That’s Just How I Roll

Speaking of the deck, I wanted to share a little story... A little story about how I roll..

Remember what the TRUE purpose of this blog is...

"I am keeping this blog as a collection of thoughts for my children
(but others are welcome to enjoy too).... "

So, I share this story - not so much to "toot my own horn" - but more for a "future lesson" for my children on the importance of doing what is right.  Doing what is right - not because you have to, but because you SHOULD.


Two years ago we bought a Patio set for the deck.  We found a decent price on a table and six chairs - to keep the set in our budget, we held off buying the umbrella.  While shopping for the remaining supplies to finish the deck last week, the Mother of Five and I stumbled upon what we thought was a pretty good deal on a matching 9' market style umbrella.  

We took a couple of days to ponder the purchase, and made the decision to buy it.  Upon returning to the store - I had difficulty locating the "stock" for the displayed umbrella.  It was both displayed and stocked in a "loft" area of the store, but try as I might, I could not find the stock.  I asked an employee who was passing by on their way to "lunch break".  Stating that she was not from this department and unfamiliar with where things were at, she called someone from that department to assist me.

IMG_0717 That employee (from the ground floor) told me where to find the umbrellas.  Sure enough, right in front of my eyes were two large boxes with that stock number printed on it!  I picked up the large box, and started making my way back downstairs.  On the staircase I met the employee from the department who was on his way up to help me.  He saw me struggling with very large and heavy box and offered his help.  He also advised me of an elevator that was not too far away.  I thanked him, but told him I would not need his assistance.

I carried this big box on my shoulder, and by the time I made it to the registers, I was really feeling the weight of the package.  I wondered why it seemed so heavy, but I told myself that this was a much larger umbrella than I was used to dealing with.

We were rung up, checked out, and I again picked up the box to carry it out to the van.  Upon arriving at the van (and prior to loading it up, the Mother of Five suggested that we open the box and verify that we had received the tan umbrella, and not the green umbrella.

I set the box on the ground, and noticed on the side of the box, the weight rating for the package.  It said 36 lbs.


I know I am not in the best shape of my life.  I also know that the box I was carrying wasWELL over 36 pounds.

I began opening the package, and the first thing that caught my eye was the fabric of the umbrella... Green!  Argh, we did not want the green... Now I was going to have to haul this tremendously heavy "36 pound" package back into the store, grab the tan umbrella, and haul that one back out.

But, then I noticed something else...

I noticed a tan umbrella too!  Not just a tan umbrella, but as I peeled the cardboard back from the end of the box, I noticed THREE tan umbrellas, and THREE green umbrellas...  A grand total of SIX umbrellas in this one box!

Yeah...  36 x 6 = 216 lbs.

No wonder I was struggling so much... I was carrying over TWO HUNDRED POUNDS !

I started checking all over the box - wondering what happened, how I could have missed this...  After all, the cashier scanned the bar code on the box, and it came up as one unit, not six..  Finally, in one spot on this huge box, in very tiny lettering, it said "carton contains six retail units".

It was not just me that missed this... The department employee missed this, and the cashier missed this too!

Now, since I had my tan umbrella in hand along with two more replacements, and three green umbrellas (i.e. potential "Craigslist" postings) I could have loaded the entire box up in the van, and headed out.

Would I / Could I have gotten away with it?  Yes.  Undoubtedly.

IMG_0716 I could have justified it by saying it was an honest mistake.  That the employee did not notice it.  That the cashier did not notice it.  That it was their fault for not doing so, But, that option never really occurred to me.  Folks, that is NOT how this "Father of Five" rolls... I knew what the "right" thing to do was.

So, after the Mother of Five and I had a good laugh about it, we grabbed a cart, and loaded the box into the cart (there was no way I was going to carry those 216 lbs (even though I just did it) back into the store unaided)!  Once back in the store, a quick check in with the front end manager, and several "thank you's" later - we had our ONE (much lighter and easier to carry) tan umbrella, and were on our way.

I went to sleep that night with a clean conscious, and feeling pretty good about how I handled this situation.


  1. Doing the right thing is its own reward. Congratulations on setting a good example not only for your children, but for all of us.

    I applaud your efforts, even while I cry into my frosty one over the potential profits lost. Now if only we could convince businesses and governments to behave the same way!

  2. "Now if only we could convince businesses and governments to behave the same way!"

    Amen to that Goofdad... AMEN, I say to that!

  3. That's what I call manning up. No wonder you are such a good Dad.

  4. Before I totally forget, I just wanted to pop in and wish you a happy National Telecommunicators Week! Hopefully your department does something nice for you!


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