It was one of my first jobs. And the first time I had been responsible to balance a cash register at the end of the day.
One day, I ended up with what appeared to be an extra $20 (or thereabouts) in the cash register.
I wanted everything to even out, so instead of saying anything, that ‘extra’ money went in my pocket.
Turns out…something to do with checks or credit cards or something…it wasn’t actually extra money. My supervisor asked and I gave it back.
Surprisingly I didn’t get in trouble. Besides the shame that I continue to feel. It was a good lesson. Of course I should have said something.
Fast forward to my 39 year old self. I received a notice from the State that I had a nearly 3K check that was uncashed. Curious about how that could happen, I looked at my records – and it looked to me as though it was probably deposited right after receiving it.
But how could the State government get it wrong? Maybe I am looking at something wrong. Maybe I legitimately have 3K coming my way! Yippee.
But should I tell them that I think I actually deposited the check? What to do?
You would think I would have learned, but I didn’t entirely. I started the conversation with “I received a letter that you think I didn’t deposit a check.” If he had said, oh yes, let me get you a new check – I’m not 100% sure I would have said no, no. I would have told myself a story that my records were wrong. Instead, he said, “well, did you deposit it?” I said I think I did. And, it turns out that they have received many similar calls. It sounds like there were 2 or 3 days that there system is showing the checks were not actually deposited. Thus, my records must be right.
What would you do?
I may be a horrible person, but I also think the power of a story to ourselves is strong when we have something to gain. Who do I want to be? Who am I? How do I become who I want to be?