I was at an Adidas outlet store, where I ended up finding the same pair of Adidas shoes that I had recently ordered online, only they were 15 dollars cheaper at the outlet than I had paid online.
The online ones had not arrived yet, so I decided to purchase the shoes at the outlet, telling myself I would return the ones I had ordered online after they arrived.
I picked up a few other workout items at the outlet store, and when the sales clerk rung up my purchases, it seemed like the final bill was a bit low, despite knowing that my shoes were cheaper than I had paid online. So, I looked more carefully at the receipt and sure enough, I didn’t see the shoes listed on the bill.
The waiting line behind me at the store was starting to grow and I always hate being behind someone when they are holding up the line, and I hate being that person holding up the line. . . and yet and yet and yet. . .the numbers just didn’t add up, and my conscience was starting to speak to me.
I didn’t want to question the competency of the sales clerk — usually when we question a sales clerk, it is because they have overcharged us –– but I also wanted to be honest. So, I asked the sales clerk if he charged me for my shoes. At first he responded quickly, saying he did. While I politely insisted that the final price tag of my purchase was lower than I had expected, the salesman re-checked the items listed on the receipt and looked at the total again, and sure enough he realized he had indeed not charged me for the shoes.
He fumbled a bit and humbly thanked me for being honest about noticing the undercharge.
I responded, “If a store overcharges me, I always say something, so I feel it is important to say something when I get undercharged as well.”
He thanked me saying he was so appreciative, and then he did something I was shocked about: he gave me a 30 percent discount on those same Adidas blue shoes.
So, I saved even more. Basically, I got all the other workout clothes in addition to my new Adidas shoes for the same price as I spent on the Adidas shoes alone online. The salesclerk, who happened to be the manager, rewarded me for my honesty.
When I later shared the story with my 14-year-old son, he at first said that I shouldn’t have said anything because it was the store’s fault and no one would have known any different and that I would have done nothing wrong had I said nothing, but I insisted that I knew and God knew, and it is always important to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
It’s about integrity. I also told him about the 30 percent off of my shoes that I received for being honest, and how I ended up with the extra clothes items and the shotes for almost the same price as I had paid online for my shoes alone.
My son may not have been totally convinced that he would have done the same thing I had done, and he may not understand right now, but either way, I know doing the right thing is always right.
And being rewarded with a huge discount afterwards was frosting on the cake for me.