We have a woman at work who has been doing her job for the better part of three decades. Many times, I have sat through what seemed to be endless stories about the way things were back in the 80s and the places she’s been and all the people she knew along her vocational journey. Although I don’t get to see her final work product, I have no doubt she is a capable women and produces quality work. That said, I can guarantee there is nothing in this world she takes more pride in than when she plans a potluck. And when it’s a potluck for someone’s promotion or going away…you might as well shut down the place for the day.
The time and effort this women puts this little meaningless events is a real treat to watch. I fill out the Excel spreadsheet where you sign up to bring a dish and I get the heck out of the way. I can go on about all the hysterical happenings leading up to the break room feasts, but that’s not what this post is about.
One of your counterparts was moving to another office and she grabbed the reins of every position on the party planning committee. By unanimous vote of the committee of one, this particular potluck was to be partially outsourced to a local BBQ joint. If you had a soul and were invited to the gala, $6 a person was the cover charge. One woman shamefully claimed to dislike BBQ to get out of the shelling out the six beans. A few awkward comments and an armor later, she coughed up the cash.
Bottom line, I rarely have cash on me, which made it a little awkward during her idea proposal/telling me how it was gonna go. “No problem, just pay me later.” Well, this was in August. No mention of the debt since.
I knew our potluck maestro neither cared or remembered the debt. It’s nagged at me ever since, but somehow, I never took the initiative to either remember to get a little cash or waltz down to her office when I had some $ on me. Didn’t stop me from buying VeggieStraws from the snack bar and Diet Mountain Dew from the cafeteria though, did it?!
So today, I paid a long forgotten and minuscule debt. This isn’t a debt I sought out or intentionally avoided paying. More importantly, as it pertains to doing something to help me evolve in business and family, it was a debt that had long been forgotten and maybe even never known to have existed by the lender.
Integrity is on the tip of anyone’s tongue who tries to mold what it means to be a man of character into words. My son’s are fairly goodhearted, but they both, my oldest in particular, have begun to explore the costs and benefits of bending the truth and all out fabrications. It frustrates and scares me. I’m almost aware it’s part of growing up, and sadly, evidence of our depravity.
Daily, it becomes more clear how important it is to display doing the right thing. Paying what is owed, that is the right thing. I know this type of stuff matters when my kids are watching and perhaps this will go unnoticed, but I think the ripple is how I respond to something when it matters.
I plead with God to help my raise men of character…men of integrity. The truth and ownership has become easier with age and maturity. Today’s task was impromptu but beats at the heart of what I hope to be a huge part of my legacy.