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Ethical Condiment Conundrum…SOLVED!

New "Dip & Squeeze" vs old "foil" packet - image courtesy of Heinz, Inc.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an ethical dilemma surrounding my patronage of Chick-fil-A eateries and securing extra packets of Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup packets with the intention of using them at other restaurants I frequent.

My question to readers, was whether or not I was stealing from Chick-fil-A when I asked my server for the extra condiments

The feedback I received was split down the middle.

Half of the readers thought I was stealing because I was not consuming the ketchup within the restaurant.

The other half said I was not stealing because  there’s no written law requiring a buyer to consume the entire meal at one sitting.

Furthermore, how can you steal what you’ve openly asked for and been given without any kind of coercion??

There were valid arguments on both sides of this burning ethical issue.

To help resolve my cognitive dissonance and inner turmoil, my wife took action.

This Valentine's from my wife was more than ketchup - it was peace of mind

On Valentine’s Day she gave me my own package of 10 Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup packets [see second photo insert].

Saints be praise, my ethical issue was resolved!

However, as with most grey moral issues, the resolution of one ethical dilemma has produced another vexing question for me.

The new issue, is whether I should return the original D&S packets that I still have from my previous trips to Chick-fil-A???

Question: Should I give back the extra product that has not reached expiration?

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  1. Hermitofbardstown says:

    I am now convinced you have lost your mind. Instead worry about this: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? :-)

  2. I can only imagine the turmoil this has caused in your personal life and your marriage. I applaude your wife for her action, but I’m wondering if she has not inadvertantly fanned the ketchup flame by feeding your addiction. Those packets won’t last forever. I supposed you’ll tell me you can quit anytime now. In keeping with the trends of society today, I am sure there is a 12 step program for you out there somewhere. If not, you should create one and blog about it.

    • As an Italian-American I believe that I do have a genetic predisposition toward tomato-based products – don’t judge me, I was born this way! Regardless, this is a burden that I’m forced to bear. I hadn’t considered the fact that my wife has enabled this addiction…what’s a man to do???

  3. Well, since I have never (and would never) patronize Chick-Fil-A, I suggest you return them on a Sunday. Given your post of yesterday, that should provide you with abounding future dilemnae… since they are closed on Sundays.

  4. haha, this is indeed, a difficult ethical dilemma. (a friend of mine designed the Heinz upside-down bottle. strangely this feels like a “claim to fame”!)

  5. Whew, this dilemma was keeping me up at night!

    Given the idea that food items returned must generally be discarded even if unopened, I’d say keep them and use them. It would be a waste to do otherwise.

  6. Tor, you clearly write for those with a conscience (or are bothered by one). I’ve discovered some folks have found ways to simply turn their conscience off. The deed is done and you have the ketchup packets. Enjoy.

    On the other hand, those of us who can’t find the off switch would suggest you walk into a Chick-fil-A, ask for the manager and demand to pay for the packets taken. Once done, you can go home a free man.

    In the end, the choices we make are a reflection of our values, and have nothing to do with Chick-fil-A or the ketchup packets.

  7. I’m glad you have a wife to keep you honest. Who knows what havoc you might wreak in your community? Illicit condiment rings would take over the region!

  8. lol how on earth is this an ethical dilemma? Your not a member of that particular organization so ethics is out of the question. As far as morals go, you asked for it and they gave it to you, i mean, its not like you held a gun to your servers head….right? Although i have to say you seem kinda serious about your condiments >_>

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