Originally Posted by denverd0n
I hope the dock
master learned a lesson. He should have insisted that the old goat buy the gas immediately, with the promise that he could stay for a couple of days if he did, rather than letting him sit there with the promise to buy later on.
The dockmaster was an extremely savvy "she" but it really wasn't her decision. The people who owned the dock
are loaded (I think it was old Philadelphia money
.) so it wasn't really that big an issue from a financial standpoint. The profit margin on even a thousand gallons of diesel
isn't worth them getting too excited about. Plus, there is no other fuel
dock in the harbor so they didn't lose any business from other locals and transients, it was just an inconvenience for other users because it required more maneuvering. I only mentioned it because it was one of the many underhanded things, such as borrowing the car to go shopping
for a few hours and then not coming back for 7 or 8 hours, that he did while he was in town. I suspect that the old coot did have some serious connections and that's why he initially was allowed to stay with the promise to fill up all his tanks
later. But, connections or no, he quickly wore out his welcome, both with those of us who frequented the dock, and his crew.
Obviously, when dealing with a disgusting creature like this, you have to be careful to not let them take advantage of you so the "cash up front" approach is the only one that works. But most people I come in contact with are honest and I'd hate to go through life suspecting everyone of trying to scam me and always taking preventive measures to avoid that actually happening. I understand that it's only good business to get agreements in writing, but considering a case like this where nobody yet knew his character and the dock owners weren't going to lose any money
, I hope they didn't "learn a lesson" and start making every transient pay up front and never taking anyone at their word.
Just how much to trust is always an interesting question and we all have a different approach that probably depends a lot on how and where we were brought up. I happen to live in a place that has the lowest crime rate in the country so my approach has undoubtedly been shaped by that fact. Someday I may have to change but I'm 57 now and it's worked for me so far.
I think the world is a more pleasant place if folks first instinct is to default to trusting others at their word until they prove otherwise. Yeah, with that approach once in a great while you get burned a little, but you'd be surprised how infrequently it happens, and lots of other times you get a really good feeling by living in a world where you trust others and people trust you and expect you to keep your word, and you always do. Those who don't soon stand out and nobody will befriend or do business with them under any circumstances.