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Author Topic: Should people be rewarded for doing the right thing?
Anchoress
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posted 05 September 2004 07:33 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There have been two articles recently that have really stuck in my mind: both examples where people found large quantities of dosh ($170,000 and $15,000 respectively), triumphed over humankind's most banal fault - greed - and returned the money intact to the owners.

The woman who returned the $170,000 got a reward of $50 - story HERE (login dumbass3, password dumbass) - whereas the three teens who returned the $15,000 got $500 each - story HERE.

The funny thing is that the person to whom the $170K belonged was dead, so those who served to gain from the return were the beneficiaries of his will, whereas the person who lost the $15K - it seems from the article - didn't even *own* the money, as he said he would have been 'on the hook for it' if it hadn't been found.

I certainly don't think that people who 'do the right thing' should expect to be rewarded for it, but I *am* surprised when people who - despite their own negligence - profit - or at least have their keesters saved - by people who show excellent character, don't see a generous reward as at the very least the cost of doing business.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 05 September 2004 09:45 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I found that kind of cash laying around, I'd assume it was from illegitimate sources, and I'd likely keep it.

Very quietly.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 05 September 2004 10:06 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The assumption that it's from illegitimate sources, and thus fair game, seems reasonable. You'd have to be careful how you spent it, though. If you suddenly started spending money like a drunken sailor with no change in your occupation, you might attract unwelcome attention from the authorities.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 05 September 2004 10:11 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ya, I mean I've bought a house, cars, and settled my Dad's estate, and never found a reason to carry large sums of cash around for those transactions.

As for staying under the radar, that might be a challenge for some, but not for me I think. The challenge would be finding a secure place to stow the cash without getting swollowed up by paranoia.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 September 2004 10:11 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not surprised to hear that the meanies in the first story were heirs. There is something about the word "inheritance" that turns an awful lot of people into selfish obsessives.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 05 September 2004 10:15 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
Ya, I mean I've bought a house, cars, and settled my Dad's estate, and never found a reason to carry large sums of cash around for those transactions.

As for staying under the radar, that might be a challenge for some, but not for me I think. The challenge would be finding a secure place to stow the cash without getting swollowed up by paranoia.


A safety deposit box comes to mind, though there's still a problem of how to use that much cash.


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 05 September 2004 10:22 AM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I *am* surprised when people who - despite their own negligence - profit - or at least have their keesters saved -

I agree, and have postulated before that I think, in fact, the world's salaries should be in accordance with one's demonstrative humanitarianism (nice people do better, mean people must pay). This thread reminds me of my favourite media mirror of myself, The Simpsons.


quote:
"pulling a Homer" becomes a new expression meaning "to succeed despite idiocy".

[ 05 September 2004: Message edited by: steffie ]


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 05 September 2004 10:29 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd spread it around. Some in a safe deposit box, and some I'd slowly convert to collectable coins. They don't degrade over time, and you can store them about anywhere. And there's a chance they may go up in value in the long term.

And some for some mad money.

I would not bury it under a "Big W". I've seen what mad cap mayhen that can bring on.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 05 September 2004 10:53 AM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My feeling on this tough dilemma depends on whether or not the money can be returned to its owner without calamity. For example, was the money reported missing before I found it? I'm just playing out attempts to return something such as currency. How would one sift through the respondents claiming "Yeah: that's my money!" ?

If it was reported as, say, proceeds from crime "misplaced" by police, then of course I would keep it!! The circle of Crime must not be broken!


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 05 September 2004 02:02 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Decades ago, when I was a poverty-stricken student, I found a woman's wallet, complete with cash (don't remember exactly, maybe $40), ID and her paycheque. I called her and she came and got it. She was very grateful, but I was a tad pissed off she didn't flip me ten bucks or whatever. She came to my place, she could see how broke I was. At the time, I thought, hell, if I ever find a wallet again, I'm taking the cash.

But then years after that my wallet was stolen out of my purse at work. I didn't even know it was gone til I checked my home phone messages and heard a weird message about my wallet. It had been dumped through the mail slot of a nearby business, minus cash and credit cards. I went to get it and I was so freaked, I didn't even think of rewarding the nice people, and of course, there was no cash to do it with. A couple of days after, I took a big box of bakery goods over to the good-neighbour business.

Now, I dunno. A person's wallet, yes, I would return intact. Just cash though? It would depend. . .


From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 05 September 2004 02:19 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I recently lost my purse and it was, thankfully, returned. I offered a reward of about $20 to the person who emphatically refused it. There was less than $100 in the wallet but it was more the photos, pictures, memories, credit cards, cheque book etc in the purse.
From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 05 September 2004 02:48 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
If I found that kind of cash laying around, I'd assume it was from illegitimate sources, and I'd likely keep it.

Very quietly.


During the Depression, my unemployed grandfather found a whack of cash in the gutter of a street in Kitchener. He turned it in to the police. The Chief of the Fire Department found out about this and gave my granfather a job on the Department -- which saving his family from living close to starvation.

Six weeks later, he got the unclaimed cash.


From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 05 September 2004 08:19 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some issues to consider.
Until you turn it in, you don't where the money belongs.
If it is the proceeds of a crime, either it was stolen or gotten by by drug-dealing, gun-running or illegal gambling.
In the first case, it might be the weekly receipts of a small business, or a payroll. Even supposing it's insured and you're only taking it from a rich insurance company, the victim's policy might be cancelled or their rates raised beyond the capacity of their profit-margin.
In the second case (and possibly the first, as well), the criminals are probably looking for it. Do you want them looking for you?

Then again, there may be no crime involved. The manager of a restaurant was taking the money to the bank, when he was hit by a car, rushed off to hospital... A not-altogether-with-it senior citizen has been saving up for his heart surgery. Someone finally got enough together for a down-payment on a house. (There are still people who don't like or trust banks.)

Yeah, i'd turn it in, and sleep a lot better.
But if the owners offered me a reward of $50 on $170,000, i think i'd throw it in their face.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 05 September 2004 08:29 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But if the owners offered me a reward of $50 on $170,000, i think i'd throw it in their face.

LOL What happened to, "doing a good deed is reward in itself"? I'd feel the same way. I am pretty broke. If I found a bag of money, say in a park or on the street, I'd probably keep it. The purse issue is totally different. I had my purse stolen with 2 weeks pay in it, along with makeup, cards, ID etc. Thankfully, all pieces were returned, along with most of the cash, but not before some sleuthing was done by me and my friends. We caught the guy who stole it at a nearby bar; he was caught because he was wearing a ring that was in my purse, which I could identify.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 05 September 2004 08:59 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend of mine once accidentally threw out an envelope full of cash. She realized it a bit too late, went rushing after the truck and spent a couple of hours hunting through the dump. When she found it, she gave each of the G-men who helped a $20. She only got back about $40, but it mattered, and so did the effort the guys put in.
Reward is always relative. In some situations, it feels wrong to accept a monetary reward; in others, it's the most polite thing to do.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 06 September 2004 01:23 AM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In some situations, it feels wrong to accept a monetary reward; in others, it's the most polite thing to do.

Maintain universal flow.
When someone gives, it is generous to receive,
For in the giving,
Much is gained.

From Joan Brady's Heaven in High Gear, New York: Pocket Books, 1997.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 06 September 2004 01:41 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Years ago when I was a working student, I was in a hallway in my work area when I saw some trash and boxes. Out of curiousity I looked in one of the boxes, and saw a (cleaned out) wallet belonging to one of one my profs. I brought it back to him with my condolences, and the next day he gave me an envelope with $50 in it. I tried my best to refuse, but I was in danger of offending him so I accepted it.

Thing is, he was practically a surrogate grandpa to me and many other students, and there's nobody that wouldn't have taken the 2 minutes necessary to walk the wallet back to his office for him. The fact that I found it was a bit of luck, coupled with my curiousity I guess, but it's not like I chased a crook for it, or resisted the temptation to keep his ID. I didn't feel I deserved anything, and would have preferred to let even a tiny good deed be its own reward, but I suppose I had to balance that against letting him have his closure too.

Anything I considered spending that $50 on seemed wrong, and I'm sure it ended up going toward the light bill.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kevin
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posted 06 September 2004 02:19 AM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've lost my wallet before and the lady that found it was kind enough to do her best to return it to me, which made my day.

Since then, I've had a policy of returning 100% wallets that I find. I also do not like to accept rewards. And somehow both my father and I find wallets wherever we go, even places like Osoyoos when we're on vacation.


From: Simon Fraser University | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 07 September 2004 12:13 AM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've lost a set of car keys -- are you or your dad free this weekend?
From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kevin
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posted 07 September 2004 01:10 AM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always wanted to see Toronto...
From: Simon Fraser University | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Dief
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posted 09 September 2004 04:47 AM      Profile for Dief     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The best story I ever heard about 'finding money' was a case in Ohio. Some guy was driving down the street behind an armoured truck. The truck's rear door opened, they hit a bump, and out rolled two big bags. He stopped, grabbed the bags, and then tried to catch up to the truck.

But it was gone.

Two or three days later he contacted the bank, and returned the money.

The papers were all full of stories about the delay in returning the money. Finally someone asked the guy who found the money why he delayed the return.

He said that he called the bank, whose name was on the bank bag, to return the money, right away. However he got lost in the bank's voice mail system, and could not reach a real person. He kept calling, but could never get through.

Finally he took the bags back in person.

After dealing with many voice mail systems, I think this is a great story.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 09 September 2004 02:28 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know, of all the possible outfits that might have lost money, a bank would be the one leaning me the most toward not returning it. Wallets is real people--absolutely they must be returned. And unidentified cash--well, it could be from someone who needs it bad or lost by someone who will be in big trouble. But a bank? If they're negligent, evidently they don't deserve that tiny chunk of their unimaginably brobdingnagian profits--especially the portion they got from service charges.
And if I didn't return it, I'd just go out to movies and restaurants a bit more, and save a bit more money every month. I generally pay cash anyway. So some of my grocery cash and all of my restaurants cash would come from the found money. I'm living a little better, but it's real hard to track differences in my spending except that I'm hanging onto a little bit more per month, withdrawing a little less from cash machines. It just looks like I found a way to save a little money. And I'd wait a while before I started of course.
The problem with the coins gambit and similar switching-the-money-over methods is that it just defers the issue. In the end you've got something valuable that isn't the money itself, but if you try to spend/cash in much of it the question remains--where did it come from? Better to spend it as cold cash in little traceless bits, and end up keeping a bit more of your own money. Then if you make any major purchases, you use your own money, earned completely aboveboard.

From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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