Doing the Right Thing Is The Right Thing To Do

We’ve all heard the phrase “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, ” and sometimes it seems that is true.  But I was just reminded of a TRUE STORY that happened a few years ago that demonstrates that acting with integrity can payoff.  It worked for me.  And, in case you need to hear a story that reinforces for you that ‘doing the right thing is the right thing to do’,  I am going to share this story with you.

While moving our son to Boston a few years ago, we stopped at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. When parking, my husband (driving a Uhaul) must have forgotten he was towing my son’s car, and he didn’t turn into the space properly.  He hit a stranger’s car.

We looked around. No one was there.

I went to my car and got out paper and pen. I left an apology note with my contact information. We went inside. I asked if they could page the owner. They tried. No response. I left my name with management… in case the note flew off or something. We ate lunch, asked them to page the owner one more time, and when there was still no response, we went on to Boston.

Three days later, we came home.  Still no call.  I thought my husband or son (who had both been giving me perplexed looks the entire time) had removed my note.  I was starting to get really mad at them, even though they claimed innocence.

About 10 days later I received a phone call from the owner. He had left his car there for several days.  When he returned he found my note, took the car to a mechanic and called me with the $500 estimate.   The repair shop faxed us the estimate, and we paid the bill.

It turns out the owner of the car was a commercial real estate agent in NYC.   Six months later he referred a client to me who was moving to Northern Virginia to take a job in the DC area.   Paying the $500 repair estimate ended up making me about $20,000.

My husband had been really bothered with me, not just because I insisted on taking responsibility for the accident, but he said I went “above and beyond” trying to have the car owner paged, twice, leaving my contact information on the car and also with management.  He told me you do not get “extra” points for doing the right thing multiple ways.  Haha…..

Why did that agent refer me?  He said knew he could trust me because he knew that I acted with integrity and honesty even when no one was looking.  After all, isn’t that when it counts most?

I bet it’s the first time hitting a car turned out to be profitable.


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