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A little story about cash.
Old 10-29-2008, 10:53 PM   #1
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A little story about cash.

An interesting (perhaps?) story about cash:

When I was young, I was fortunate to obtain a summer internship at a famous laboratory. I was given a hotel-like room on site, which was cleaned by a maid once a week.

I was too poor or naive to have a bank account at the time, and I managed to collect my pay in cash. Being especially naive, I simply accumulated it in a little pile of 20's, which I stored out of sight on a high shelf in my room. I lived an intensely-frugal life back then, and soon it grew to be more money than I had imagined having.

One day after my room had been cleaned, I noticed that the pile had been reduced by a single $20 bill. Again being quite naive, yet somehow sure of myself that things would turn out right, I simply replaced the slightly-shorter stack on the shelf, but with an added note laid on top that said:

"That wasn't nice. Please put it back."

After the next time my room had been cleaned, I found that the stack was higher again by the missing $20, plus an extra $5. Satisfied, I proceeded to finally open a bank account.

I'm afraid I'm still somewhat naive (less so about money, at least), as I'd prefer to live my life as though the people around me will be honorable.

Now, if we knew each other better, I'd also tell the story about the janitor who worked there and his broom closet containing his little stack of, well..., that's for another day.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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Interesting story!

Some years ago, I paid for gas at a service station with a crisp $20 bill. It was so crisp that another $20 was stuck to it. As I was in a hurry, I gave the bill to the girl at the counter and quickly walked back to my car. The girl, who was in her late teen, ran after me to give back the extra $20. I was so stunned of her honesty, I could barely mumble a thank you.

I have experienced other examples of honesty by the working class. The authors of Freakonomics told a story of how the higher class, on the average, commits more petty theft than the lower class.

PS. To bbbamI in below post: But but that's no ordinary cross-section of society!
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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Since I've been volunteering at the police department for the last eight years, I've become less trusting of others. Now, I don't automatically trust people; they have to earn my trust.

It's a shame.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:51 AM   #4
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Since I've been volunteering at the police department for the last eight years, I've become less trusting of others. Now, I don't automatically trust people; they have to earn my trust.

It's a shame.
We were talking about that at work a couple of days ago. All are current or retired police officers working either full time or part time. One of the retired guys mentioned that he's starting to like people again and I had to agree.

When you spend full time dealing with liars, thieves, idiots, morons, fools and imbeciles it's easy to forget that most people just want to go to work, do their jobs, go home and enjoy their friends and family. Imagine - some people manage to go their entire lives without being arrested!
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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I noticed that the pile had been reduced by a single $20 bill.
You counted it every day, or you have a good eye?

-----------------------

But you guys do agree with a statement such as "98% of people are honorable, but it's the other 2% you have to be on guard about," right?

When my mom was about 85, she got a phone call: "Hi, this is your favorite nephew!" "Oh, Jeff? Good to hear from you." Long story short, it was a stranger, and he took her for a few hundred dollars. They caught him, and sent him to jail. Mom visited him in jail, and reported that he was deep down an honorable person, and she was going to help him turn his life around.

We convinced her to drop that project. My point is that you can take the "people are honorable" idea too far.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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When my mom was about 85 ...
Was age a factor here? Was she as gullible when young? Scam artists like to prey on the elderly.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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She was always pretty gullible, but I do think she was targeted because of her age.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:50 AM   #8
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We were talking about that at work a couple of days ago. All are current or retired police officers working either full time or part time. One of the retired guys mentioned that he's starting to like people again and I had to agree.

When you spend full time dealing with liars, thieves, idiots, morons, fools and imbeciles it's easy to forget that most people just want to go to work, do their jobs, go home and enjoy their friends and family. Imagine - some people manage to go their entire lives without being arrested!
Absolutely. From time to time I have to remind myself of the honest people in the world. There are plenty of them.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:14 PM   #9
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You counted it every day, or you have a good eye?

But you guys do agree with a statement such as "98% of people are honorable, but it's the other 2% you have to be on guard about," right?
honor definition | Dictionary.com
1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.

Integrity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Integrity is consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles.

Generally, no.

Generally, people do not view their lives in terms of their integrity but apply it to other. They view their actions it in terms of multiplicity - Multiplicity (philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). In other words, they judge and justify their bad actions as exceptions to the principle.

Think about the psychological studies that have shown that people will do harm to others if told or led to do it.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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When you spend full time dealing with liars, thieves, idiots, morons, fools and imbeciles
(Full time employment: Posting here)
I love this Forum.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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One of the things I liked about police work, was that it constantly showed me how nice my wife and kids are.
Now, the best thing about police work is that I'm retired from it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:21 AM   #12
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An old saying that I once heard was, "You cannot cheat an honest man". Over the years I believe this to be mostly true. Most people that get themselves into trouble was because they were chasing some dream of "getting rich quick", or "one in a lifetime opportunity" plays. People that are honest and have given up on the idea of getting something for nothing are more or less immune to slick talking sales people, scam artists, etc.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:23 AM   #13
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #14
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An old saying that I once heard was, "You cannot cheat an honest man". Over the years I believe this to be mostly true. Most people that get themselves into trouble was because they were chasing some dream of "getting rich quick", or "one in a lifetime opportunity" plays. People that are honest and have given up on the idea of getting something for nothing are more or less immune to slick talking sales people, scam artists, etc.

Yep. I don't even listen politely anymore. If it's too good to be true, it is.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:51 PM   #15
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If it's too good to be true, it is.
You mean like sex? Public libraries?
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:01 PM   #16
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Hum. Let's see, sex. I remember that, I think... Now what was your point?
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:43 PM   #17
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Al, that's an interesting conflation there ...

do tell ?!?

ta,
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:09 PM   #18
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Point was that there are some things that sound too good to be true, and they are true.

Quote:
Al, that's an interesting conflation there ...

do tell ?!?
The short version: They don't let us in the library any more.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:24 PM   #19
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Two stories having to do with New York (both bars):

- At Kennedy Airport, my wife an I were getting drink before a flight. We got the drinks and subsequently watched the waitress bring checks to every table around us but not to ours. We finally had to just about tackle her to get her back to our table. "We owe you money; how much is it? You know we could have easily ripped you off?" "Yes," she said, "but I've found that most people don't do that; they're really pretty honest."

- At an Irish pub, I paid for a round of drinks with a $20 bill. I got back change as if I had paid with a $100 bill. After we finished the drinks, we called the waitress over and told her what she had done. "I could tell I was really short on the cash I should have had," she said, "but I had no idea where the discrepancy came from." Could have been the total night's tips for her.

They say everyone has a price and I'm sure, if really tested, I might have mine (although I'd like to think not). But it would have to be a helluva lot more than $20 or change from $100.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:03 PM   #20
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Grep said... "Now, if we knew each other better, I'd also tell the story about the janitor who worked there and his broom closet containing his little stack of, well..., that's for another day".

Magazines Who knew?
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