I am a virtual participant on Todd Silva’s http://giveawayadollaraday.com program.
However with the resulting disruption of moving house, I haven’t been doing it as often as I need to.
With the additional expense, I have also been a more reluctant participant.
This afternoon I went to buy some rawl plugs to put up a blind.
I went to a local shop which I really enjoy, because it has all these overpowering smells.
The smell of garden chemicals, polish and creosote, pans, oil, stove blacking and the like.
A real old fashioned hardware store.
The guy has to be lucky to be there.
The DIY giants have almost definitely killed his trade.
But he is still there, closing for an hour for lunch and carrying on a tradition of putting screws in brown paper bags.
To meet my request, he handed me a lump of yellow plastic and asked for 50p
Then I asked for two stainless 10mm blots, something I need for the motorbike I am building.
He disappeared and rooted around out back for ages.
While I waited, I hid a pound on top of a jar of beeswax.
When he came back he handed me the bolts.
“That’s four pounds and fifty pence” he ventured.
I looked at him quizzically ‘are you fcuking crazy’ I thought. ‘I could buy these for 10p on eBay.’
I turned up my nose, flicked the bolts back at him and even though I was holding a sizable mass of change declared I did not have enough money.
He looked at me disgusted and literally THREW them in a drawer.
I walked out.
As I walked away I started to think.
‘How does this fit with my ethos of supporting that shop?’
It simply didn’t.
‘I just LEFT a pound in his store, so what if I were to consider the extra cost of the bolts as an unspoken gift to him?’
I turned on my heels and went back and told him I had just found change in another pocket.
To his surprise, I bought the bolts.
I had a slightly strange feeling as I left the store.
He KNOWS he is overcharging for the bolts and KNOWS I wasn’t too happy about it.
He has no idea why I went back and bought them though.
I have counted him into the program as a few lost Give Away A Dollar A Days.
I am now considering shopping with other more expensive vendors and supporting the stores that light me up by integrating them into my tithing process?
But, do you think I should tell him?
See you on the other side of the looking glass,