I am speechless.
It used to be that honesty was appreciated as a virtue. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case anymore.
You see, I went shopping in the mall just now. It happened that the item I was looking for was on sale, so I was happy to pay for it at the cashier’s counter. There, I was charged less than the expected discounted price.
Thinking that it was too good to be true, I clarified with the cashier if that was indeed the correct amount to pay because it did not tally with the discounted price that was tagged on the item.
To my surprise, she asked, “Why?” as if to say, “Why, aren’t you getting a better deal?” to which I answered, “I just want to make sure that no one is short-changed.”
After a few moments of fumbling and checking with the supervisor, the cashier was still not able to decide on the correct price. At that point, another staff came along and exclaimed, “Why is this girl making it so difficult? Since she wants to pay more, then charge her more!”
Here are the words that struck me:
‘Girl’? Thanks for the compliment!
‘Difficult’? Me? Being honest and fair is being, ahem, ‘difficult’?
‘More’? So, I will be penalized for seeking clarification.
But I did not see the point in articulating my thoughts and left them to figure it out themselves.
In the end, it was determined that the price listed in their system database was lower than that written on the placard, so they had to give me the larger discount since they had scanned the bar code on the item.
After staring at me momentarily, perhaps bewildered at my ‘weird’ sense of fairness, the finger-pointing began…who did what wrongly and whose fault it was, etc. The blame finally landed the one who did the placard.
As I was leaving, I could hear somebody mumbling, “What’s the fuss? She paid less, right?”
Sigh, “Yes, I paid less,” and that would be the last time I was going to do something as stupid as trying to be fair to people who would rather be short-changed than admit that they had made a mistake.
But then again, they were only employees. It was not their money at stake.
Whatever happened to professionalism?
On another occasion…
A similar case happened a few months ago. It was not a mistake but I was unaware of the discount I was entitled to. Hence, when I was charged less than expected, I tried to clarify the right amount to pay.
The cashier was so surprised that she exclaimed, ” Wow, this customer has integrity!”
The implications…need I say more?