What I'm Seeing Now

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A Sad Commentary

Two weeks ago I ordered and picked up the new Sprint 4G Smart Phone.  At the same time I bought a new Blue Tooth ear piece.

The ear piece did not work well at all, so I took it back.  The new box was put in my bag, but when I got home I found another brand new Smart Phone in there too!  Knowing it was a mistake I needed to take it back.  I didn't even open the box.  Not having time until this afternoon, I took it back.

When I told the sales guy what happened and that I was bringing the mistaken phone back to the store, his eyes got wide with shock!

"What's the matter?"  He looked like he just sat on a pin.

"I just can't believe you are bringing it back!  Don't you know these are selling on Ebay for $1000?"  He told everyone else and employees were coming out of the woodwork to shake my hand.

Now I have to say, it didn't occur to me to keep it or sell the thing on Ebay!  Why would I do that?  At that point I was shocked that he was shocked!  I had been feeling bad that I didn't have time until today to take it back.

Then he said something kind.  "There are very few people who would have done what you just did.  I wish everyone did."  My shock turned to dismay.

Now, please, I don't bring this story up to point you at me.  I think this is a very sad commentary.  The phone wasn't mine, to keep or to sell.  What if everybody did bring mistakes back?  Can you imagine that as our society?

One day, but not now.

Why don't people understand that to scam makes everything more expensive and difficult for everybody?  It's why insurance premiums are so high.  And prices of most things we need.  And even our taxes, having to pay for so many who think they deserve what they don't produce. 

This is not a political commentary.  It is a sad one.

My recommendation:  Be a good Scout.  A Scout is trustworthy.

IT ISN'T ALWAYS EASY, BUT IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO DO THE RIGHT THING.  AND THE ULTIMATE REWARD IS FANTASTIC.

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 29 commentsJay Markanich • June 26 2010 05:17PM

Comments

I'm not so sure he was typical of most folks.

Just because that techie was an opportunist doesn't mean that most folks are.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jay - I agree with Lenn.  Sure there are many who would consider it a "gift," but I don't yet believe they're in the majority. Perhaps many in the sales rep's circle of influence think the same, but you don't, I don't, and neither do most of those we know. (At least I believe that to be the case)

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 8 years ago

I bet you had an impact on that person's life. It just might take a while for the lesson to sink in. Kudos!

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) over 8 years ago

Good post Jay. Good for you for making an honest impact on some folks. You never know how your actions can benefit others that you don't even know.

Posted by Dan Benefield (Benefield Realty) over 8 years ago

I think it is a SAD commentary on the generation THAT IS FUNDING MY SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!!  If they ARE ALL IN PRISON for making BAD JUDGEMENTS who will work to pay me MY $$$??

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

Lenn - I think that in his circles I was a rarity!

John - I sincerely hope you are right in your thinking.  And that the good guys are a majority.

Doug - maybe!  It is harder to do the right thing, or to be forced to, AFTER you have done the wrong thing!

Dan - that is the kind of thing good Scouts are supposed to do daily!

Wallace - um, you will my dear, you will.  There's no way 1.2 people can work to support themselves and another.  When the "pension" system was set up, i.e. Social Security, it was always intended to be a minimal supplemental to retirees pensions, and 7+ people worked to contribute that minimal amount to others.  A person working at an average wage for 40 years goes through his S.S. contribution in about 15 months.  After that, it is on someone else!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Good for you Jay - Even though you were surprised at his attitude I bet you felt good about yourself. It's hard to understand why people do the wrong thing when it feels so good to do the right thing. 

Posted by Lois Davies, Cape Coral & SW Florida (Century 21 Birchwood Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

I think that most people are honest... but the ones that aren't are the ones making the headlines. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 8 years ago

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking, we could use more.

Posted by Hugh Krone, Realtor, Sussex County NJ (Weichert Referral Associates) over 8 years ago

Lois - I like to tell people that I don't have the time to be bad!  I guess in this case I did!

Lane - for sure.  What fun is the headline that somebody did a good thing?

Hugh - the root of the word integrity is the same as the root of the word integer.  It means whole, or in harmony.  And you are right!  I guess we could.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

 You want to believe that there are more of the good folks than not...and that the truth is the best thing to tell...everywhere....always.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 8 years ago

S&D - I say to my kids, and Scouts, it is easier to be good than bad.  Good has better consequences!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

It's surprising that he was surprised by your honesty, but I believe the majority of people would of done as you did. I am certain most people have a conscience and when faced with that same situation would have brought back the "gift".

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jim - I was surprised, and shocked really, that he was so surprised.  I felt bad it had taken me so long to get it back to them.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

That is a sad commentary.  The motto of the world today is, "What's in it for me?"  It's so sad that this regular action of bringing back something you didn't pay for (since it was a mix-up) was met with this reaction. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 8 years ago

Well, Chris Ann, my feeling really was shock.  But I don't do this for people to think how wonderful I am.  It is just that I try to do the right thing.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay * I started taking SS as soon as I could because I think they will up the retirement age in the next few years...I'll invest it in Dominion Resources stock and get a MUCH BETTER RETURN by controlling the $$$ myself.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

Fer sher Wallace.  Over the history of the SS there has been an average of less than 1% return per annum.  Imagine what would have happened to that money had you control over the years!

That is what Milton Friedman set up for Chile, right after Allende was deposed (assasinated).  When a Chilean retires now, he has the Chilean equivalent of $9 million American for his use, and he can pass it on to his heirs!  Didn't know that did you?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, Good for you, I wouldn't have kept it either. You are right when we do things that aren't honest we hurt the folks who are.  But it goes on all the time.  What goes around will come back to those people.

Posted by Diane Williams over 8 years ago

when you do what is right everything else works out.  Not sure what he was thinking or where he was coming from.  I am glad you did the honest thing.  The world is a better place.

Posted by Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--, Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc. (Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc) over 8 years ago

Diane - sooner or later for sure!

Gwen - that is why we try to teach our values to our children so each generation does not have to keep learning the same lessons over and over.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

When my son gets old enough, I plan to have him ask himself this question all the time: Am I making this world a better place by doing this?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 8 years ago

Good one Reuben.  And introduce him to the Boy Scouts!  The Scout Law is one of the best living guides around.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay,

Good for you on the phone. I always keep the optimistic view that most people are good people. But it will always be the few that makes it hard for the many.

Don

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Isn't that always the way Don?  The few make it harder for everyone!  Been through an airport lately?!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Honesty rewards you not only today but well into the future.

Posted by Pat Fenn (Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker ) over 8 years ago

Thanks Pat, and I agree!  The rewards may not be immediate, but ultimately they will be terrific...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Another one of those deals that seems to good to be true and guess what? Doing the right thing is priceless...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 8 years ago


Thanks Paul.  And I happen to agree...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

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