Breaking the Rules, Busted by Barney Fife

During a big sale many years ago when I was working in retail sales, the staff was covered up trying to take care of customers. One of the challenges was to keep change in the register. Noticing the smalls bills were about gone, I took out a $100 bill and started to the front, but was approached by a customer. So instead of putting the bill back in the register, I stuck it in my pocket and took care of the customer, after which I went to get the change. Later that day, a young manager (I think his name was Barney Fife) confronted me about not having on my suit coat. I told him the heat was unbearable. He argued that it didn't matter because the dress policy required coat and tie. I said the policy was not always practical, and I told him about the $100 bill to illustrate my point. He left and in a few minutes, I was called into a meeting with several managers who were making some serious accusations against me. In fact, I had to talk pretty hard to save my job, even though I was the number one salesperson in a multi-state region for the second year in a row. I was in disbelief and embarrassed.

I have thought about that incident for a lot of years and now wonder if accusations are motivated by the following:
  1. Genuine concern for good outcomes,
  2. Need for personal significance (Barney Fife),
  3. Smoke screen - to distract from personal behavior, or
  4. Transference of immoral disposition to another in the same way a thief or liar suspects others of stealing or lying.
Whatever, hurt as I was, I didn't miss a step, because I knew what was in my heart.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 10A23