Monday, July 21, 2014

Cookie Corner Question: Over Paid Edition

THE QUESTION: If you were over paid by your employer, would you tell? Inquiring minds want to know.
I ran an unofficial poll posing THE QUESTION. The responses I received were just as I expected.
-Yes. Tell your employer because they will find out.
-No because God was sending you a bonus because he knew you needed it.
-Yes. Tell your employer. Honesty is the best policy.
- No. Their mistake!

There was an extra $500 dollars on my most recent paycheck. At first, I thought that maybe the mistake was a banking error. I logged on to the company website and downloaded my pay stub. It was VERY clear that I had been over paid. My company paid me like this:
96 hours of straight pay
11 hours of sick leave
8 hours of vacation
=115 hours of pay

Really... this is what it should have been:
53 hours of straight pay
11 hours of sick
8 hours vacay
8 hours holiday (4th of July)
=80 hours

Don't get me wrong. I love the extra cash. It always feels great to get more money than expected. During my hour-long commute to work, I contemplated whether or not I should alert someone about this obvious oversight. The yin and yang conversation happening in my brain went something like this...
YIN: You earned that money. You always stay extra and aren't on the clock. You do a lot of things above and beyond the call of duty.
YANG: You are rationalizing dishonest behavior.

YIN: It wasn't my mistake. I didn't over pay myself.
YANG: You are rationalizing dishonest behavior.

YIN: No one is going to find out. And if they do find out, I didn't over pay myself.
YANG: You are rationalizing dishonest behavior.

YIN: If I'm over paid then there has to be others that are over paid. Let them report it to the company.
YANG: You are rationalizing dishonest behavior.

What I ended up doing is calling Financial Services. I wanted to talk to the person in charge of payroll. She's on maternity leave so I spoke to the person that was tasked with the job. He confirmed that what was in my bank account was not a banking error and that the company did pay me what was in my account. Next thing I did was text my favorite person in HR. Anyway, he was blown away and told me -- CHRISTMAS BONUS.... he was kidding. He told that whatever I am paid is from the hours that are uploaded by IT. I know that is just so crazy. There are tons of employees and I'm sure they can't manually check everyone. But maybe they should since I was over paid by 35 hours. Imagine that across the entire organization.

I know this seems like so much trouble to go through considering that this discrepancy was actually in my favor. Nothing was resolved on Friday and they're going to look into it on Monday. They will probably offset my next check to pay back for whatever was over paid to me. I really don't care if they do or if they don't.

The people I polled who were saying that I shouldn't tell my employer are probably wondering, "WHY?"
"Why, you fool?"
"Why would you tell someone that they gave you too much money?"
"Keep the money you bloody fool."
And I have my reasons. I most certainly do.

1. I did not earn that money. I did not work for all of those hours.
2. Based on reason #1, my character is in question if I didn't report the oversight. Honesty really is the best policy. A clear conscience is priceless.
3. It's the right thing to do.

The driving force behind my reasons really has to do with my state of mind. The psychology behind a "hoarder" or someone that would take the money and run is that they conduct their lives from a point of lack. This means that the psychology that drives them is one that says "I don't have enough...."
"I don't have enough so I have to take this money."
"I don't have enough so I cannot share."
"I don't have enough so I have to take yours before you take mine."
...the list can go on forever.

I am conducting my life from a stance of gratitude and that I always have enough. I always have what I need. I don't need to steal to get what I want because I always have everything that I want and need. I want to live in gratitude and resonate all the good vibrations that come from making good decisions. So though I would love to have an extra couple of hundred dollars, I know that I have exactly what I want and need and everything that I desire, I can have WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE.

I don't want to be better than anyone else. I just want to be better than who I was yesterday.

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