Today the school I teach at had a charity bazaar to raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti. I wasn't planning on going, but as I passed on the way to class. I saw the students setting up the sale and the DVD set of Band of Brothers caught my eye. I have a set of pirated DVDs and have always meant to get a real set. The students selling obviously smelled how badly I wanted them and said that they hadn't been priced yet but would let me know. When I returned with a bunch of cash burning a hole in my pocket, they charged me the same price that a new set would've cost. That left me with just enough to buy lunch. I consoled myself by saying that it was for charity so it wasn't that big a deal.
On my way to lunch, I passed through the bazaar again only to be accosted by a student demanding money with a basket in his hand with pictures of disabled children on it. I told him that I had already bought some overpriced DVDs and only left myself enough money to buy lunch. He made a comment along the lines of, "Whatever, you cheap, uncaring bastard," and walked away to hassle someone else.
I think it's great that the students are getting together to organize a charity event to help less fortunate people, but in the end, I felt resentful that particular student wouldn't let me feel good about using my poor negotiation skills to inadvertently donate extra money to charity. If only I could have bargained the students selling the DVDs down (so they would think I'm cheap but at least respect my bargaining ability) and donated the difference to the student holding the basket.