ON Thursday night I was at the supermarket buying the family's Easter eggs (because that's just how well organised I am) when I was pulled up with a question of honesty.
As I was trying to choose between bunnies and bilbies, and trying to keep out of the way of a harried-looking attendant trying to keep up with the drain on the chocolate stock, a woman walked up with a young child who was happily munching on what looked like a large slab of Easter egg.
The harried attendant noticed, and exclaimed, "Is he eating chocolate?"
The mum didn't skip a beat: "Oh yes, he loves that stuff ... it's okay, though, the egg was already broken."
Do you think taking and eating a piece of broken Easter egg at a supermarket is stealing?
This poll ended on 06 April 2015.
Yes, and can't believe anyone would see it differently! - 89%
Yes, but it's not hurting anyone, so who cares? - 5%
No, it's not stealing, it's helping them get rid of their rubbish. - 4%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The attendant gave the sort of look you might expect from someone who had just been unexpectedly slapped with a wet fish and started to protest.
I wandered off and I'm not sure hot the exchange ended - I saw the attendant a few minutes later, once again immersed in her stock frenzy, so I assume she let it go. Really, what could she have done?
However, it's been bothering me ever since.
I was brought up with the idea that a thing wasn't yours - meaning you hadn't made it, bought it, or the owner hadn't given it to you - then taking it was stealing.
Clearly this view is not universal and I can certainly see the argument that taking a piece of broken Easter egg, which can't be sold, is harmless.
Equally though, I can see any supermarket with a policy allowing shoppers to help themselves to broken Easter eggs will quickly find itself with more broken eggs than whole ones.
All that, though, is irrelevant before one simple fact: broken or whole, it's the supermarket's egg.
It may decide to give its broken Easter eggs to the children of customers (presumably customers it doesn't like), it may donate them to charity, or hold a broken Easter egg party for staff. It may even, gasp, chuck them in the bin. Regardless, it seems to me it's not okay for someone to just help themselves - no matter how much their kid likes chocolate.
It really doesn't seem all that complicated to me.
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