Monday, February 16, 2009

The Conscience Won (or Warm Fuzzies)

Sometimes doing the right thing gives you warm fuzzies all day. I could have had a free lunch today. I had a coupon for a lunch special at a restaurant I'd never been to before. When I gave it to the gal at the register, she glanced at it quickly, stuck it under the counter and cheerfully told me there would be no charge today. I asked her if she was sure. She said that since I had brought in the coupon that lunch was free. I took my receipt and went to find a table. As I was eating, I tried to picture the coupon in my mind. I was pretty sure that it didn't say "free lunch" anywhere. The girl at the register was young, probably a college student. The phone was ringing off the wall while I waited in line and I heard her say they were short 2 people today. She was clearly rattled and doing the best she could to keep up. After my meal, I went back to the counter. An older, "manager-looking" gentleman was working the register. I was able to catch the girl as she returned from delivering an order. The man overheard our conversation and together they looked over the coupon. No "free lunch". I told the girl I didn't want her to get in trouble when the register came up short at the end of the day and that I wanted to pay for my lunch. She thanked me for my honesty and looked to the manager. The manager said "Just give me $2." "No", I said, "I want to pay for my lunch. I don't want her to get in trouble." "Just $2", he said. So I gave the man $2 and left the restaurant. I could have easily left without paying, but I knew my conscience would bother me for days. Sometimes you just have to do the "right" thing. So know I'm having a "warm fuzzie" moment.

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