I needed a little cash in my pocket today so I pulled over at a POS kiosk. A man who looked to be in his late fifties was the owner and operator of the POS business. He said he was an Igbo man from IMO State when I asked which state he was from.
I was in a hurry, but just by the side of the POS kiosk was a phone accessories shop so I also decided to get an iPhone charger since I needed it.
While I was selecting the kind of charger I actually needed I told the POS operator to give me N40,000 cash and include his service charge. He said his service charge was N800 and I did not object.
While my card was in the machine and debit was being processed after I had pointed my pin on the button of the machine, the man counted 40, 000 cash and gave to me. I collected and pocketed without counting.
Processing over and transaction approved, he issued me the print out receipt which I threw to the ground without looking at.
I picked an IPhone charger and paid cash to the accessories dealer from the money the POS operator paid me, and walked into my car to zoom away. A still small voice told me to look at the debit alert on my phone, so I disengaged my gear to look at the alert.
Lo and behold, the alert I got from my bank was N4,800, instead of N40,800 from the POS transaction. I looked more closely the second time just to be absolutely sure, and saw that indeed the debit alert was N4,800.
I looked at the POS man from the tinted glass of my car. A man in his late fifties, you could tell that he was trying to battle to stay afloat on the turbulent waters of life. His countenance said it all. He had just mistakenly “dashed” me N35,200 of his sweat, perhaps, almost all his capital for his POS business.
If I drove off, he would go back home to his family, and after trying to reconcile his account for the day’s business, there would be a festival of tears and anguish upon realizing the shortfall. The misery would last for weeks.
In my car, tears were already welling in my eyes. In this extremely hard economy in which we operate, a struggling man has just done himself in. I wiped off the tears from my eyes and alighted from the car with my key on the ignition. I moved to the kiosk.
“Oga make I do another one”, he said, enthusiastically. I shook my head without uttering a word, reached to the ATM in my pocket and gave to him. “Please, collect N35,200 from this ATM”, I said. “Should I include my charge”, he bellowed. “Just do as I said”, I insisted.
Transaction done, he wanted to count money to pay me. And I said, “sir, it’s your money. You overpaid me by N35,200 from the first transaction. It’s actually your own mistake”.
Abruptly, the man fell down and held my feet, crying, real, heavy tears, and mumbling blessings on me.
I lifted him up, hopped into my car and I was gone!
A little honesty here and there, and the world can actually be a better place for all.
Enjoy your day ✌️