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A few years ago I worked in a fishing village where I sold tickets for fishing charters and dolphin cruises.I spoke with a customer about grouping with others on an eight hour fishing trip. The customer was an elderly man who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He was concerned with his inability to stand for long periods of time and his occasional problems with grasping objects, but deep sea fishing was his life-long dream. I had an answer for every concern. Though I was trained to fill the charter, I was excited that he was going to have a great time on one of our boats. We had seats where he could set on the outside and close to the rail if he got tired, and we had two deckhands that were very friendly and down to earth. The conditions seemed perfect. However, the trip grew over the day, and there were about 25 anglers on the boat. The deckhands were outnumbered, to say the least. To make matters worse, the seas picked up to five foot waves in the middle of the day from a strong wind. The elderly man hooked a fish. He yelled for help, but both deckhands were tied up with other anglers. In his weakness, the elderly man lost the rod and reel overboard. Since the rod and reels were supplied by our charter company, he was required to pay for them. He chose not to fish for the rest of the trip, and was escorted to my office by the captain for payment after the boat docked. I was in shock, embarrassed, and for the first time in my life, I stood up for a person regardless of what it meant for my job. The captain was the business owner's son, and I told the owner what happened. He was angry that his son was made out to be the bad person, but with me offering to pay for the expensive rod and reel out of my check, the owner dismissed the problem. Sometimes, morals must override business.
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