I recently got a part-time job as a waitress at a diner, just for some extra cash. The diner does not have a register, therefore when a customer pays with cash, I'm responsible for giving them back the correct change. My day job is at a local bank; I travel to the branches that are short-staffed. You'd think that I would be comfortable doing quick math, but I'm not. So one day when I was at a branch, I saw a cute little calculator that would fit perfectly in my apron, and I took it. I went on vacation the day after. I was gone a while and when I got back to my day job, there was an e-mail from a woman asking if I had taken her calculator "by mistake." Instead of admitting I'd taken it, I wrote a really nasty e-mail back telling her I don't take things from people. I was such a smartypants that I told her if the calculator was so important to her then, if she was a good girl I'd get her one for her birthday.
I feel so bad. I'm looking around every corner for the payback on that one. Can you help me?
-- Afraid of Numbers
We posed your question to our friend Boyd, who's also known as the Most Honest Guy in the Western Hemisphere. His advice: Return the calculator and send an apology note to the teller, even if she presses your buttons. The Karma Cleanser tends to think that you're eating enough crow with the waitress gig, so another option is to simply leave the stolen goods in a place where the owner is likely to find them.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
I have the ultimate conundrum: A box of chocolates was delivered (inadvertently) to my house during the holidays. The sender had the address wrong and I don't know the person or where they live. They arrived before Christmas, and I have made zero effort to do anything with the chocolates in question. They have sat on my kitchen counter and I walk by them many times every day. I am looking for you to keep my karma flowing positively. Should I return them to the sender? Or eat them in gluttonous delight and never look back?
-- Wracked with Indecision
First of all, yours is far from the ultimate conundrum. Sure, it's a delicious dilemma, but it's not like you're choosing between life in prison or losing a limb. Anyway, place a call to the delivery agent, asking if they're willing to pick up the package and re-deliver. If not, dig in. Life, after all, is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get. And sometimes, you get a box of chocolates.
Been bad? Take your evil out for a spin: firstname.lastname@example.org.