Budget tips

Courtesy and karma

A short story

Recently, a man told me a policeman booked him for driving while using a mobile even though had not been using a phone. The fine was quite substantial. I asked why. The man told me he had to drive to the nearby shops to get something and the officer pulled him over for a faulty tail light. The man called the officer a “####” so the officer threatened to book him for driving with a phone if he didn’t apologise. The man called the officer a “####’ again and he was booked for driving with a phone and for the tail light. He complained at the station and learnt that challenging the fine would cost more money than the fine. The discourtesy of calling the officer an obscene name cost him hundreds of dollars by way of a fine for something he did not do. I thought he deserved it.

That reminded of the time I was pulled over for a faulty light when I was seventeen. I got out of the car so we could talk on the footpath instead of the officer standing out on the road next to passing traffic. The officer said he was booking me. I apologized for driving with a faulty light and said I would fix it. The officer said he wasn’t booking me. To my considerable surprise, he let me off with a warning.

I did not expect to be let off. The other man felt the officer should acknowledge he was being a “####” and let him off. I thought it simply good manners to get out of my car, greet the officer, recognize that he was simply doing his job and admit I was wrong without excuses. I think the reason for the difference in outcomes was common courtesy.

Does courtesy give good karma

I have noticed that those who complain they get poor service usually have poor manners. Those with good manners are generally satisfied with the service they get all over town. Those with manners will understand the human aspect of business. Those without manners will simply feel that they are entitled to the best service because they are customers.

Those who are courteous get extra care and attention. Those without manners antagonize others, including service staff. There is much to be said for the proverb “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”.

What do you think?

One thought on “Courtesy and karma

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