Last week, some of my colleagues were paid by the government, and they got credit alerts from their accounts. Some of them were paid twice for the same month, presumably by computer error. Many of them spent the money.
Let me explain.
The federal government wired the money directly into the recipient’s accounts. By some human or computer error, some people were credited twice for the same month- double payment.
Many of those people spent the money immediately it came in, either making ATM withdrawals or online transfers. They didn’t ask what happened. They didn’t request clarification from the bank. They went ahead and spent someone else’s money.
A few hours later, the mistake was rectified, and the banks withdrew the balance of the money. For those who had emptied their accounts of the windfall, their accounts were charged, making the accounts overdrawn. When next those people receive money, the balance will be paid from there.
I heard about this incident when the affected people complained on an online forum.
I was aghast.
How can people just collect money that isn’t theirs? With no attempts at finding out the source or rectifying the mistake, they withdrew the money.
These people are my peers, my colleagues. They are not rich by any standard, but they shouldn’t be desperate enough to steal, which is what this is.
Say I go to the bank to pay money to Person A. Instead of paying into Account Number 00567, I make a mistake and pay into Account Number 00667 and the money goes to Person B. If any of those people received my money in error, would they go to the bank and make a report? Would they help me retrieve my money? Would they just withdraw it and spend it?
People are so inconsiderate. Did any of those people think about the consequences of collecting that money? The workers who could be sanctioned or fired for making that error? Perhaps they felt entitled to the money because it was paid out by the federal government. It’s everybody’s money after all, their share of the national cake.
We’re all shouting about the corruption of our leaders, but the same corruption has eaten into the hearts and minds of the people. We young people have not had good examples, but we might end up being worse than the thieves and looters in power today.
I cannot take money that isn’t mine. I wasn’t brought up that way. I’m not particularly religious, but I have a healthy sense of morality, and I believe in karma. The people who do this: have they no fear of God? How about morality? Or a conscience?
It’s not even that any of those people had extenuating circumstances to justify their actions- hospital bills for an ailing family member, perhaps, or imminent eviction for nonpayment of the rent. No, it was just greed.
The love of money is the root of all evil. Life is hard, and it seems to be getting harder by the day, but it’s no reason to abandon our values, our moral compass, for a few bucks.
What do you think? Am I being too judgmental about this issue? What would you do if you were paid twice or received a payment in error? Let’s discuss in the comments.