So a week ago, I had the pleasure of serving as a groomsman in a wedding. The beautiful couple were friends of mine, (both of them), and also clients. Now everyone knows they are clients simply because HE keeps introducing me like this:
Mr. Groom: "This is Roger, my Realtor."
Me: "Hi, nice to meet you."
New Acquaintance: "Hi. Do you go to all your client's weddings in a matching tux?"
Me: "Yes, it is part of my amazing commitment to all my clients. No, not really. We are actually friends and I'm in the wedding party, I just happen to be helping him buy a house as well."
So back to the story... when you have the privilege of being a groomsman, you get to wear a totally awesome tuxedo. Our groom picked out some pretty fly duds (that means cool clothes), and all we had to do was get fitted, PAY, pick them up, and return them when we were done. Sounds easy, right?
Two days before the wedding, I go to pickup my tux. I try it on, it fits nice, I look about as good as a guy like me can, so I bag it all up and head to the register to pay. Then this conversation occurs:
Mr. Sales Associate: "Your tux has already been paid for."
Me: "No it hasn't."
Mr. Sales Associate: "Yes it has, somebody paid."
Me: "Who? No. That is unacceptable, I'm paying for it."
Mr. Sales Associate: "We don't keep card info on file, it was paid for, tough luck, thank you, have a nice day."
So... I thank them for their help, exit stage left, and my first call is to Mr. Groom:
Me: "Did you pay for my tux?"
Mr. Groom: "Nope. Definitely not."
Me: "Don't lie to me, because I will find out and hunt you down." (This is exactly what I said. I take my financial obligations seriously.)
Mr. Groom: "I'm not, I didn't, I'll double check. Nope, DEF no."
I decide I'll ask (forcefully interrogate) the other guys at the wedding. No result. NOBODY paid for this tux, unless it was a random act of kindness/charity. Conventional wisdom (from a few well dressed but slightly buzzed groomsmen) stated that I had hit the jackpot and scored a free tuxedo rental. A wonderful night ensued, but a day of reckoning was on the horizon. Queue the dramatic music.
I found myself distraught as I drove to the rental place to return everyone's tuxedos. I decided that I would attempt to clear my conscience and solve the mystery. When I arrived, I pulled aside Mr. Sales Associate and implored him to dig deeper and check the accounting. A few short moments later, we found the answer. An answer that had been shrouded in mystery and haunted me for days...
NOBODY HAD PAID AFTER ALL.
There was a minor mistake on the part of Mr. Sales Associate. It was all just a mix up. I whipped out my trusty Discover card, promptly paid the charge, and exited to a salvo of praise and thanks for my honesty.
Some might call me crazy, but when in doubt I always do what I think is right. A business provided me with a valuable service, and I paid for it. It is a fairly simple concept, but one that I think is lost on people sometimes. Some folks forget that on the other side of that counter is a business that relies on paying customers to provide income for people, which in turn helps put food on a table somewhere and a roof over that table.
I think it is important that in this day and age, we remember and honor our debts to the best of our abilities. Whether the debt is gratitude, time, or renumeration, paying in full and on time will yield a sense of pride and accomplishment unlike any other.