And how few by deceit. Noel Coward
Something occurred last year about this time that set me curious and with a questioning of what is going on in this world. It was repeated this last Friday in another business exchange. I do not know if it is my generation and those earlier which caused the disruption to my value system. Or if it was my early religious experiences, of which too affected me.
I drive a truck with a diesel engine. If you have one you understand the need to replace two batteries, not just one. As winter was approaching, or perhaps was knocking, it was time to replace batteries which barely made it through summer. I drove over to one of the big box discount stores and purchased two new batteries. Asked for the used batteries I said those were still in the truck and I would bring them back the next day. That was fine and I was not charged a battery fee.
As promised I showed up the next day with the two used batteries. As I they were being transferred to a storage rack a comment came to me as “Thank you for your honesty.” At first I thought nothing of it. I was happy not to have two nasty old batteries laying around. And more important I gave my word to bring them back.
But over the hours of the afternoon and since I think of that comment and wondered why the clerk felt he needed to say it. Was theft that rampant? Were the customers of this store and perhaps all stores, dishonest? It has been bothersome. A nit in the drawers.
A singular statement until Friday.
I placed an order with a gigantic online retailer last Saturday for a new mouse and a murder mystery novel. The mouse was to be delivered on Monday. Excellent. Monday, no delivery. Okay, a mistake was made but of minor consequences. Tuesday, delivery schedule was to have a mouse and book to my door by eight p.m. Tuesday, no delivery. Wednesday, the delivery schedule was to be by eight p.m. No delivery after eight p.m. So I called the retailer and they could not get anyone at the delivery office to answer the phone. I cancelled the order.
Thursday morning there was a box in my door. It arrived, but was no longer mine. I did not have time to deal with it that day but I did on Friday. I called and it took a while for the customer service to understand that the articles were delivered and I would pay for them rather than send them back. In fact about thirty minutes of customer service trying to figure out how to accomplish such a feat as reopen the order and pay for it again.
Several times during this ordeal I was told by the CS person “Thank you for your honesty”. What? I had no idea that agreeing to buy what had been bought, cancelled and now paid for again required honesty. I do not understand. I find it hard to comprehend that honesty was what I did.
Put these two experiences together, along with the current discourse of our country from the election and I am still unable to come to any valid conclusion. “Thank you for your honesty”. A phrase that is so unusual outside of someone returning a wallet without taking the contents, that it catches with me. “Thank you for returning these batteries” is what I expected first. The second time I expected “thank you for your order (even if it is the second time)”. And now we have someone who might be the most dishonest person ever elected to be president leading by example. I do fear for these United States.