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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pop and Circumstance

A post-doc DH works with is the nicest guy in the world. He decided to buy flats of pop, store it in the fridge, and charge only $0.50 per can (which is at least $1 less than from the machines or stores) on an honor system. The profit was to go toward events for students.

Unfortunately, he didn't foresee problems with the honor system. Out of 200 cans taken so far, only 50 have been paid for. That's a measly 25%!! Isn't that awful? I mean, people are willing to take advantage of this guy trying to do something good for the students in his department, all in order to save $0.50?!

DH and I were talking about this and just got angry. We were not brought up like this, and both of us would feel incredibly guilty and embarrassed if we did something like that. But, there are obviously a lot of people that are totally fine with taking advantage of someone. These are also the people that probably go through the door when you're holding it open and don't even say thank-you, or walk in a row of three on the sidewalk and don't move over so you have to walk in the gutter. Give these people an inch, and they take a mile.

Do they act like this on purpose, or does it honestly not occur to them that this is bad behaviour? When they take that pop and don't pay for it, are they thinking "Haha, sucker - there's no way I'm paying for this if no one is holding me accountable!!" or do they just take it without thinking anything?

This is one reason why there is such a lack of trust in our society. Anytime you do something nice, 75% of people take advantage. Why bother? Screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me - after being screwed over a number of times, even the nicest people will become jaded and stop acting that way. It's sad.