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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)

TITLE: A Conflict At The Counter
By Ken Ebright


Marsha was in line with her mom at the check-out counter. "Mom, could I have a package of gum?"

Marsha's mom was putting the groceries on the conveyor belt. "Honey we can't afford it."
"Please. mom."

"I said no."

The clerk finished ringing up their groceries and handed her the receipt. Mom gazed at it.

"Excuse me, but O'reilly's frozen is supposed to be $3.29, not $5.59."

"I'm sorry, but the computer says $5.59."

Marsha's mom pulled the newspaper out of her purse and pointed to the ad. "It says it's $5.59."

Marsha's mom veins bulged on her forehead. "My husband just lost his job. We're having trouble getting food stamps, and we don't have a lot of savings. We don't know if we can make our next mortgage payment."

The clerk held up her hands. "Please calm down."

Marsha's mom threw the newspaper onto the counter. "You're ripping us off!"

"There has to be an explanation for this. I'll get the manager." The clerk picked up the microphone. "I need a manager at lane two."

A few minutes later, the manager walked over. "What seems to be the problem?"
Marsha's mom held up the newspaper and pointed to the ad. "It says the frozen bag of carrots is supposed to be $3.29; you're charging me $5.59."

The manager took the paper, looked at it, and handed it back to Marsha's mom. "Our corporate office is the only one that can change the price in the computer. If you give me a few minutes, then I can call then and clear this up."

"I can't wait for your computer!" Marsha's mom ripped up the newspaper and threw the pieces on the counter and then stormed out of the store. She and her daughter piled into the car.

Before mom started the engine Marsha said, "Mom, you were really mean to that lady."

Marsha's mom clenched her teeth. "Honey, you don't understand; the lady overcharged me."

"Mom, do you remember when I was mean to Bobby from school and called him a name?"


"Don't you remember you told me that I was not being a good Christian example to him?"


"You told me it wasn't right to call Bobby names. It's not right to yell at that lady."

Marsha's mom's eyes narrowed. "Honey she overcharged me!"


Marsha's mom tightened her fists on the steering wheel and shook it. "Daddy lost his job."

"Mommy you always told me that Jesus can provide."

Marsha's mom hit the steering wheel with her fist. "Were going to lose the house."

"Mommy, you need to tell her you're sorry."

"Marsha, honey, there's nothing I can do."

Marsha glared at her mom. "Go back into the store and tell her you're sorry."

Mom grunted. "Okay, I will."

Marsha's mom walked back into the store and found the clerk. "Excuse me, I was here a few minutes ago. I want to apologize for how I acted. I shouldn't of acted in that the way I did. I'm a Christian and a bad example of one. Again, please forgive me."

"Don't worry about it." She was ringing up someone else's groceries.
Marsha's mom hung her head. "That makes me feel worse."

The clerk glowed. "You're in luck. Since you left the store, my manager got the problem corrected. If you go over to the customer service desk they'll give you a refund."

Marsha's mom started to blush. "Thank you, if I had more money, I'd give you a tip."

The clerk giggled. "Oh, that's thoughtful of you. I hope your husband finds a job quickly."

Marsha's mom shook the clerk's hand. "Thank you, the next time I come in I'll be nicer."

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This article has been read 195 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Malcolm 08/01/13
Thanks for sharing this message. Humility can make a huge difference in all our relationships.
Brenda Rice 08/04/13
Your dialogue is good and you certainly held my attention.

Thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 08/04/13
You did a fine job of showing and telling us the high frustration of the MC. I saw the entire thing in my mind, and that MC can be any person in just about any store today. There is so much financial strain.

Great message in the end, expressing humility, and setting fine example for your child and others.

God BLess~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/13
I used to get so mad at my husband when he would tell the kids, "Do what I say, not what I do." This story is a perfect example of why I got upset. Nice job.
Richard Hicks08/07/13
You did a great job. I loved this story. Thank you for the reminder that we all can lose our cool when we have a conflict, and that we can still show the character of Christ as an example for others to see. Keep Writing.