5 October 2005

$50 worth of honesty

Ed and I enjoyed a very nice dinner last night at Capone’s in Yaletown. Our mortgage broker, Jim Kwon, had awarded us with a gift certificate to Capone’s a few months ago when we referred him to our friends who needed mortgages. We finally used the gift certificate last night, feasting on carpaccio, pizza, steak, and wine. The food was delicious and the ambiance was very cozy. There was even a jazz musician who was excellent. When Ed got our bill, he looked a little puzzled. So I looked it over too and I noticed that the total was significantly lower than we expected. Ed pointed out that the wine was not on the bill. That’s almost a $50 difference.

It felt like I was standing at a fork in the road. It would be so easy to just pay the bill and keep the $50. Ed and I looked at each other and I said that we’re honest people and we should point out to our server her mistake. I’m not really sure what the restaurant would do if or when the mistake is identified but I wouldn’t want the $50 taken out of her pay cheque. So we called our server over and told her that the wine was not on the bill. She looked horrified that she’d made that mistake and then relieved that we pointed it out. She thanked us a few times, too.

One of the core values of the company I work for is integrity. It says “We are honest, fair, trustworthy, and respectful in everything we do and in all our business practices.” in our values statement. I am part of the executive team that crafted our company’s mission and values. And I hold what we crafted close to my heart.

This value of integrity was the thought in my head during those few seconds when, standing at that fork, I weighed my options. And I’m glad that I chose to be honest. And I sure hope that I always do.

Now, I’m trying not to think about the clothes or shoes I could have purchased with that $50!