It seems like I have a particular skill for choosing the exact wrong line in the supermarket.
A few days ago, I was in the supermarket with my preschooler. We were in a bit of a rush, and the supermarket was surprisingly crowded for the middle of the morning on a weekday. But since we had only eight items, I was able to go to the 10 items or less line, where there was only one woman in front of me, and she was currently paying.
Unfortunately, we only discovered after my daughter had painstakingly loaded all our items onto the conveyor belt that there was an issue with the woman's payment. The woman kept running her debit card and typing in the pin number, and it kept giving her an "insufficient funds" message. I think she actually even called the number on the back of the card while in line. The manager came over, but there wasn't really much that they could do for her. She was buying a pack of cigarettes, which cost $11, and she did have eight dollars in cash, but that left her three dollars short.
It was getting a little bit ridiculous. The woman obviously didn't have the money to pay for her item, but she was basically not willing to move off the line. And to add to the pathetic factor, she was in one of those motorized shopping cart, so obviously she had some medical issues. Considering she was only three dollars short, I really wanted to just offer to pay it for her. If she had been buying a loaf of bread or something like that, I would've happily paid it immediately, regardless of the cost, and counted that as my good deed for the day. But she was buying cigarettes. The most evil product you can buy in a supermarket. I felt like I couldn't in good conscience give money to the tobacco companies, and buy this woman a product that was contributing to her premature death.
However, several minutes later, with this issue still not resolved and my daughter getting antsy, I decided that just this once, I would give three dollars to the evil tobacco companies.
I didn't feel good about the situation. But what could I do? I didn't want to be the jerk yelling at the poor woman to get off the goddamn line if she couldn't pay.