As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Nothin’ better than being trusted

Anyone who’s lived outside of the US will nod their head when I make the big bold claim:  Americans must be the most trusting people on Earth.

I’ve written about examples of this here and here. I’ve got a piping hot example from today.

I ducked into Dunkin Donuts for a coffee.  Just as the man behind the counter started pouring, I realized I did not have my wallet.

I call out: “Hold on!  I don’t have my wallet.”

Dunkin guy (continuing to pour):  “Don’t worry about it.”

Me:  “No, really.  I have nothing to pay you with.  Nothing.”

Dunkin guy (handing me the coffee):  “Don’t worry about it.”

Me (smiling, flustered):  “Seriously?  I’ll be back to pay.”

Dunkin guy:  “Don’t worry about it.”

Wow!  I did go back.  It was easy…turned out my wallet was right out in the car, in plain view, on the seat of the ol’ unlocked ’64 Rambler.

Double sweet.

6 Responses to “Nothin’ better than being trusted”

  1. Sara

    Here’s my “don’t worry about it” story…

    I made my semi-annual, slightly neurotic trek to the Big Box store the other day and it was a big coupon day. (Needless to say, at checkout, I couldn’t find my coupons in my purse….they must have dropped in the freezer section as I reached for those Weight Watcher fudgicles, # 14 on my list.) I began to plead with the cashier with the dreadlocks that if I could just run back and look, I’m sure I could find them. I really wanted to find them… I had been so prepared for this big shopping trip, my list, my coupons, my schedule! He said in his Creole accent with a brilliant smile, “don’t worry about it.” No really, I said, it will just take a minute. Don’t worry about the coupons, he said. I have 11 family members back in Haiti who we can’t find. These are just coupons.

    • julespieri

      Oh man Sara, that man sure put things into perspective didn’t he?

      I have to also add that the Dunkin man had a foreign accent, but I didn’t point that out because I consider him American because he lives here. He might come from a very trusting home country too, but he took that act of generosity here in the US, so I called him American.

  2. Dan Weinreb

    My car’s “you are low on gasoline” light on the dashboard is rather inconspicuous, and in the first few months after I bought my car, I ran out of gas several times. Twice in Lexington MA and once in Lenox MA, a total stranger helped me out, taking me to a gas station or fetching a container with gas. I was surprised and grateful every time.

  3. Dennis

    Why couldn’t that DD employee be working the desk at my small town local library yesterday. I went there to check out a couple of books and found I owed $ .90 in late fees. I had just given my last buck out for a coffee ironically and I didn’t have anything in my wallet. I fully expect the librarian to offer “don’t worry” or “bring it in next time”. NADA! She sent me out the door with the pleasantly voiced adage “we can hold these for you”. I contemplated sitting on the library green with my empty coffee cup and a newly fashioned sign that read “will work for library fines” but alas settled on going to the bank and coming back to 4’5″ and 100 lb hardleg clerk and paying her the amount in the errs.

    • julespieri

      Dennis–I laughed out loud at your story. Especially when you reported the physical coordinates of this little bully.

      I had a similar ongoing saga when we moved from the big bad city to our quaint suburban town. In Boston I got spoiled by librarians who trusted me and checked out books on my driver’s license when I didn’t have my library card, and routinely overlooked fines.

      Then I moved to a small community where late fees and charges for looking up your library card number are apparently funding our streetlights, trash collection,and police and fire fighter salaries. I couldn’t get an inch of lenience for anything. I found myself drifting away from the library. Not reading. Not getting out of the house. Becoming illiterate. In fact, someone else typed this for me.

      See what happens when librarians lose their humanity? A society that goes to hell in a hand basket.


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