I rarely check my receipts.
Yes, I know I should – but I’m a trusting gal, and I trust the system. But for some reason, when I left Costco the other day, I walked out to my car, loaded up my gear… and pulled out my receipt.
It’s as if something (or Someone) made me do it.
And, oh dear. I bought three bottles of wine. And they charged me for two.
Sigh. It was 4 pm on a Friday afternoon. The lines inside the Costco liquor store were long. All I wanted to do was to get home and relax after a long week of painting furniture in our new shop. The last thing I wanted to do was to turn around and walk back IN to Costco.
“I’ll just call them,” I thought to myself. “When I’m home, I can give them a call and tell them they didn’t charge me enough.”
But there were two problems with this line of thought:
1) I forget everything. Almost immediately. Unless it’s scheduled on iCal, with a reminder set, everything slips my mind these days.
and the most important part
2) My 10 year old was with me. What if this happened JUST so I could teach her a lesson about how to choose what’s right?
On that note, we marched back into the store, waited once again in line, and explained to the cashier what happened. Upon explaining, she stared at me with huge eyes.
“You mean, we didn’t charge you enough? And you came back in here just to make sure you paid the right amount?!” She could not believe what she was hearing. “No one does that. I can’t remember anyone ever doing that.”
Secretly hoping she’d reward me by giving me that bottle for free, I simply said, “Yes. I came to pay what I owe.”
She rang me up for the third bottle (no such luck on the freebie thing), then sent me on my way. Once we were back in the car, my 10 year old remarked casually, “They sure were surprised you came back in. I bet they don’t see that a lot.”
And that was worth the extra 15 minutes of my life. I was repaid much more than the value of a single bottle of wine. My daughter saw that I chose to do what’s right, even when there was no consequence for doing something wrong. I didn’t steal that bottle of wine – they just missed it in my cart. But if I hadn’t paid for it, I would’ve been stealing that learning moment for her.
If I’m not willing to be honest when it comes to a $10 bottle of wine, then what else am I willing to let slip? Will I fudge a little on my taxes? Would I charge a friend extra when we’re splitting a bill? I don’t want a bottle of wine to be the beginning of my slide into a life of dishonesty.
Would I have made the walk back in if it hadn’t been for my daughter? If I’m being honest, the answer is probably not. But I want to be the woman who does the right thing. Every time. In every situation.
Because it’s whole lot less convenient to live with the guilt than it is to walk back into a store and right a wrong.
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