The Unending Struggle of Being Virtuous

I was standing in line at a Walgreens the other day, waiting to buy some groceries when I suddenly had the urge to flip a table. You see, I was next in line to check out, when a virtuous woman decided it was a great time to show the store just how virtuous she really was.

This Walgreens™ has those cash registers that automatically shoot the change out of a little coin slide over to the side so that the cashier doesn’t need to do any math beyond that which the average 6-year-old can do. Basically, the job is 85% done by computers already, but Walgreens™ hasn’t pulled the trigger on completely automating the whole checkout process yet because they don’t want to deal with the bad optics of “destroying jobs”.

Regardless, whoever was before this virtuous woman in front of me forgot to take their change out of the do-most-of-the-cashiers-job cup, so when she was rung up, her change intermingled with a stranger’s change.

This wouldn’t be a problem for most normal human beings, but we’re dealing with a virtuous person here, so she proceeds to do what any supremely virtuous person would do. She refuses to take her change out of the dispenser because it also contains some long since departed customer’s 27 cents.

The poor guy at the register, who’s a young foreign chap, doesn’t know how to handle this virtuous overload. He has a bit of a deer in the headlights thing going on, because he no doubt comes from a country where people aren’t so overtly virtuous that they become downright obnoxious and pretentious.

All the while, I’m trying to stay patient, secretly wishing a rogue car veers off the street,careens through the front of this store, and takes this virtuous pain-in-the-ass out, to the cheers of everybody in line.

She finally stops virtuously wasting the time of the cashier and everyone in line, and leaves the premises to go be a royal annoyance somewhere else no doubt. I get checked out in about 25 seconds flat, grab my change out of the machine, along with the change of the virtuous nuisance, and the change of whomever was before her, and go about my day.

So, to recap, a woman tried to be virtuous by refusing to take a few coins that weren’t hers, at the expense of inconveniencing and wasting the time of about 6 people. She created undo stress on a retail employee because of something that wasn’t his fault. She ended up leaving the change anyway, which she could have taken and given to a hobo, of which there are numerous in the general area, and would have actually constituted a virtuous act. All this, so that she could experience the minor dopamine hit of broadcasting to a small group of people, and in her mind, probably the entire cosmos, as to how great of a human being she was for not taking an insignificant amount of change.

Please don’t be this woman.