Home » Customer service » An Act of Honesty and Integrity

An Act of Honesty and Integrity

If you were to ask me to share my recent encounter that showed the goodness of the human soul, I would share this heart-warming story with you…

On Monday, April 4, I left my school right after dismissal to pick up a bale of 400 grocery bags at the neighborhood Publix grocery store for an Earth Day project. I took my phone, driver’s license, and debit card with me – no handbag. While I was waiting for the manager to bring the bags from the stockroom, I decided to buy a mango key lime pie and get $75 cash back with my purchase. When I received my cash, I wrapped the receipt around it and placed it in my pocket. As I was putting the money in my pocket, I said to the cashier, “my pocket is too shallow for cash”, but proceeded to do so anyway.

On my way back to school, I called the office for a dolly to transport the bags to my classroom. I arrived in the front of the school, only to find that there was no dolly, so I went to the office to see what was happening. As I was speaking with my colleague, I reached into my pocket and…guess what? There was no money! I retraced my steps to the car, looked around, but no cash. How was I feeling? Disappointed. I knew that my pocket was too shallow for cash, yet I did not pay attention that fact.

I decided to call Publix because in my heart I felt that if someone found the money, he or she will turn it in. Here is how part of the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, this is Elaine. I just picked up some grocery bags at your store.”

Cashier: “Yes, I remember you.”

Me: “Do you recall that I told you that my pocket is too shallow for cash I got when I bought the key lime pie?”

Cashier: “Yes, I remember. I have your money. A customer turned it in.”

Me: “I am so happy. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I will be there soon.”

When I hung up the phone, I gave thanks for the person who returned my money and drove back to Publix with smiles on my face and gratitude in my heart.

The person who found my cash could have kept it for himself, but he chose to return it to the store. He demonstrated his honesty and integrity in a very tangible way. What a model of good citizenship!  His actions warmed my heart and reiterated that I am truly blessed. Although I couldn’t give him a tangible reward, I know that he will be rewarded for his act of care and love. I am grateful for this gentleman who showed us the goodness of his soul.

cash back


21 thoughts on “An Act of Honesty and Integrity

  1. I’m old enough to remember when not doing the right thing was unacceptable. I’m so relieved that this has happened to you. It proves that decency still exists. If we’re more mindful of this beautiful instances and speak out about them, maybe the number will grow.

      • Also, Elaine, I’ve noticed that most people aren’t acknowledged for the good they do anymore. Sure, we should do it because it’s the right thing to do, but if no one is caring about how you act, why bother? Of course, this gets into the realm of good and bad parenting.

        • Glynis, it is just as easy to find the good in others as it is to not find the good. Yet, we humans tend to focus more on the negative.
          I care about my habits, behaviors, and my values, so I will continue to strive to do the right thing. Would I fail at times? Many times? Of course, but I will continue to try.
          Thanks for stopping by again!

    • Public transportation is a great way to study people. Maybe you can write a post with some of the stories you wrote in your diary. On a different note, when I was a cashier, I used to “study” people based on their grocery. 🙂

    • KB. I’m always grateful for your visits and comments. I hope that one day I can do the same on your blog.
      Maybe, if the lost cash or item doesn’t get returned, we can look at it from the perspective that the person who found it, needed it more than us.

  2. Good things happen to good people Elaine – I know that sounds trite, but it is true! I think there are far more good people in the world than not – it’s just that we don’t hear about them. Thanks for sharing this story. it started my Sunday off beautifully!

  3. My mother had a similar experience recently, Elaine. While trying on a sweater at a department store, she took off a very expensive watch and bracelet and left them in the dressing room. She was beside herself when she got home and realized they were missing. My father called the store and discovered an angel had turned them in. In our crazy world, it’s comforting to know honesty still exists. Thank for sharing your story!

    • Jill, maybe you can turn mom’s story into a blog post! I am delighted that your mom got her watch and bracelet back. Right along with your mom, I’m giving thanks for the angel who turned in the pieces.
      On a different note, I looked at your blog yesterday, hoping to see your weekly Friday post. I love the new look of your website. Congrats on all your efforts and all your successes. Have a great weekend.

      • I was thinking the same thing…I’ll link it to your blog when I do write about it.
        Aw…thank you so much, Elaine. I’ve had to cut my posts to every other Friday. I just don’t have the time to post every week. I’m posting once a month on a group blog, so I’ve got to allow some free writing time. Enjoy your weekend too! xo

  4. What an uplifting story, Elaine. I’m struck by two things. One, the obvious point of the story and the knowledge that there are still good people left in this world. Second, something I think is often overlooked, is the non-trivial errand you were running _after_ school to prepare in advance to make, what could be a blah, blah, blah lesson an interesting project. I have a great deal of respect for teachers, and I think they get a bum wrap these days! Thank you!

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