My “What Would You Do?” seminars are filled with tough, thought provoking clinical issues. So, I was happily surprised to find the anecdote below in my bin. It is one I will share with my students, but I would also like to know “What Would You Do?”
A number of years ago, I was accosted in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral by a well-dressed and well-spoken man who claimed that his briefcase, his wallet and other valuables had been stolen. If I could lend him $20, he said, he would return the money upon his return home to Kansas City. I handed him $20 and my business card; he gave me his card.
Conversation at dinner that evening considered the likelihood of my ever seeing that $20 again. “No way,” my wife said. “Yes,” I said. The children were split: two yes and two no.
A week later, I received a call from a man asking for the return of his $20. Apparently, my borrower had given his next patsy my card, saying it was his. A $20 contribution for my stupidity/naïveté to a clever con seemed almost reasonable.