frustrated.

Normally this is something that is done as a "prank" of sorts when paying a parking ticket or an outrageous fine. Back in my days in high school guys would occasionally pay the fines received for missing davening with pennies or nickels.

And I blame all of you, me included. From now on when these guys walk around shul during davening collecting money, or when they knock on your door, DO NOT give them 1 shekel coins or 50 agurot coins. Give them larger denominations, such as 20 shekel bills, 50s or even 100s. Your chessed in giving small coins might just be outweighed by causing holdups for many other people in lines at the supermarket and other stores. Your chessed will be real chessed if you give them larger denominations that won't cause holdups - they'll get more money, you'll get more tzedaka merit points, and you won't be causing holdups in the lines around town.

2. The guy right in front of me paid with a 100nis bill. The cashier rejected it because it had been defaced - someone had scribbled over the face of Lea Goldberg to deface the face of the woman on his bill. They worked it out, as he had just gotten that bill from the main desk in return for something, so they exchanged it for another.

When it was my turn, the cashier explained to me that it was because the bill was defaced, not because it was counterfeit as I had initially thought. She said the machine rejects it because it is illegal and invalidates the bill. After I paid with my non-defaced 100nis bill, I joked and said that they are at least making the rest of our money more valuable as they force all these other bills to be taken out of circulation.

Live and learn.


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