BSA, GEN: Bad Experience with "Trustworthy"
Mon, 21 Nov 1994 10:50:36 -0700
Saturday, I had an annoying and saddening experience involving the
"Trustworthy" point of the Scout Law.
As the last stop on the day of swap-meets and craft sales, I dropped
my wife off at a craft sale in a residential neighborhood, and went
to park. The neighborhood was not "exclusive" or "well to do", but
it certainly was "upper middle class". There were no city sidewalks
there, and the mailboxes were right at the curb. And that is where
the problem originated.
Finding a space big enough for my van to parrellel park, I backed in
to the parking space, watching my mirrors for ANY obstruction, and
began to turn, when I felt a crunch. When I got out to see what I
had hit, I discovered the mailbox at a 30 degree angle off of
perpendicular. The mailbox had been set on 2 1" steel posts, located
less that one foot from the curb. Had there been a sidewalk there, I
would not have hit it.
So, in an attempt to be honest (and "trustworthy"), I went to the home-
owner and indicated the problem. He came out and inspected the damage
with me, and said that it would have to be welded. I saw previous
damage at the base, which he discounted. To shorten the story somewhat,
he "requested" $20 for the purpose of "having the post rewelded". His
Needless to say, my wife was NOT happy. Anyway, after talking about
it for a while, I attempted, without success, to negotiate the cost.
So I gave the homeowner, who I had found out during the conversation
was a COP, the $20 and returned to the car. As we were pulling away,
my wife called my attention to a BRAND NEW CONCRETE PAD, WITH SUPPORTS
FOR A MAILBOX. It was about 6 feet from the other, next to a tall
Needless to say, I am furious!
Was what he did legal? It probably was. Was it moral? I have serious
doubts. In any case, I have decided that this man is a dishonest COP.
The fact that he avoided any mention that the mailbox supports were being
replaced, and demanded the cost of doing a job that he knew would no longer
be necessary pretty much confirms it. While some restitution was probably
in order, I feel that my honesty was taken advantage of. BTW, the material
that I saw there probably cost about $15 or less.
How can I tell a boy that if you break something, you should "own up" to
it, when I now have serious doubts about doing so again.
Chuck Bramlet, ASM Troop 323,
Thunderbird District, Grand Canyon Council, Arizona
I didn't used to be anything! (Except younger) Maybe someday...
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