Chump change

I’ve been waiting all month for the paycheck from my one paying job – as a choir director for the Georgia Regional Girls Choir – to head to IKEA and buy myself a sweet home office setup.  Today, with the check in the bank, I went to the white wonderland and loaded up on affordable shelving.  And since my check was a little plumper than usual, I decided to splurge and get a chair I’d been eyeing, too.

After I made my way through checkout, I steered my particleboard-laden trolley to my van and began to transfer my purchases.  It was then that I realized that I had accidentally picked up two chairs – IKEA’s super-efficiant, Tetris-like packing had sandwiched two L-shaped chair boxes into one solid rectangular shape.  A quick check of my receipt confirmed that I had not paid for this second chair.  Damn.  Now I was going to have a little ethical dilemma in addition to my cheap particleboard.

Evan, who was along with me on this trip, had buckled himself into his seat and was complaining that his stomach hurt.  Did I really have to get him back out of the car and head back up to the returns counter to take this free chair back?

No, I really didn’t have to.

I chose to anyway.  I talked Evan out of his seat and headed back into the store where I waited for 10 minutes to give back a freebie.

Mom, maybe I won't grow up to be an ingrate since I see you behaving honestly. Maybe.

Don’t nice guys finish last?  Who returns a multi-billion dollar corporation’s $90 mistake?  I suppose I did the right thing, but in the end, I just feel like a chump.

What do you think?

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