Thus far I have found the people of Hong Kong very honest. Hope I don’t offend anyone by confessing that this came as a pleasant surprise. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I think they are all crooks; more that the pressure to make ends meet so huge that pennies from heaven, I assumed, would be very welcome!
The other day I forgot to take the money from the ATM (cashpoint) and the guy behind reminded me. And a couple of times I had handed over an extra twenty dollar and the traders have returned it. This is admirable considering how hard they have to work; yet their pride and sense of fairness won’t allow them to pocket undeserving gains, however small.
So when mistakenly a shop assistant put in the bag a top I hadn’t paid for it wasn’t such a hard decision to return it. To be honest, I didn’t really like it.
I know from observing working life here that not only are high standards a given but mistakes are not tolerated. When they do the stock check the crime will be uncovered. With any luck she might get away with a severe reprimand or formal warning; otherwise she would have to compensate the loss. The worst scenario is both. Even if she wasn’t the perpetrator, she was still lax in allowing him/her to get away.
For a milli-second I was tempted, as the top would have been an ideal gift; so I slept on it. I suppose you can guess the outcome. The manageress kept thanking me as I returned the top to its rightful home. Indeed, the culprit would have had her salary deducted and no doubt a black mark against her name. Doing the right thing felt good. The sales assistant has the other honest people to thank. Karma.