The lady in front of me was digging in her purse for change with a baby on one hip when I walked up to the checkout. My first thought was that I was in a big hurry, and this was a delay I didn’t need.

As she rested her purse on the counter and balanced the toddler with her arm, she told the checker that she knew she had the money but just had to find it. I could tell she was embarrassed as she asked the checker again how much she was short. In a low voice, the checker replied, $4.35.

Rhonda Oaks is the public information officer for TxDOT’s Lufkin district. Her email address is