The Eaves Damage to the U-Haul Truck

A delightful friend rented a truck to help his aunt with her move.  He did not take the insurance coverage for the truck because, as he said, “I know how to drive!”  Safety tip for renting moving trucks:  Your auto insurance probably doesn’t cover you!  The large truck proved to be a challenge, and my friend scraped the back top of the truck on some eaves as he turned a corner rather inartfully.  There were two thoughts that came to his mind:  (1)  That’s gonna be expensive; and (2)  Should I try and hide this from the rental guy?  Oh, that second thought!  There is that little part in all of us that doesn’t want to ante up and another little part that believes we can actually dupe the other guy so that we need not pay for something that really is our responsibility.But my friend drove proudly into the U-Haul rental center and pointed out the hole, the scratch, and all the damage in all of its uninsured glory.  The initial response from the rental guy was, “Wow!  That’s bad!”  Then he paused and said, “Im not going to worry about it.”

My friend wonders how different the ending might have been had he not ‘fessed up.  How different this generous soul of a rental manager might have been had he discovered the damage after my friend skedaddled and/or skulked out of there.  Kudos to my friend for resisting that nasty part of us that thinks we can pull the wool over on someone.  High-fives to a friend who overcame a temptation that meant he had to cough up considerable scratch to make things right.

What a week the Barometer has had courtesy of those who do enough introspection to apply this simple, but powerful and decisive rule, “If I were the U-Haul manager, how would I feel if someone tried to hide damage from me?”  The fog that interferes with ethics is lifted once again.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
This entry was posted in Ethical Dilemmas, News and Events. Bookmark the permalink.