Monday, April 6, 2009

Finders keepers?

Being a law student has its perks like individual carrels and the occasional free pizza lunches. One of the best perks though is being able to park in the graduate student parking lot which is right next to the law school. As an undergrad, I had to walk twenty minutes just to get on to campus. Which has its perks too. Aside from the health benefits of twenty minutes of hiking up the steep south hills of campus, one day I found a $10 bill in the middle of the street. Today's story is similar.

This morning as I was walking through the parking lot enjoying the feeling of the noticeably fine spring weather, I glanced down and saw a crumpled wad of money. The money was right in the walkway, not by any particular car, and the walkway is used by more than just grad students. Plus, with the parking lot half full already, can I reasonably be expected to find out who the sweet moolah belongs to? So I picked it up and pocketed it. When I got to my carrel, I pulled the cashola out of my pocket and unfolded it to find that there were two one dollar bills. They aren't new, but they have a starchy feel, as though someone forgot about the money in his pocket and washed his pants with the money in them.

I have to confess, it is that starchy feeling that is eating away at my conscience right now. What if this $2 belong to some poor student who has a wife and little kid at home, and they are trying hard to make ends meet, and this was his lunch money left in his freshly laundered pants by his sweet, supportive wife? But then I start to wonder whether this is some trick brewed up by a sociology student - drop money in a parking lot and see how the Finder responds - and then I start feeling dumb, like maybe there was a right answer about how to react, like call out "hey, anybody around here lose any money?". Only there was nobody around.

I am sitting here now with a ridiculous urge to take the two dollars back to the parking lot and drop it where I found it. It's not that I think that the original owner will find and claim it, but somebody else can notice the money and figure out what to do with it, right?

Moral dilemmas on Monday mornings after General Conference feel like pop quizzes.


  1. I definitely think it is the work of a sociology student, because I found two dollars today too! They are out to get us.

  2. So, you didn't push anybody out into the middle of a busy intersection to retrieve the money for you this time??

  3. Depending on which parking lot it is, you could ask Nancy to email everyone about whether they lost it. Or you could take it to the Lost & Found in the Wilk and I'm pretty sure if no one claims it within a couple weeks then you will have first dibs on it. So then you will have your two dollars and no guilt.

  4. If you still feel guilty, I would donate it to a charity. That should correct the imbalance of karma :)

    Though, if you do keep it, since it's only $2, I think you're ok :)

  5. This is funny.
    I think your two options to try to find the "loser weeper" were the lost and found and this Nancy person. But by blogging about, you may have revealed too many details about how you found it to reasonably expect that no dishonest person will be able to claim it. If you will feel better putting it in the hands of someone else, do it. But don't tell if you do. Or just add it to your fast offerings. That's my two dollars--I mean two cents.

  6. I think giving some type of reasonable effort to locate an owner will absolve you of the guilty. My suggestion is to put a note on the group where you found the wad that would read something like "I found your money here. Call me if you want it back." :)

  7. whoops. I meant to type put a note on the GROUND not the group...


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