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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Is your greed tanking our economy?

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Aya Fubara Eneli

I was holed up in a hotel working on my next book. In much need of a break and a caffeine boost, I make my way to the lobby where the hotel offered complimentary coffee for its guests. As I poured my coffee, a woman walked in, headed to the coffee stand, and began to put handful after handful of the coffee creamer and sugar in her bag. I looked right at her and she mumbled about what a coffee drinker she was and how she was taking it up to her room for later. Really? You need 4-5 handfuls of free cream and sugar for your coffee?

As I walked away, I was disgusted by the greed that would cause someone to think it is acceptable to abuse the goodwill of the owner of that hotel. What may have seemed like no big deal to her can literally be the difference between hiring one more person in that hotel or laying off another. Items cost money. Just because it has been out for your use does not mean you should stock your home at someone else’s expense.

I see this same kind of abuse at restaurants and with people and businesses receiving any kind of government assistance or incentive. I recently went to a restaurant with my family.  4 of the 7 orders we placed came back with items missing or completely wrong, we even got an extra dish we hadn’t ordered. On pointing the mistakes out to our very nice waitress, she apologized, immediately took care of brought out the right orders and provided to-go boxes for the ‘messed up’ orders because as she put it, “if you don’t take it, I will just have to trash it.” At the end of our meal, she asked if were a military family We told her we are not. That didn’t stop her from applying a military discount to our bill in addition to all the free food we were given. My husband explained to her that we are not military, but she said she wanted us to have the discount anyway.

I am all for the favor of God in my life, but I had to wonder if the owner of the restaurant knew just how much of the restaurant’s profit was being lost through inattention and the sheer generosity of the staff. I asked for a manager, but he or she seemed occupied with more serious business so I left.

There are lots of examples of people taking advantage of businesses and the government. People file false insurance claims or pad legitimate claims. Businesses overcharge for services or cover up substandard work at the expense of the tax payers. Businesses falsify records to qualify for incentives or to weasel out of covering certain costs. Switzerland and the Cayman Island have made fortunes off the stolen money squirreled away in accounts in their countries.

On a walk on a trail at a local park, a man began to offer me unsolicited advice on how to ensure that I get my maximum benefits from the government as a disabled veteran. I’m not sure why he jumped to the conclusion that I am a veteran or disabled, I am neither. Curious, I let him continue. He told me he sets aside 3 days each week to call and visit as many doctors as he can get access to. “The more you are in their face with your problem, the more disability you can get.” I inquired as to the nature of his disability, after all, he was hoofing it up the hilly part of the trail just as I was. He said he hurt his knee while deployed and he has decided that Uncle Sam owes him and he is never going to work again. True story. So, I had to ask him, “Who is Uncle Sam?” He looked perplexed. I continued, “Where does Uncle Sam get his money to pay out? If we all choose not to work, how much longer before Uncle Sam stops paying you?” He called me some choice names and stormed off.

It is all well and good for the little people to point accusatory fingers at Wall Street, CEO’s of huge corporations who draw bonuses even as pink slips are being handed out by their organizations and legislators who seem paralyzed by their own agendas, however, as much as we need to encourage ethics and morals among leaders, we also need to examine our choices and actions and how they may be adversely impacting our world.

What is the paper you “take” from your office for your kids’ projects costing your employer? What is the cost of the extra 15-20 minutes you tack onto your lunch time every day? Fraud is fraud at any level and on any scale and it all exacts a financial toil on our businesses and government. You and I may think we are immune, but eventually, we will feel the brunt of our collective actions. Where do you stand?

Aya Fubara Eneli is a best-selling author, Christian Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Attorney. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. She and her husband live in Central Texas with their five miraculous children. For more information or to participate in her upcoming teleseminar, visit www.ayaeneli.com, follow her on twitter @ayaeneli or e-mail her at info@ayaeneli.com.

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