On my daily lunchtime walk, I pass a High School. Today, just as the drizzle was trying to decide whether to bother to turn into proper rain or save its strength for another time, I glanced down and saw a sum of money lying on the ground. Crisp new notes, probably as yet unsullied by taking part in any grubby financial transaction.
I was in a dilemma!
Not, as you may assume, about whether to keep it or not. That was never a choice for me. The money was not mine, and despite having a low probability of success, I felt I had to do what little I could to reunite it with its owner. I once had a similar issue with a set of found Porsche car-keys… right next to a tempting unattended Porsche. No, my dilemma was simply where to hand it in.
Glancing around, I decided the office of the nearby High School was the best option. If I’d lost such a sum in the vicinity of the school, I’d probably at least ask there. There was even a chance some poor kid had just lost his lunch money… though there was sufficient cash for a very nice lunch in a reasonably swanky restaurant.
Kids today, eh?!
The secretary in the school seemed completely bewildered when I handed in the cash. Checking that I really had only brought the one “work day” head, I was a little put out. Still, she soldiered on (this was a High School – I’m sure she’s seen many weird things in her work life). I explained where I’d found it and suggested some poor kid might be upset at losing it. As I turned to leave, she insisted I left my name and number. To be fair, there is a vanishingly small chance that the rightful owner will come looking, but it had never really occurred to me that she’d want to return it to me in that case. I hesitated, but divulged the details and left.
No CBC camera crew leapt out and told me I’d won best citizen of the year or anything, but I did feel a little pleased with myself as the drizzle decided to turn to rain after all.
Of course the real problem is yet to come. What will I do when I get the inevitable call telling me the owner never came looking?
I’m tending towards telling them to give it to the school librarian to make a couple of choice additions to their reading matter. I think it’d be quite nice being memorialised in a school book. The point being… I don’t think I could keep the money. It’s simply not mine to have.
What would you have done…?