Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Money and the Dishonesty Window

I went into the Chase bank this morning on the way to a breakfast as I had no cash at all. I asked the kind machine for $60. And whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. 3 twenties came out. Then as if taking one last giant dump, a wedged together stack of bills came out in a oner. It was such an odd visual I just stared. Then I took them out and removed my slip of paper.

Now I know I came to get $60 and I got $60 so I got what I wanted and had nothing else happened I would not have bemoaned "Why didn't more free money come out?!'" But here it was and then the tiniest window of dishonesty opened.

The Trailhead of a Bad Road

I knew this window had cracked open when I checked my receipt to confirm only $60 was deducted. It was. This was FREE cash, man! Oh, what about the cameras? I better walk over here to count it until I know what I am doing. $300!!! Huh? I haven't worked in nine months I could SO use this "gift." It is a gift! God wants me to have this. Three hundred flippin' dollars.

The Post-It Defense

Then the "You owe me's" kicked in. You know when you leave a job and take a load of crap from the supply cabinet because this company "screwed you over" in some way and you will "show them" by rationalizing theft of stickies?!! Well, I went to the bailing out of financial institutions and how much money I had to pay in taxes and that this $300 was a small pay back to them for screwing me and millions of others. In so many seconds I had turned myself into a justified Robin bloody Hood!

The Come to Senses

This dishonesty window stayed open for really all of 5 seconds. Okay, 15 seconds. I was never really going to keep this money, I realized. But I went to the "I will return it and they will say they have no record and then I can keep it." I went to a teller and she sluggishly and emotionlessly got up and brought me to some other bankers (rhymes with) and they asked me all sorts of questions and then gave me an envelope to put the cash in like it was a urine sample. I was thinking now that there would at least be a reward. If not cash, them maybe a CHASE reusable water bottle and t-shirt from a company-sponsored walk for cancer.


And here is the killer for me. I got money that was not mine and I returned it. Good on me. The right thing to do. But...I expected a BIG old profuse-ass "thank you SO much for your honesty, citizenship, etc. --you are just the best guy" kind of fanfare from the bankers. Nah. They just said thanks as if they could give a shit. And really, why did I need that. It should not matter.


So I leave the bank knowing I did the right thing and relieved in some way, but I had this resentment towards Chase because they put my somewhat morally Chapter 11 self through a moral dilemma and then didn't "correctly" reward me with praise like a six year old when I gave them their cash. How DARE they put me in that position to know that for some seconds...I thought twice.

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