Diogenes Breaks Out a Lamp in Idaho
It’s not always easy being honest. We’re all struggling with higher prices for groceries, clothes, and fuel and we’re all looking for ways to save. When Smith’s launched a case lot sale, I decided to load up on canned goods now. They’ll likely be a lot more expensive in the summer and fall.
A Mistake on the Part of the Store Isn't a Personal Gift
The sale was still active when I stopped at the store on Friday after work. I snapped up cases of tuna fish and tomato sauce to compliment the beans and pears I bought earlier in the week. I also picked up some garden salad greens and some chicken. It was only after I got home that I looked at my receipt. It showed that the tuna rang up as 69 cents. I felt like a thief. I was still guilt-ridden when I woke up on Saturday. So, I got in the car and drove to Smith’s. At the service counter, I apologized and shelled out 34 dollars and change. The clerk thanked me for making good on the scanning mistake.
Why Didn't I Immediately Feel Better?
Except I didn’t feel all warm and friendly. It wasn’t my mistake and 34 dollars and some change could buy another case.
I did it because I keep thinking about a Johnny Cash song from an album I sometimes listen to while on long drives. The Man Comes Around.
I’m not a young guy any longer and I think about judgment. Quite a bit. Keeping the money would’ve been wrong.
Trying to Make This a Habit
The next morning I stopped at another store and bought a couple of items, including a sandwich made with French bread. There were none on the shelves. The cashier had the deli made fresh and then she fetched it for me. Then as we were talking she bagged my other item and that’s when I realized she had only rung my lunch. I pointed out I owed her a bit more. She thanked me and scanned the second item. This time, I felt very well about doing the right thing.
Maybe it just needs to become a habit before honesty starts feeling like a reward. I hope it’s catching. With the uncertainty in this economy, we’re all going to need to rely on each other.
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