I did a random act of kindness early one morning last week. I wish I could say I had done it intentionally. Not so. I was rushing to a meeting. Enroute I stopped at the bank to deposit a cheque. I also needed cash. No problem. It’s handy when you drive by the bank on the way to your destination. Downtown Winnipeg I stopped at my usual coffee corner for a coffee and muffin. I put my hand in my pocket to grab my money. It was at that point that panic set in. I had no cash. My mind started racing. Where could it be? I checked my pockets. Twice. I thought I had lost it. I thought back to my stop at the bank. The only conclusion I could come up with is that I never took it from the ATM. I was in a hurry. I was somewhat preoccupied. Of course, this created a distraction all morning.
Why am I telling you this story? Plain and simple. I knew that at some point I would have to fess up. Admit to my forgetfulness. My stupidity. My ineptness. Break it to my wife. I shared this with one of the participants in my meeting. She laughed and suggested what she doesn’t know can’t create issues. I could only wish it would be that simple. Unfortunately my wife checks the bank balance on a daily basis. There would be questions about why I needed to make two cash withdrawals in one day. I needed cash to pay for parking. It would be tough to fool anyone.
I have another problem. Since I was young I have never been able to hide any feelings of guilt. In fact I can recall my mother questioning me when she thought I had a guilty look on my face in spite of me not having done anything wrong. That problem has stuck with me. I wear my thoughts on my face. Tough to keep secrets that way. Tough to hide anything.
So at noon I called her. Curious what I would hear. Filled with trepidation over what she would say. She laughed and without missing a beat suggested that I had made someone’s day with that screw up. That was it. The only verbal abuse I got for that incident was what I gave myself. And trust me, I did give myself a true tongue lashing. I am really getting good at that. Call myself everything in the book. Accomplish nothing by doing that.
So what now? I stopped in at the bank to ask them. They said I should bring in my receipt and they would investigate. Oh really? What if I don’t keep my receipt. I never even look at them. Don’t want to know. Stems back from my farming days. What I don’t know can’t hurt me. I wish. Well, as luck would have it I found my receipt. In my car, in the cup holder. How it got there I have no idea. It’s still readable, in spite of the coffee stains. See if they can investigate that.
I challenged a client today that they should leave the past behind and look ahead. Move on. Like the saying goes, “scars remind us of where we have been but do not have to dictate where we are going”. Perhaps that should be my goal. After all, it was only 60 bucks. Ouch, that still hurts. But, I suspect, I have probably spent money on things less useful. Lesson learned. In the meantime I made someone’s day. I hope. Make it a good one.