Generosity And Shame

I was trying to buy a sandwich and soda on a recent flight, but the flight attendant wouldn’t let me. He gave me the food, but he refused to let me pay.

“Can I have a receipt?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “because there isn’t going to be a charge.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because it’s too expensive. Have you seen these prices?”

My excitement about getting something for nothing evaporated into shame in an instant, as he clearly thought that no responsible person would pay $9 for a buffalo chicken wrap.

Then he added, “Besides, we used to give you this stuff for free.”

He did something generous, even dangerous to his livelyhood for me. And his generosity left me embarrassed and furtively typing a blog post about it on my phone.