October 13, 2005

Moral Dilemma

I left the local grocery store today and found a $50 bill at the edge of the parking lot.
Picking it up, I had a flash of monetary problems in my life and how welcome this boon would be at this time and place.
Hesitating, I found myself walking back into the store. The moral thing to do, I thought, would be to turn the bill into the office for retrieval by whoever had lost it.
The line to the service desk was long, unfortunately, since it gave me a lot of time to think about what I was doing.
Then I realized (due to the store policy of my second retail job) that the money would revert to the store and not to anybody else. Besides, how was somebody who claimed the loss to prove that they had dropped a fifty dollar bill outside the store?
So, I crumpled the bill in my fist, walked back outside and wondered what to do. I stood by my car for about 20 minutes searching for anyone that might be searching for something lost.
Nobody materialized.
So I stashed the bill in my pocket and drove off.
Did I do the okay thing?
I mean, this is fifty bucks which somebody else could have been counting on to maintain the next several days of their life (of which feeling I know quite well lately). But who to turn it into? How to return to the rightful owner?
I have no idea. All I know right now is that I am $50 in the black which is something I wasn't a scant few hours ago.
But I can't let go of the questions this brought up.

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