Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good Will Towards Men?

My friend, Yvonne, is a generous soul. So much so that she gives the people who rent a house from her a gift at Christmas. Her renters aren't always prompt with payment either. I give my renters here some home made goodies. She gives hers a $100 gift card from WalMart. Definitely want to rent from her! I have been on the receiving end of her generosity and know that her motives are pure.

Last weekend she stopped at WalMart and purchased the gift card for her tenant. She was in a hurry and had several errands to complete and as she drove she told her husband to take the gift card and put it in the envelope with the card she had already addressed, so that she could simply drop it in the mail. This is when they discovered that the gift card was not in the bag. The clerk had laid it in the area where cash and credit card transactions take place and in her rush she didn't see it and assumed it to be in the bag with her other merchandise. She turned around and made her way back to the store and presented her receipt. Although that card was then voided, someone had already spent $49. WalMart refunded the balance and my friend purchased another $100 card. She was upset, as anyone would have been, but did not expect WalMart to do anything. After all, she could have left a $100 bill on the counter and lost all of it.

She told me all about her crummy day and said that she thought the man behind her may have taken the card. But, she didn't want to accuse him of it. She must have had some sort of an exchange with him, since she knew he was in line to get a Barbie doll that he did not want his little girl to see. The child was in another check-out line with her mother. But Yvonne just wrote the incident off as crummy luck. She was more irritated with herself than anything. She hoped that whoever used the card really needed it.

So, imagine her surprise when she received a phone call the next morning from WalMart. They wanted to give her the money that was used on the card! They told her that they had viewed the security tape and that the man in line behind her had taken the card and given it to his wife in another lane. He was close enough to hear the transaction and would have known that it had $100 on it.

I am sure the manager traced the transactions made by my friend for the last few months and realized that she is a valuable customer. It was a smart business decision to make it right for her and absorb the loss. It was also the right thing to do. WalMart gets its share of bad press and I know that this decision was made on a local level and kudos go to the manager of this particular store. Perhaps not every manager would have done this.

So, I started thinking about decisions and opportunities to do the right thing. I wonder what the man was thinking as he pocketed the gift card. Do you suppose he debated what to do when he saw the card sitting there? Did he think it was his lucky day? Did he imagine what he could buy? Why didn't he call out, "Ma'am, you forgot your card." Was the Barbie doll in his hand his child's only gift to go under the tree? Had he just lost his job? Was this a windfall he felt he could not pass up? Or ............... was he just greedy? Did he give any thought to the person who just paid for the card?

What would you have done? Would you have been tempted to slip the card in your pocket? It seems that the older I get the more defined the line between right and wrong is. There are things that I have done in my life that I am not proud of. We can always justify our actions even when we know what we are doing is wrong. My mother was quick to point out that "what goes around, comes around". Some folks call it karma. All I know is that there is always payback. Not always equal or quick, but it will eventually catch up. Most of the time we aren't even aware of it. For all I know that man had a flat tire on the way home. If he did he no doubt was depending on the balance of that stolen card to help him out ..................


Venom said...

Your friend certainly has a dear heart, and you too for choosing to believe that the offender may have needed it so badly that he couldn't help himself. The spirit of Christmas is in you both, plain as day.

Bless you & yours, and your generous friend.

Merry Christmas Kathy.

jojo said...

I have been on the recieving end of unspeakable hatred and of incredible generosity...I prefer to be the generous one. If what goes around comes around I would like to be on the side of goodness. I would have tried to get her attention and told the cashier. If I would have seen what that man did there would have been trouble...I am not a quiet one!
Merry Christmas Kathy, to you and all your gang. Best wishes for the new Year. And Blessings to your wonderful friend.

Brian Miller said...

what a cool story...i am glad they made it right...just listened to a story on the news last night about a kid that found $60...and when no one claimed it she used it to buy toys for other kids int eh hospital...

Mamma has spoken said...

I would have yelled at her or try to run after her to give her HER gift card. Keeping it and using it is a BIG NO-NO! Yes we don't know his situation but he doesn't know her situation. Either way it was wrong that he did this. Guess I am black and white....

Kathy G said...

I always try to do the right thing, and can't imagine what goes through people's heads when they don't.

Pat said...

Your friend is an angel. That man? Not so much. I KNOW I would have yelled and ran after that woman. And although it's true that we don't know the circumstances behind that man, even if he could barely afford that doll, it doesn't make it right for him to steal that card.

I happened to be at my daughter's house when the sock monkey arrived. It is so cute! I will be back in AZ on the 30th and will send you a check then. Thanks again! (I don't have my checkbook with me.)

Nancy said...

We cannot control what others do, our only control is our response to the incident. In this case your friend let it go - the lesson for her was learned. Judge not. Yield.

I would have given it to the lady if I had to chase her out the door. But handing it back to the cashier probably would have had the same effect. This man still has lessons to learn, it seems.

Merry Christmas, Kathy!

The Good Cook said...

I believe in Karma. I would have chased that lady down in the parking lot and if I couldn't catch her would have returned it the cashier or customer service desk. Your mother was right, "what goes around comes around".

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

absolutely, without a doubt, i would have chased her down and returned the gift card to her. there's no way i would ever take something that belonged to someone else. i've accidentally gotten home with things that the cashier has forgotten to ring up (and the alarm didn't sound at the door) and i've returned the next day to pay for it. that caused some shock on the employees' faces.

i'm glad that walmart took care of the card and i hope they catch the man who stole it. no matter what his situation, he was in the wrong.

Robblogger said...

What a great story

Thank you

A very Merry Christmas to my Minister of Frogs, by this time next year, total world domination!

Thank you for the many smiles you blessed me with this year, and all the best to you and those you love.

ellen abbott said...

One would like to assume that he had good reasons like loss of a job or no money for kid's presents or whatever, but the fact of the matter is he knew who had bought the card and whatever his circumstances, he chose to steal from your friend. If he had found the card laying on the floor or in the parking lot with no way of knowing to whom it belonged then he could have with a good conscience kept the card and consider it a gift from heaven. As it was he took it knowing it belonged to someone he could have quickly called out to and instead passed it to his wife to use immediately.

I am surprised that Walmart chose to refund the rest of the card. The one here would not have done it at all. In fact they balk even when it's a legitimate refund.

lovelyprism said...

That's an incredible story! I know in my heart I would have chased after that woman to give it to her and only later thought 'wow, I could have kept that!' but that thought would have been directly followed by the 'no way, that would have been SO wrong' thought lol. I know my first thought would not have been to keep it. I'm glad Wal-Mart did the right thing.

SkippyMom said...

I don't believe in karma but even if I did that would never, ever shade my judgement of right and wrong.

I didn't have to "grow up" or be more mature to know the difference between the two and I am disturbed that someone would do something like this to your friend.

Bravo to Wal Mart for taking the right path to correct a wrong. They obviously researched and did the right thing. Your friend being a good customer has nothing to do with it, I am sure. [I do believe she is from what you said - but I think W/M did this to take care of the wronged customer, not because she had spent so much money at their store.]

Whenever someone has stolen from me I have just walked away [albeit sad and angry] but said to myself "Well - maybe they needed it more than me."

It doesn't mitigate that your friend was robbed - and the manner was obvious, offensive and just wrong - but maybe there was a reason.

I don't know. I do know that stealing is wrong and I wouldn't do it, but I guess some people do what they [want] to have to do.

Merry Christmas kathy! I hope your day is as cherished as you yourself are.

Hugs and love.

Anonymous said...

It would have been easy to just call out to her that she had forgotten the card. More than once I have seen two older ladies put the groceries in their car and then leave their purse in their grocery cart. Each time, I yelled out to them that they forgot their purse. Like you say, who knows what this man is going through but to do the right thing might have changed the whole outcome of his holiday. Kudos to WalMart for taking the time to find out the truth.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

@ly said...

I would have called or even ran after them to get it to them. I know I would want someone to do that for me. And your right....karma is a bitch!...what goes around does come around every time without fail!

labbie1 said...

Thanks JoJo and all for the good wishes.

The good that came just seemed to keep coming too!

We gave the $50 that Wal-Mart very kindly gave back to a wait person who was working Christmas eve. He was such a great kid who looked about 12 to me, but turned out to have been married for several years and had a wife and 3 year old daughter waiting at home to celebrate Christmas--as he was also working Christmas day!

We folded it up so he couldn't see the amount and just handed it to him while saying Merry Christmas! and RAN! We love to do that and figure that people who are working on a holiday are working because they REALLY NEED TO!!!!! It really adds a glow to our holidays! :)

Then, the $50 came back to us again in the form of a generous gift!

We took my parents out to lunch and enjoyed time with them.

What fun we have had with something that started out to be so awful!

Blessings and Happy New Year to All!

Marla said...

There is much more joy in doing right than in ever doing wrong. Wrong may be good for the moment but right is good for your lifetime.

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