Anyway, to make an uninteresting story shorter, I went home and, unable to find it, returned to the restaurant with a bank check to pay up and, of course, they don’t take checks. Busted. So a guy at the end of the bar observed my plight and told the server that he would pay my bill. Very generous. I introduced myself and discovered his name is Andy, who I’ll probably never see again. I offered to repay him, but his only request was that I do the same for someone else. Helping others is its own reward. Nice.
Like you, this kind of thing has happened to me numerous times, only I’ve been Andy in those situations. Having someone to cover for me isn’t something I aspire to happen. So the experience was one where I had a sense of gratitude and expressed it. And it got me to thinking.
Do you know how many times others “pay your tab?” It happens more than you think.
What about the times when you hold on to work too long before you delegate it? Someone pays your tab.
What about the times you miss deadlines, compressing someone else’s time? Someone pays your tab.
What about the times when the quality of your work is subpar and must be fixed? Someone pays your tab.
What about the times you fail to fully understand what is requested and deliver something that misses the mark? Someone pays your tab.
When you “forget your wallet” and someone is going to pay your tab, at least have the courtesy to express appreciation. It’s what professionals do.
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