Tuesday, October 2, 2007


(The Missing One Thousand) In this age of machine, seldom you will encounter a manifestation of honesty through a computer aided transactions in every business establishment where what you feed is what you get. How will you gratify the acts of good will and reclaim the lost goods as a result of manual maneuvering or finger-flip faulty inputs. Unlike in the lost-and-found, where what you found can be claimed by the owner. Or a case of taxi-driver returning a bag containing a complete cash, except when it passed through the hands of a crooked policeman, and claim it after showing proofs related to the found items, and then rewarding.
A case of my wife, Sebia, is quite different and very hard to show a proof to claim the missing item. In this instance, Sebia paid a phone bill to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) cashier and received a computer generated cash receipt. Without any glimpse on the transaction made, she put the receipt in her bag and left.
After a month and a half, the phone services and the broadband connectivity failed and upon inquiry, she was informed that the services was cut due to unsettled amount. She was furious and the harm is done! She has been paying the monthly bill regularly ever since the phone is installed and why the reason of unpaid account. She took all the files of phone receipts and examined the amount paid for each month. She noticed that one of the receipt bore small amount that she surmised is not sufficient for the monthly bill she has been paying. She recalled that for the bill amounting one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, she gave two thousands plus five pesos. But the receipt showed that she tendered only one thousand five, cash payment is nine hundred fifty-five, and the change cash amount is fifty pesos. She paused and thought analytically: “Where did the one thousand pesos go?”
Resigned of the thought that she cannot contest the cashier for the missing one thousand, she decided to pay the unsettled amount and the current bill required of her.
On the way to PLDT, she found out that her cash money is not enough. Her son, who is studying in college, asked for additional allowance reasoning out that he had to stay overnight with his classmates to research a subject on the Internet. Our service provider, PLDT thru myDSL, a broadband access to the internet, was also disabled with these circumstances. So when she glanced a pawnshop on the sideways, she alighted from a jeepney and pawned a ring to avert any deficiency in the payment of the bill. Upon entering the PLDT reception room, the guard gave her the usual queuing number and was offered to take her seat. While waiting, she tried to recognize the cashier in the paying window and made again an effort to refresh herself of what transpired when she paid the said bill. In calling back her mind, it is clear to her that she paid the right amount and instead of confronting the cashier she talked with the complaint receptionist and raised the questionable receipt. The lady reasoned out that upon receiving the payment, the cashier echoed the exact amount what the customer handed to her so that the payer can right away correct if the amount tendered is inconsistent, as what Sebia heard for every customer the cashier served in the payment window.
The supervisor in the nearby table, who is listening, presented a balance book showing a well-accounted transaction on the said date. Sebia countered that she always pay the exact current amount stated in the bill ever since the line was installed and never pay the half amount as she will be excepting the payment for myDSL. And also the cashier write a note on the billing sheet of the agreed amount the customer should pay. The lady insisted that she had the receipt and it is binding.
The cashier, however, overheard the discussions and immediately get out of her booth showing Sebia the record book of the missing one thousand pesos and the cash amount she had clipped in it as she uttered: “Sorry it’s my fault, I apologize for the shortcomings. It took me late at night trying to find as to where the excess money came from after depositing to the bank the collections on the said date.”
Appreciating the humble behavior, good will, sincere intent, and the gesture of honesty, Sebia thanked the cashier instead. Seldom we expressed gratitude to the acts of humility committed from a mistake. We retorted by counteracting, either to get even or scold them and make them realized that the shortcomings should not be repeated to avoid any inconveniences to the good-natured clients. We resorted further as a form of vindictiveness: by making them pay for the damage inflicted; or requiring contrition before forgiving; or pardon with reservation; or forgiveness with retribution; and or amnesty with conditions.

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