Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Reward of Virtue

I did something admirable last week while reviewing my credit card statement. 

I keep receipts until the charge shows up on my monthly bill and then discard them. I noticed that a $137 restaurant bill from October still hadn’t appeared. Had the waiter mislaid it?....  What to do…. No one would object if I kept waiting. But when I ordered the meal, I was obligated to pay for it.

After some agonizing, I e-mailed the restaurant to remind them. Then, since no one was around to praise me, I praised myself.  

As I turned that honorable action over in my mind, a memory took shape. Didn’t the restaurant mistakenly decline my credit card? And didn’t my wife pay with her credit card for which I reimbursed her?

I examined the receipt.  Sure enough, it revealed the last four numbers of her credit card, not mine. So I had paid the bill! I sent another e-mail to the restaurant, cancelling the earlier one. Honesty had cost me nothing. Who says virtue is its own reward?

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