Grateful father thanks Farmington outdoor pool employee for her honesty in returning overpaymentMost days, when the admission window opens at the Farmington outdoor pool, Andrea Pellicci is there to take the money. “Four dollars,” she tells kids. And usually, that’s what she gets — four dollar bills. But that’s not what happened one evening last week.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Most days, when the admission window opens at the Farmington outdoor pool, Andrea Pellicci is there to take the money.
“Four dollars,” she tells kids. And usually, that’s what she gets — four dollar bills. But that’s not what happened one evening last week.
It was the later part of the week. Mark Chartrand and his wife were down at the pool with family and friends. At one point, their older son, Tony, decided to go back to the family’s home, which is just down the street. Their younger son, Brandon, age 5, decided to tag along.
Brandon went home with his brother, but then changed his mind. He told Tony’s girlfriend he wanted to go next door, but apparently decided to go back to the pool.
Now, young Brandon knew he had to pay $4 to get back into the pool. He’s spent a lot of time down there, father Mark said. The hitch, though, is that Brandon’s not quite clear on his cash denominations just yet.
The lad went into his mother’s purse to find some cash for admission. What he found was indeed cash – $1,400 in large bills the Chartrands had set aside for their mortgage payment.
He put the loose bills into the side pocket of his swim trunks and headed back to the pool.
Pellicci was at the window, like usual. Little Brandon came up to the window and handed over his money. He handed Pellicci four $100 bills.
It caught her by surprise, to say the least.
“I said to him, ‘That’s a lot of money. Where did you get it?’ He told me, ‘My mom gave it to me,’” Pellicci said.
That still didn’t seem right, but when Pellicci and some co-workers tried to tell him it was too much, the boy pulled out another wad of cash from his pocket.
“He had more in his pocket. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Pellicci said.
Pellicci brought Brandon into the office, and asked if his parents were at the pool. Brandon said yes, his dad was there. Pellicci put the money in a bag, then followed the boy out to meet his dad.
“I just saw my son coming back, and I was looking for my older son,” Mark said. “I hadn’t even seen (Pellicci) yet. When I did, I just thought she was walking over to make sure my son found me. When she handed over the cash, I was rather surprised to see her hand that money to me.”
To say the Chartrands are thankful is an understatement. On Monday, Mark went to city hall to talk to parks and recreation director Randy Distad about the incident. Mark’s words of thanks were not lost on Distad.
“We’re very proud of our staff at the outdoor pool, especially Andrea for the way she handled this situation. Honesty and integrity is what we really try to promote at the outdoor pool, and obviously Andrea lived up to those standards. We’re very proud of how she handled that incident at the pool,” Distad said.
To Mark Chartrand, a simple thank you just isn’t enough to describe how grateful he and his wife are.
“It kind of feels good to see there are still some good kids out there. Every time we see her, we thank her. She’s special. We really do appreciate her looking out for us,” he said.