Sunday, July 13, 2008

Honesty in Rotterdam

We have just experienced an amazing event here. We had to go through a procedure to become registered as legal resident aliens, that involved a lot of paperwork and payment of fees. We assembled all the documents and the money and put it all in a large folder. We wanted to make sure that we had everything together. I should have separated the money out, but didn't. We hand delivered the paperwork and I pulled out the 100 Euro bills that were inside for the fee. I thought that I had put 7 bills into the folder, but only found 6. Well, I pulled another from my wallet and paid the fee of 662 Euros (or 1.6 x 662 = $1,060). We left and felt good that our papers were submitted, but wondered about the possible missing money. A few days later we received a call from a Dutch brother that had facilitated our paperwork and had written a cover letter on behalf of the church that was part of the packet of papers. He had received a call from the City Hall telling him that they had found a 100 Euro bill with the papers. They asked him if it had been left there accidentally, or was it put in as an incentive (bribe) for faster handling? He told them that it was definitely not put in as an incentive, and that he would call us and inquire if we were missing some money. So, the end of the story is that we got the 100 Euros back from the City and were amazed and pleased that the employee was so honest and caring. They could have easily kept the money. We were grateful and impressed with the honesty.

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