The parable of the shrewd Goodwill cashier

The parable of the shrewd Goodwill cashier September 30, 2013

This is a story from last week:

Collier County (Fla.) deputies say 19-year-old Andrew Anderson was an employee at a Goodwill store in East Naples — he was arrested for giving out discounts.

… The 19-year-old was an employee at Goodwill Retail and Donation Center in East Naples — giving out discounts to customers he thought were in need.

“People would come in on bicycles — wearing all of the clothes they had, coming in with $2, $3 max,” Anderson said.

Not thinking anything of it, Anderson would cut prices in half, leaving families with a smile.

“I wasn’t actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it,” Anderson said.

… Store officials fired Anderson and reported the incident to deputies. They arrested him Tuesday and charged him with grand theft.

After Goodwill’s petty vindictiveness brought down the wrath of the Internet, the company desperately backpedaled and dropped the charges.

“After completing our internal investigation we have determined that the individual’s actions were not for personal gain, but rather for the benefit of others,” the statement read.

I will leave it to the reader to decide whether it is coincidence or providence that this occurred the same week that the Gospel reading for the common lectionary was the Parable of the Shrewd Manager — a story in which Jesus oddly praises a servant for handing out unauthorized discounts (“Blessed are the tricksters” indeed).

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