Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's my money

I’ve been wrestling with finding a way to communicate to Democratic lawmakers (for the most part) who seem unable to understand how many Tennesseans feel about this $1 Billion in taxes that they have over collected from Tennesseans and why it’s important to return it. I’ve been searching for a way to help both Democrats and Republicans understand how important it is that someone take the lead and actually go to bat for families over this issue and return to Tennesseans the money that’s been over payed. Frankly, I’ve been stuck. But Wednesday provided a story that may help.

It was our weekly run to Sam’s Wholesale Club. I had 3 of my children with me and things were uneventful until we got to actually paying for the $200 worth of goods.

I’ve been shopping at Sam’s since their days on Dickerson Pike back in 1991. It’s not unusual for me to write a check for $20-$40 over in order to pay for other smaller purchases along Gallatin Road on my way home from this Rivergate store. So, not unlike perhaps hundreds of times before I added $20 to the amount, handed the check to the cashier who keyed in a payment, placed the check in the register drawer and closed the drawer. He handed me back my receipt. I had to ask for my card back. And then I had to ask for my $20.

It was a complete surprise to him that he owed me money. He just assumed that I had written it for the exact amount. He blamed me for the error because I hadn’t told him that I had written it for more than the purchase and told me ‘there is nothing I can do” as if I just needed to go on now sans my $20. And so it began in front of God, my children and a line of customers behind and near me. I pointed out that there WAS something he could do—open that drawer, look at the check to see that I was telling the truth and give me my $20. He wouldn’t do it.

I should have told him I had written it for $20 more he insisted. You should have looked at the check amount I insisted right back. If I had written it for $100 less would it be his fault and OK for me to walk out of the store? No, he responded. He’d already keyed in the wrong amount and I’d have to go to customer service to clear this up, he told me. I was not leaving my money behind and waiting for who knows how long in a different line to clear up a mistake he’d made and could clear up in less than a minute. If there was nothing he could do there was something I could do and I immediately raised my voice and caught the attention of a woman I recognized as a long time employee. She promptly came over and realized that this was a situation that could get embarrassing quickly and should be cleared up. She told the young man, who I realized by then wasn’t wearing a vest nor a name tag, to give me my $20 which he did—but not without muttering.

So now I’m raising my voice and asking employees (legislators) of Tennessee citizens to come to our aid and do the right thing. My family needs legislators to open the drawer and give us our money back. Just cause my money is in your cash drawer doesn’t mean it’s really yours. If my family is ever going to get any of this obscene $1 Billion over taxation back Lt. Gov. Ramsey is (and legislators generally are) going to have to be as firm and demanding as I was when the Sam's cashier told me Wednesday that there was nothing he could do to return my $20. There is something you can do and I’m not taking no for an answer. I want my money back. $20 is nothing to a millionaire governor and his well heeled accomplices on the hill,but it’s a week’s worth of milk for us. $20 is 200 miles of driving to work gas. $20 is enough 90% lean hamburger from Sam’s to grill for the family Mother’s Day party. Give it back.

No comments: