It is safe to say that many of us have been victims of dishonest vendors at least once in our lives. Unfortunately for some of us, we simply tend to encounter these unsavoury characters more often than we’d like.
Truly annoying to say the least especially when everyday things become so stressful and you have to be on high alert for such vendors!
Could it be our ‘overtrusting’ character that gets us into such unfortunate situations? Friends often tell me that I need to be more cautious and not trust so easily. That’s fantastic advice and I receive it gracefully knowing how I can be pretty gullible at times! Just that I hate having to be all cautious and change my natural personality of trusting people. This may sound naive but take for instance what happened to me recently (which is the result of me ranting about it here).
I’ve been going to this neighbourhood stall for a while now to buy my weekly supply of fruits. Prices here are relatively high but I buy the fruits from this particular stall simply because it’s a hop, skip and jump from where I live. So paying a little extra for convenience to me is justified. Well, at least I convinced myself of that and naturally became rather friendly with the stall owner. Trusting a person whom you’ve been buying from regularly for the past couple of years should be a natural thing right?
The usual process would be for the vendor to use her calculator to add up the cost for items purchased and I’d hand the cash with no questions asked. I had already paid her the amount and returned to my car when with a quick mental calculation realised that she had totally overcharged me. There was no thought in my mind initially that she had been dishonest as I figured it could have been a genuine error on her part. I headed back to the stall reluctantly and calmly requested for the stall owner to check the fruits again and recalculate the cost. While doing just that, her expression and body language began to change significantly and that’s when it dawned on me that I had been overcharged on purpose!
She has cheated me but I remained calm.
Her embarrassment was obvious as she returned the cash I had overpaid earlier. She then softly apologised without lifting her eyes to meet mine. With an expression of disappointment I could not hide, I took the cash, thanked her and returned to my car feeling upset by the entire episode of dishonesty. Perhaps because I genuinely enjoyed the relationship and trust I thought we had built over the years which was now no more. I wasn’t angry. Just sad.
ALL IS NOT LOST
Some would find this incident rather petty as it is rather common in life to come across dishonest characters, deal with them accordingly and move on. Why this has affected me in the way it did is because in my books to trust such a person meant enjoying life in a more relaxed mode; relationships built over time that are woven into life’s routine. Like the grocery shops, eateries, banks, and other places we frequent, and have developed a level of comfort with the people we meet in these places regularly. I am pretty sure others like me can relate.
While none of us wish to be targets of dishonest vendors, it happens! In my opinion, it is best to stay calm and communicate clearly when dealing with such people. Heated confrontations aren’t my style hence if the person chooses to continue with their dishonest behaviour (*they could also be too ashamed to admit their wrong immediately), I’d usually tell them that God sees everything or something along those lines and walk away! You may not get your money back but rest assured, it is a victory of a different kind. This should not in any way alter or mess with the natural trust we have for people but simply create a greater dependence on God’s wisdom, discernment and grace.
Trust is a huge word and am learning daily to walk my talk as well! In every situation, God has His way of stirring our hearts to extend grace and continue to trust Him who is able to take us higher in the way we deal with such situations. The refining of hearts is a work-in-progress and fortunately, we are in His loving hands!
Ps: Given the fact that not all encounters of dishonesty/trust are the same, growing in God’s wisdom and grace is a personal journey; one that helps us enjoy life the way God intended us to!
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. ~ Steven Covey ~