If you were delivering a load of screws to a construction site and suddenly realized, with horror, that they’d all fallen out the back of your car and were strewn across a major highway, what would you do? Would you speed up and hope to get away? Would you stop and take responsibility, hoping that the people who got flat tires (and potentially got into accidents) didn’t figure out it was your responsibility?
If you’re super salesman Jim Stimpson of Denver, you’d do something entirely different, something remarkable.
In mid-May, Stimpson was driving his Dodge pickup down I-25 in Denver when a packing strap broke and five boxes of 1 1/2-inch screws flew out of his truck and fell all over the road.
That’s 5000 tire-puncturing spikes, something that James Bond might appreciate being able to jettison from his speeding Aston-Martin, but the other drivers on the highway certainly didn’t like seeing appear.
Stimpson didn’t speed up and leave. He stopped on the side of the highway and watched as dozens of cars hit the screws and suffered tire damage. He called his boss at Jones Heartz Lime Co. and got approval, then called his insurance agent to ensure he wasn’t doing something terribly stupid.
Then Jim Stimpson called the local Discount Tire Store and arranged for all the damaged tires to be replaced and billed to the company credit card. It was his responsibility for having the screws fall, and he accepted that responsibility and made right, fixing or replacing tires as needed.
I think this is just a wonderful, inspiring example of Doing the Right Thing.
Which begs the question:
When’s the last time you did the right thing, regardless of consequences?