Honesty, Always The Best Policy

I was listening to American Pie on my iPhone while driving three of my kids the final 75 miles to our home in Washington from our four day road trip to Northern California. The traffic was light and the sky was blue when out of the blue the music stopped and my phone rang. Even though I didn’t recognize the number I answered it since I already had my headphones in my ears. I’m glad I did. It was the manager of the La Quinta Inn & Suites we had stayed at the night before in Eugene, Oregon, calling to inform me that the person who had cleaned our room after we left found a blue iPod touch. He wanted to know if it belonged to us. I knew that my daughter had one like that and a quick question in her direction confirmed it. She didn’t even know that she had left it behind, thinking it was in her bag. After I told the manager it was, indeed, our device, he told me that he would get it in the mail to us later that day. I thanked him again for his call and hung up.

I glanced over at my daughter who was looking kind of sheepish, not knowing if I was going to be upset with her or lecture her. I wasn’t and I didn’t. I told her that I wasn’t at all upset with her. Accidents happen. Heck, I’d even given the room one last visual inspection before we left that morning and I hadn’t seen her forgotten iPod. There was no need for a lecture. She felt bad enough and there wasn’t anything that I needed to say. I just told her she was fortunate that the person cleaning the room was so honest. She smiled knowingly and I put my headphones back in and listened to some more tunes as we continued toward home. As I drove, I thought about how interesting it was that I was so surprised that the hotel employee had been so honest with my daughter’s iPod. After all, that device cost her several hundred dollars (she saved up for it and bought it on her own) and could have easily been sold on eBay or Craigslist for a nice “bonus” for that person who is likely making near minimum wage. But, instead, that person chose to do the right thing. No one would’ve known if he or she had pocketed that device. Instead, that person had integrity. You know, doing the right thing even when no one else is around. Seems like that’s a lost character trait these days. This particular employee, however, got it right. I believe that is a reflection on the company and the management that hired him or her.

I’m not getting any compensation from La Quinta for writing this blog post. They don’t even know that I’m a blogger or that I’m writing this. I’m not even going to make this into a formal review of the hotel, although it was nice. I got a clean room and my kids and I enjoyed the pool, hot tub and comfy beds. The hotel held up its end of the deal. Enough about that. But what really struck a chord with me was how this cleaning person had taken the iPod to the manager who then called me. My daughter learned a lesson without the pain of losing a valuable device while I was encouraged that there are still good, honest people still out there. I’m grateful for their honesty and integrity and will happily bring my family back to La Quinta Inn & Suites on future trips because of this positive experience. Ultimately, the reason I want to share this story with you is that a good report that is publicly shared on social media is the best way that I can say “THANK YOU” to the people involved whose actions ensured a “touching” reunion for my daughter and her forgotten iPod.

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