Dream of: 07 May 2012 (2) "Lunch Break"

sometimes you simply have to stand up for yourself

My ex-wife Carolina and I were both working in Dallas. I was working as a lawyer while she was working somewhere else. We had taken a lunch break together in one of the downtown skyscrapers. When we walked up to the counter, neither of us wanted to have a full meal. Instead, we saw some white cups sitting on the counter which appeared to contain something which looked like tomato juice and which were priced at ninety-seven cents each. She ordered one and I ordered the same. When we were charged four dollars and fifty-some cents for the order, I realized that a little pastry had been included with the order. Since I did not want to argue, I handed the chubby black woman dressed in white (perhaps 50 years old) a fifty dollar bill. I hesitated when I handed her such a large bill, but I did not say anything. When the woman only handed me back some coins, I told her I had given her a fifty dollar bill. She said no, that I had only given her a five dollar bill. I was positive I had given her a fifty, but she just wanted to ignore me. I started raising a fuss. I wanted my proper change.

Perhaps 30-40 people were working there. They also looked at me and ignored me as they scurried about. Even though I did not want to raise a big fuss and I did not want someone to call the police on me, I was determined not to be ignored. I said something about wanting to see the owner and a man in a suit (also around 50 years old) walked up. He spoke to me for a bit, said he couldn't do anything, and walked off. I continued to stand there and complain that I wanted my money.

Carolina finally had to leave and she walked out.

After I noticed several other men with suits behind the counter, I finally got the attention of one. When he walked over to me, I told him that I was a lawyer, that I was positive I had given fifty dollars to the woman and that I wanted my change. As he continued to listen, I told him that I was going to sue them and that this was a deceptive trade practice (even though I wasn't entirely sure that this actually constituted a deceptive trade practice). He said something like, "Well, I'll get in touch with you later."

I pointed out that if I sued them, the court costs would be a couple hundred dollars. I would also spend time on the case, so I would charge extra for that. Other expenses would be involved.

The man looked at me, pulled out his billfold and laid some money on the counter. He seemed to be trying to decide whether he should give me the money. When he finally pushed a thin flat notebook toward me, I opened it and found forty-five dollars inside. I had already picked up a one dollar bill from the counter, but I did not mention to him that I had the extra dollar.

The man now seemed friendly and I even thought about buying another pastry, but I was in a hurry so I took off running. I hoped the man did not think I was running because I was trying to escape. I simply needed to return to work.

I had been wearing a suit when I entered, but now I was only wearing a pair of shorts.

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