Wasting Somebody Else’s Money

Have you ever had an experience wasting money?  Of course.  Who hasn’t?  But what about wasting someone else’s money? Has that ever happened to you.

I’m sure it’s happened many a time. Heck, just growing up, I probably wasted a ton of my parents money!  I’m thinking of all the toys and activities that I never pursued.  All the musical instruments for band class!  The list is endless.  But, as I’m finding out now, that’s just part of being a parent.  So I don’t feel too bad about it.

But I do feel bad if I waste someone else’s money.  One story I have in particular stands out.  It’s actually got some humorous elements, though I still feel bad.

The Old Beep And Wave

This story takes place right after I graduated college.  I was a young, cocky bachelor in my 20’s.  I moved on my own, but got an apartment with a college buddy.  This worked out well to save us money.  We were (and still are) good friends, so it seemed well.

We were both pretty big goofballs.  The two of us, along with a couple of other friends, got into this thing that we called the ‘Beep and Wave’.

This was short for ‘Beep and Wave the Other Way’.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea.  All of us have claimed it at one time or another.  All of us have also denied it as well.  It all depends on who we are telling to story to.

This activity took place while we were driving.  If we saw someone walking or biking alongside the road, we’d give a little tap on the horn.  When they looked, we would wave.  Except we wouldn’t wave at them.  We’d wave the other way.

This was hilarious to us.  It was even more so when there were more people in the car.  See, the person would see us waving, but eventually realize we weren’t waving at them.  Some would wave anyways.  A few would get mad.  Some would realize what happened and laugh.  Others were just downright confused.

But, it was hilarious to us.  Every once I’ll do it for old times sake.  And, every now and then I’ll get a text from my old buddy telling me that he did it.

When Beeping And Waving Wasted Money

There was one time that this wasted money.  And it wasn’t my money.

My roommate and I needed to go grocery shopping.  To be fair and to split the cost, we decided to meet up and shop together. We met at the grocery store, as it was on our way home from both of our jobs.

My roommate got there first and was standing in front of the store.  I pulled up and saw him.  I beeped at himand waved to the opposite side of the parking lot.  He saw it was me, and turned around and waved at the store.

This was hilarious to both of us and it worked out perfectly for a great story.  Except for the lady with the strawberries.

Unbeknownst to me at the time I beeped, there was a lady coming out of the store with her groceries.  When I beeped at my roommate, she got startled and stopped suddenly.  An entire container of strawberries fell out of her cart and popped open on the ground.

My roommate showed them to me when I walked up and he told me that part of the story.

She was long gone.  She’d continued on and left the strawberries.

But I felt bad.  I still do.  It was just stupid fun, but I ended up wasting this woman’s money as she was out a container of berries.

So that’s my story of wasting someone else’s money.  I’m sure it’s happened at other times, but this is one that sticks out, simply because of the silly nature of it all.

Readers, have you ever wasted someone else’s money?  Did you get the opportunity to make it right?  Tell me your story in the comments below.

17 thoughts on “Wasting Somebody Else’s Money”

  1. Aww, well that happens! I think we all have our “stupid fun” things that we grow out of after realizing the consequences. I sure do.

    I’ve totally wasted someone else’s money, and it’s the worst feeling in the world. I’ve wasted my parent’s money on so many things that I can’t even count. It’s much, much worse than wasting your own money.

  2. I tell you what, I probably wasted a lot of my parent’s money when I was in High School shooting pool with my classmates. But then again they’re my parents. Never considered their money as just someone else’ money. Ha ha ha. And they did not know anything about it, I hope.

  3. Thanks for the laugh today! Good stuff, I’m surprised my friends and I didn’t think of doing this. We were into the mischievous, relatively innocent pranks like this as well.

    I’ve definitely done a few things years ago I’m not proud of too. Lessons learned!

  4. Oh, man! At least it was just one container of strawberries. I know the guilt must feel like more than $4.99 (or whatever), though.

    One summer I moved but had a month gap between my old place and my new place. My friend let me stay with her. I didn’t know it, but because I hadn’t secured a job yet in my new locale and I was around a lot during the day using the AC, I caused a huge spike in her electricity bill.

    She told me about it about a month after I moved into my own place. I felt really bad, but paid her double the expense to try to make up for it.

  5. As a teacher, it happens at work. I rarely use the textbook, and tell all my bosses that I don’t use them. Every 5 years, there is a committee, to pick new text books. The bosses say the money is earmarked for books, and if we don’t spend it, we’ll lose it. We “adopt” a book and spend 200$ per book. I should make a bigger deal about not needing the book, or start using them.

  6. When I was just a kid my dad an America Online account, like the old school dial-up modem connections that went through your telephone line. He let me use his account for school reports and checking up on the latest buzz on the Mets and Devils. Well one day I got a little carried away and spent a lot of time browsing different sites and just killing time waiting for my ride to pick me up. Then when my ride showed up I ran out the door and never disconnected so it was connected and running for hours.

    Needless to say I didn’t realize I was connected to a long-distance number and the meter was running the whole time. i thought my dad was going to have a heart attack when he got the bill!

    • Oh, man, that sucks. When I was given permission to do anything with dial-up, I was only allowed to dial local numbers. Anything long distance was off limits. We lived kind of in the boonies, so I was actually very limited in what I could reach. But, I guess that was probably the point 🙂

  7. Isn’t it funny how you still feel bad about the strawberries years later? I totally get that. And you’re right, it’s because it wasn’t your money (you probably wouldn’t even remember it a week later if something startled you and you dropped a container of your own strawberries). I remember an incident many years ago that I still regret. We were graduating university and a friend’s parent took him and 3 of his friends (including myself) out to a nice steak house to celebrate. I literally ordered the 3lb lobster that was “market price.” I can’t even imagine what that poor man spent on that stupid lobster, but I still feel bad and greedy for ordering it. I knew it would be expensive and a waste of money, and yet I did it anyway. So, years and years later, I still feel bad about it!

    • Yeah, but it was a celebration of a pretty momentous achievement. It would have been one thing had you just ordered it on a regular old dinner, but I wouldn’t feel as bad about it in your circumstance.

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