Last week the UPS man delivered a nice big box to me. I did not recognize the return address.
I began unwrapping the package and was very impressed with the billowy quantity of tissue paper and bubble-wrap. This is breakable--cool!
I carefully removed the final layer of bubble-wrap only to find a beautiful and quite expensive item. (The exact nature of the item shall remain untold to protect the sender.)
The next layer of the package contained an advance copy of an unpublished book and a query letter from a hopeful author. The author said that the beautiful item was a gift. Jon looked at the beautiful object and said, "You have to send it back."
"I do?" I said, cradling said item and getting quite fond of it. "Why? I didn't order this; it's a gift."
"No," he said. "It's a bribe."
"That's so cold," I sniffed, setting the lovely thing on my hutch. (It looked quite beautiful there, glinting seductively in the waning afternoon sun.)
"It's gotta go," he said.
"But, I'll have to pay postage for a thing I didn't order! It's not fair!"
"No, it's not fair," he said. "Send it back."
I'm not going to tell you the rest of the story. What is the ethical thing to do? What would you have done?
I'll tell you what I did in the next post.