When I have meetings at the Kentucky Shakespeare office in downtown Louisville (Kentucky), I like to park in the open-air pay lot across the street. First of all, I don’t like parking garages and secondly, the man who runs it is friendly. It’s obvious he’s an ordinary guy, doing his best to make a living.
Recently, I pulled in and there was another gentleman in the booth. This time my meeting was the Fund for the Arts board meeting. After the meeting, I was pulling up to the booth to pay I pulled out my wallet to find that I had a large bill. Please note that I don’t make a habit of carrying large denominations. So I pulled forward and the gentleman checks my ticket and tells me it will be $4.50. And so begins my inquiry as to whether he could “break” a large bill.
He immediately said “no”. All I had on me in change was two dollars. So I implored him to let me just run to the bank and I would come back with money to pay him. He hesitated. I promised. I gave him the two dollars I had and emphatically promised to be back in 10 minutes. He relented. I went to the bank and was back in the time frame.
When I pulled in the same gentleman opened the metal booth door and smiled. “You are an honest person,” he said. I handed him a $10 dollar bill. “I didn’t believe you would come back.” With that he handed me change as if I’d given him $20. After quickly checking my bank envelope, I handed the money back explaining his error. He chuckled, “I was just testin’ ya.”
Enough tests for one day. I drove away thinking that in reality, he was probably a little challenged by the money math. I was also glad to be the honest example for the day.
Have you found yourself in situations like this? Has your character been tested?
All the best,