The Honor System (a Rant)

I sometimes forget how naive I can be. We have a thing around here (and probably in your area, too) known as the Honor System. I've seen it used for selling sweet corn, and in our office it is used for buying bottled water. Our office has vending machines, but more often people just want a cold drink of water. Because we're in the country, the water doesn't taste the best. It is safe – just not tasty. Or maybe I should say it has too much taste? At any rate, I am "in charge" of the water. I purchase it and stock our little refrigerator with it and we have a coffee can on the top that politely requests a twenty-five cent donation per bottle.

Every day or two I look in the can and take out any paper money that has been put in. Some of the guys just throw in a couple of bucks, or a five, and call themselves "good" for a month or so. That's fine. We had an incident a few years back where about ten dollars mysteriously disappeared from the can, and since that time I try and remove all of the paper money and put it away for future water purchases in a timely fashion. This morning I saw three dollars in the can. I forgot to take it out and when I went into the back room this afternoon to get a water for myself… you guessed it… gone. WTF? Is there no trust any more?

Before you start saying "maybe they needed money for the vending machine" let me point out that the dollars that were in there were of the highly crushed variety that our vendo won't take – and was most likely put in the can to make coin change that the vendo would take.

I'm just so disappointed in human beings some days.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

7 thoughts on “The Honor System (a Rant)”

  1. In our office one of the nurses kindly brings in chips and munchies for people to share. Certain people who eat the most never bring anything in return and never give her any money towards this. The cleaning person, who is the son of one of the other nurses (and who does a really, really crappy job!) comes in each evening as we are finishing up and FIRST thing he ALWAYS does is help himself. It burns me up when I hear him back there rustling through the bags and crunching… he doesn’t even work there, what nerve to come in each night and just help himself!!! People. They are amazing, aren’t they?!

  2. Mooches…that’s what we call them. They want something for nothing and never contribute. It’s a shame the honor system isn’t safe in this day and age. People used to be better than that. I wonder why things have changed so much.

  3. It is unfortunate that in attempting to develop charity, kindness and honor, we have managed to somehow breed selfishness, greed and contempt into our society. Permitting actions without truth and repercussion has given us the the option of randomly selecting trust, honor, loyalty, and kindness as electives at any point throughout our day to day experiences. Without cause and effect the common question is no longer am I right or wrong, it isn’t even will I get caught. The question commonlyasked today is what will be the outcome if I do get caught and the answer is too often; nothing of consequence.

  4. That’s when you get out the “Since you people can’t figure out that you’re supposed to pay for the water, there won’t be any in here from now on” paper and post it to the front of the fridge. Let them bring their own waters to stow in the fridge – which of course, will lead to outrage when their co-workers swipe the bottles.

  5. Okay, you know you’re a Canadian WHEN…you read about three dollars being taken out of the can, then get confused when the money is referred to as ‘highly crushed’. I, of course, was thinking of our Canadian ones and twos COINS, referred to as Loonies and Toonies…!

  6. I can’t stand that type of thing. I don’t understand how people can just steal from others, esp. their own co-workers that they see everyday (versus say…pirating software:).

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