Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trying to be Honest

Recently I backed out of my driveway to discover only Newsday and the Wall Street Journal. "No New York Times," I screamed to myself. So I put the car in park and called the Times to report a missed delivery. Later I continued backing the car out of the driveway. There was the Times. It was under my car! I stopped the car again to call the Times and cancel the credit for the missed delivery. No option existed for cancelling a credit so I pressed "0" to speak to a service representative. After waiting some five minutes I finally reached a live person. I explained to him the situation and my mistake. I offered an apology. He explained that the computer would not allow him to reverse the credit. There was nothing he could do. I would have to accept the credit for the missed delivery. "But I made a mistake!" He thanked me for my call. I resolved that for my next vacation I would donate the vacation suspension to schools. I often wonder why it is so difficult to be honest. Why does it require so much effort? Why can't we make it easier for people to be honest? Why can't computers be programmed for honesty as well as dishonesty? Is this experience evidence that so few people take the time to place such a call? The Rabbis teach: "Let truth rise from the earth." I will continue to make such calls. But I will also wait to make such calls until after checking under my car!

No comments: