I am not going to get into a deeply religious diatribe here, but I have been doing some reading recently. I will explain in more detail in a future post.
Part of this reading has also included books by John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach for UCLA. The initial book Coach Wooden One-on-One: Inspiring Conversations on Purpose, Passion and the Pursuit of Success, was recommended to me by Ray Lokar @CoachLok who I connected with on twitter. It has had a big influence on me. One of the statements I read that I constantly come back to is ” You do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”
Back to my theft at Staples.
I was working in my home office and went to print out a document. It came out blank. I tried again. Same result. I knew I couldn’t be out of ink because I just bought a new extra-large black cartridge about a month ago. I checked my ink level status and sure enough it showed empty. I was annoyed and just knew this was not possible. I figured the cartridge I purchased was defective. I grabbed it out of my printer, found my receipt and quickly drove off to Staples.
I explained to the associate at the customer service desk and he took my story to the store manager. A minute or two later he came back and even though he looked at me with a skeptical eye, he handed me a new cartridge as an exchange. He told me the next time I would have to go direct to the manufacturer.
I noticed at the checkout that I had been given a regular sized black cartridge instead of the extra-large that was on my receipt. The cartridge I handed to the orginal clerk did seem to be the same size so rather than make another complaint, I just accepted the exchange and left.
As I was driving home, I just had this feeling that something wasn’t right. Why did the cartridge I gave the clerk not appear larger? Why did the price at the register not seem high enough? The irony is when I purchased the ink originally I had only planned on replacing my color cartridges. But since I needed to purchase $75 or more of ink to use my $10 off coupon, I purchased the extra-large black replacement.
When I returned to my office, I decided to check my drawers. There it was. The unopened XL black cartridge box!
Apparently, I never replaced the black because it wasn’t empty at the time. I had only replaced the color. That explained why the black ink “appeared” to run out so fast.
So now I had a decision. After all, Staples would never know. It was an honest mistake on my part. Haven’t you ever found something in your bag, an extra french fry or a packet of gum your young child placed in your cart after checkout?
……..The store manager looked at me with astonishment in his eyes. He thanked me several times for being so honest.
The feeling I felt as I left the store will last much longer then the ink in the cartridge.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Tell me how you felt or how you handled it.