IT could have been his lucky day, but Michael Edwards chose to follow his grandmother's advice to be honest the day he handed over more than $200,000 he found while checking in a customer's Audi Q5 SUV for servicing at ATL Automotive recently.
"I have my bills to pay and back-to-school expenses for my daughter are hitting me hard, but my grandmother always told me that honesty carries you through the world," Edwards said.
Edwards' job as service gate monitor is to check and record the contents of customers' vehicles as they enter the Service Department, a position he has held at the company for the last two years.
"I was taking pictures of the vehicle and when I opened the glove compartment some huge coils of money fell out. I was surprised that someone had left so much money in a car, so I took the money to my manager," he recalled.
Edwards prides himself on being an honest, hard worker. "Some people believe that ghetto people are dishonest. But I wouldn't just take someone's money and run off with it because I don't know how they got it, so I will continue to work for mine," he pointed out.
Having worked at other automotive dealerships, Edwards — who has been performing similar roles in the industry for the last 15 years — says he has found other valuables in customers' vehicles, including jewellery and mobile phones.
"In all these years, no customer ever complained about missing anything from a vehicle that I've checked," he disclosed.
Edwards said his track record of honesty landed him the job at ATL Automotive when his former boss, Brian Stevenson, was appointed managing director. "I used to work for Mr Stevenson at Motor Sales and I'm grateful to him for taking me to ATL with him," Edwards said.
In commending Edwards, Stevenson said his honesty demonstrates his commitment to the company's 'Unbeatable' slogan.
"Michael is an outstanding example of the calibre of employees at ATL Automotive. Not only do we have the best vehicles, but also the best service from staff members who are efficient and trustworthy," Stevenson said.