To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There is Hope!!

Where I work I start to sometimes think that everybody hates everybody. If they owe money for a speeding ticket they feel it isn't their fault and we are trying to steal from them. If they don't pay their water bills on time and fees start getting tacked on or water is shut off, again we are the bad guy. So when I had a little mishap yesterday I was dreading the outcome.

While covering the Robot's break a customer came in to pay on two bills. To make a long, complicated mess short, there was so much paper and cash changing hands that I must have gotten confused with it and actually handed back $50 to the customer instead of putting it in our drawer. After the customer left I went back to my desk. Then I got that feeling in my gut. I immediately went to our payroll tech who would balance the drawer in the morning. I confessed to her that I think I messed up and we might be short $50.

For 22 hours I agonized over this. I came to work with my checkbook in hand, prepared to offer up the money to get us even since it was all my error. Sure enough, $50 short. Damn.

After a few minutes we had decided I should call the customer and talk about it with him. I had prepared a typed script, compiled by 4 of us brilliant minds, to help me get through the call and my phone phobia. I was really hoping for voice mail. Unlucky me, I got a person. I asked to talk to whoever had come in to pay the bill.

He didn't know if I gave him money back. He knew he had a stamped receipt. I tried to be very nice and take the blame on myself for messing up our drawer and that I was trying to figure out when it happened. We finished the call and I knew we we going to have to eat that loss. Damn. That led to a big discussion about how to avoid this in the future (it gets complicated, I won't bore you. I mean it involves two different agencies and blah blah blah). I figured I may have made a large double-digit error, but perhaps in the end we have learned a lesson and can stop accepting cash for this other agency.

An hour later my jaw dropped. The customer came in. He went through his money and sure enough, there was the $50 bill I had given back to him. He was very humble and said he didn't want anyone to get in trouble. I could hardly find the words to express to him how grateful I was. I still don't have the words. I mean he didn't have to bring it back. I had no tangible proof that I had messed up. I mean I knew what happened, but there was no way to prove it for certain. But instead of keeping his crispy bill, he brought it back to me. I can't even tell you how refreshing it was to have that happen. And all because he didn't want me to get in trouble! I mean he could have had an extra $50 -- and who can say they couldn't use some spare cash these days?? -- but he returned it. He returned it to a government agency to boot!

It warmed my heart and made my day! I think good karma will come his way soon!

18 comments:

  1. OMG, ur so lucky because I think alot of people would NOT have done that. I would of felt bad about it and done the same thing though.....Good day!

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    1. I agree. As soon as it happened I figured there was no way we'd fix it. Glad I was wrong!

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  2. Well, you gave me a lot to think about today! There are a few honest people out there. I don't know what I would have done if I were him, to be truthful. My guess is that your politeness and demeanor spoke the loudest.

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    1. I felt horrible even calling him about it. I guess maybe it came across during that short call. What a stand up thing for him to do!

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  3. What a great story! Even though I have no faith in mankind or humanity, this does give the tiny optimist I try to keep stiffled, hope :) makes my soul smile but don't tell anyone!

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  4. That is so awesome!! What a great story...and that guy will DEFINITELY have some good karma coming his way!

    I bet you were so relieved. I probably would have started bawling right then and there.

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    1. Yeah, there was a lot of stress relief when he brought it in. I'm surprised I didn't cry!

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  5. Impressive! Agreed that the guy will have some good karma heading his way! It's nice to see that there are still some nice people in this world. :)

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    1. It IS nice!! I have been telling everybody about this because it was just such a nice surprise!

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  6. It kinda restores your faith in humanity doesn't it :-)
    Have a great weekend.

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  7. Hearing that really made my day :)

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    1. I'm glad! .. it made mine, too!

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  8. WOW!! That sure had a happier ending than I was expecting! I love when our fellow man comes through for us :-)

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  9. That's such a good story!! And really does restore your faith in humanity!

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    1. Exactly! I was still just talking about it at work today even. I love a happy ending!

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