Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary: Mary Killen

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary: Mary Killen

Article excerpt

Credit: Mary Killen

Q. A friend regularly hires a stall at a general neighbourhood market in order to sell surplus second-hand clothes and women's accessories. She recently sold one of her handbags to a regular customer whom she knows quite well. Subsequently she realised that she had left her day's takings in the handbag (quite a sum of cash). The customer has since been back a number of times but never mentioned the contents of the bag. My friend is now too embarrassed to ask outright, partly because she is only 99 per cent sure that she left the cash in the handbag. What should she do?

-- J.W., Sydney

A. Why not assume the woman's innocence and say, next time she appears at the stall, 'I have a terrible feeling I put the day's takings into that handbag you bought a few weeks ago. Could you just check?' While the customer would have been within her legal rights to keep the money, the woman who owns the stall is giving her the chance to do the right thing. In any case she will at least set both their consciences at rest.

Q. How should you answer when someone asks you directly what you earn? It almost never happens but recently sharing a drink with a group of like-minded (I thought) colleagues with good senses of humour, I spoke frankly. …

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