If we all followed The Golden Rule, there would be so much less discord. But maybe also less entertaining snark.
Before college, I worked as a cashier at a Mom and Pop restaurant. This was a long time ago. The cash register was old. There were a few arcade-style video games in the lounge. The owners had about 19 sons and daughters. The youngest son enjoyed playing Space Invaders, Asteroids, etc. (I told you it was a long time ago). He would come up to my stand with one-dollar bills, requesting quarters. I handed them over.
One day, his father marched over and handed me a dollar and instructed me to “Make change for a penny.” (Oh, my gosh: my predictive text did not recognize the lower-case word for the coin “penny” and assumed that I meant the name “Penny.”) I was really meek as a teenager, so I was already nervous, because he was the owner and never smiled. But I also thought, “Make change for a penny? I don’t think that’s possible. That’s the lowest denomination, as far as I know. If we are talking about U.S. currency...” So I just stood there, gaping like a trout. “Umm... make change for a penny?” This exchange proved to my boss that I was as dumb as his 9-year-old son claimed that I was. Apparently, his father had noticed that the boy had been playing video games for more than three hours. He had demanded, “How are you STILL playing Pac-Man?!? I gave you two dollars for video games.” The son told him that when he gives that cashier one dollar, she sometimes accidentally gives him more than one dollar in quarters in exchange. When the owner had ordered me to make change for a penny, he meant, “If I want to pay for something that costs one penny, and I give you one dollar, show me the change you would give back to me.”
So I think the owner went and spoke to his wife (co-owner). I think he wanted to terminate me. They both spoke to the son. Eventually the son ‘fessed up that he had given me five or six dollars (some were from his allowance) total over the course of this period. He admitted that I do in fact know to give someone four quarters for one dollar.
I am still relieved and impressed, to this day, that he told the truth or that they were able to coax the truth out of him.