How Honest is Honest?

Last year I went to a function for a group that I belong to.  It is a volunteer service group.  The function was a combined training and general meeting, there were some training and news sessions and a couple of meals.  The lunch and dinner had tickets that you bought, they did not have a very good accounting system for the meal tickets.  They did not keep track of who bought the tickets nor did they have a good way to collect the tickets.  As a result there were about 20% more meals served than they sold tickets for.  The Yacht Club kept track of the number of meals served and the bill was for the meals served not the tickets collected.  At some point the group figured out that the count was bad and had an announcement for those that had not purchased the meal tickets for the meal they had eaten to please purchase a ticket.  Well guess what?  They were still short.  Many of the members were older so perhaps Alzheimer’s was to blame but I doubt it.

What does this tell us about ourselves when we stiff our fellow members for the $ 10 or $ 12 meal?  Or were 20% of the group really not able to remember if they bought a ticket for the meal?

Another group that I am a member of has Friday Night Happy Hours at local watering holes.  About the same time as the above happened this other group had a Happy Hour that was well attended.  Went on for a while and at the end the check came and everyone pitched in and many left, leaving the last two people $ 30—short on the bill.  I have noticed a trend at these things, the person that had the biggest whatever and most drinks is the first one to say “what’s the total, lets just divide it by by number of people here and add a buck or so for the tip” conveniently leaving out the part where they had 3 drinks with the big food thing and the person across from them had a bowl of chowder and a glass of water, expecting the chowder head to pay the same as the wino.  I have seen this repeated over and over, the big eater expecting the others to cover their food tab.  What happened to the good old look at the bill to see what the things you ate cost?  don’t we know how to add up a few numbers?  You can always use your fingers if you don’t want to use the calculator in your cell phone.

So are we only honest when someone is looking over our shoulder?  Do we really care about our neighbors?  What is society deteriorating to?  What does this do to our own integrity?

What does this tell us about ourselves?

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One Response to How Honest is Honest?

  1. Buzz Lightning's Dad says:

    The first time one realizes that accounting at a bar or dinner table is less than IRS quality is the lastime that that person should precipitate in that activity. (I do mean precipitate.) If further lessons are needed, stick you finger in a light socket occasionally.
    Another course of action would be to buy several lottery tickets for a few weeks and add up your earnings. Same chance as winning the restaurant shuffle.

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