The $36,525.50 Receipt


As I signed my name on the receipt I said to my wife, “Glad we got here in time before they closed.  We really need this Dramamine for our boat ride tomorrow.”

That’s when my wife, ever-present, ever-ready, looked over my shoulder at the receipt.

“Wait a minute!  What is this?”  She snatched it from the counter and eyed it closely.

Shocked and disturbed as she looked at the pharmacist who just rang up our bill, she inquired, “Excuse me?  Um, why did you charge us $36,525.50 for a small box of motion sickness medication!?”

Baffled, the pharmacist asked, “What are you talking about?”

Equally I asked, “What are you talking about?”

And we all peered over the cash register to try and figure out what had just happened.

After the confusion we realized the $22.90 box was accidentally multiplied by our room number: 1595.

Yes, that’ll ruin your check-out experience at the end of your hotel stay…


Hotel Desk Staff: “G’Day Mate, how was your stay at the hotel?”

Me: “We had a wonderful time!  Grateful the exchange rate is so amazing here in Australia!  And thankful the client covered our room cost.”

Hotel Desk Staff: “Well jeepers mate, looks like you folks lived it up!  The client only offered to cover the cost of the room, so we’ll have to put the incidentals on your card.  And to be honest, mate, I’ve nary seen a bill like this… why’d you spend so much at the Pharmacy?  Did you get in a fight with a Wallaby?”

Me: Look over bill.  Die on ground.


Thankfully we figured out the problem and laughed our way out of the Pharmacy, ready to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef the next day in motion-sickness-free glory.

The smiles on our faces before scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia 2019
The look of terrified scuba divers about to be eaten by a wild Wrasse who is sick of taking selfies with strangers


The question begs: How often do you check your work?

  • Ever typed a text real fast and then realized autocorrect took over and now you have asked your buddy on a dinner date and told him you loved him?  (text meant for my wife)
  • Have you ever actually read the Terms & Conditions before clicking, signing, and then realizing 4 months later you’d been charged $47 per month for Hulu after the 3 Day trial period ended?  (signed up to watch the NBA Dunk Contest and haven’t turned on Hulu since!)
  • Have you ever handed your credit card to the airport parking attendant only to see you’d run up your bill with daily $75 gas station purchases all over Nevada and California…finally realizing you hadn’t had that card for 3 weeks, or traveled one mile outside of your State?  (credit card fraud, it’s a must for the un-careful consumer!)

Truth is, in this transaction with happy fingers multiplier Pharmacist crazy person, I didn’t check their work, and then I didn’t check mine.  We were both at fault.  They’re crazy, and I’m equally crazy.

Who signs receipts without checking the total?



How often do you check your work?

The Promise to check your work can really keep you safe, and can help everyone else out that you’re dealing with.

Or it can ruin your day, vacation, or even your life!

That’s The Promise of anyone in Customer Service, Customer Experience, and Leadership: Check your work with every engagement and all is well (or don’t and pay the consequences)!

The Promise in Action:

You may ask yourself, “How do I make this kind of change?”

  1. IDENTIFY and review the times when you’ve not checked your work and determine your deliberate change.
  2. CLARIFY your Habits and make new ones (texted too quickly, signed the receipt without looking, etc).
  3. MAGNIFY the NEW Habits and make a Promise to alter the behavior (such as handing my credit card over to a cashier, I now keep my wallet in my hand until the card is back in the wallet, so I don’t forget).

I know this much – ever since I signed that receipt for $36,525.50 without looking at the total I’ve made it a point to at least check the price of the Dramamine before I purchase!  And that’s a Promise I have to keep to myself every time I make a purchase!

How often do you check your work and the work of those you interact with?  



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14 thoughts on “The $36,525.50 Receipt”

  1. Tami you are a gorgeous women (outside and inside) you look like your mom when she was this age when I first meet her and she was so nice to me when I was a kid and she married your Dad love her and you too.

  2. Jason, thank you for posting. I tell my two grown sons to check their receipts all the time, but they won’t listen to me! Maybe they will listen to you. Praying…

  3. Very funny as it was able to be corrected. Not so funny when you can’t undo the damage. I have learned the hard way to check texts and emails before I hit send. However, I still make errors so I am going to double down on the promise to take more time and double-check!

    1. Yes, well said. It’s tragic when it can’t be undone, which has happened to me in so many ways. Yes, it’s a promise to do better work first! Great seeing you at Humanijam, wonderful of you to support the event.

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