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Writer's Block: Finders keepers?

If you found a $100 at the library, would you pocket it or turn it in? What about at a diner or pub? Confess!
Let's see, cash in a library book. Cash being untraceable, hmm... I'm torn. Part of me says "Pocket it! Finders keepers, losers weepers! It's no different from finding a $1 or a fiver on the ground." Another part of me would ask the librarian who checked out the book last. Then the first part says "Well if the librarians called them to ask them if they left cash in their book, of COURSE they'll say say it's theirs, whether it is or not! Come on, take the cash! If they're fool enough to put their money in a library book, then they deserve to never see it again!" And then that side would probably win.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
It doesn't say "in a library book", it says "at a library". That is a tough question. I found a $20 on the ground once. :-) But, it was in a situation where there wouldn't've been any way to figure out whose it was.

$100 ... I might ask the librarian if anyone had reported losing a $100 bill.

Related to that: http://ranka.livejournal.com/64477.html
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
I wish I could find $20s on the ground.
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
My guess is that either:

1. The library purges the checkout record once the book is returned. A lot of them started doing that when Homeland Security started claiming they had a right to see patrons' checkout records.


2. The librarian would call the last person who checked out the book and say something like, "We found some property in the book you returned, can you describe it?" rather than "Hey, we found $100 in the book, is it yours?"
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Well that makes sense.
Sep. 10th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Re: library book - true, as ranka pointed out, the cash was not necessarily inside a book. But let's suppose it was. And let's suppose the person who checked out the book last (meaning the library user who misplaced the money) contacted the library - not the other way around as you and others have suggested - to ask about the cash. The librarian might respond with, "sorry, that book has been checked out again; let's see who has it now." And then the trail leads right to you. Oops!

As for the diner/pub scenario, I'd turn it in if it was that much money. If other people didn't witness me picking it up, security cameras probably would, and I'd wind up getting my butt kicked some way, somehow. I'd be tempted to ask around whose money it was, but anyone could say it was theirs, take it from me, and laugh in my face and/or call me stupid. So yeah, I wouldn't get to enjoy a sudden windfall - bummer.

Now if the cash amount was maybe ten dollars or less... that's a different story. My biggest-ever find was a Costco gift card that had $55 on it - lying on the ground with no way to trace its owner. I don't remember what I bought with it, but in retrospect, I wish I'd bought gas.
Sep. 10th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Ah yes. Doing the right thing for selfish reasons. alex_antonin refers to that as "Selfish altruism."
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 10th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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