Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: fnygrl on December 14, 2012, 04:54:09 PM

Title: Found Money
Post by: fnygrl on December 14, 2012, 04:54:09 PM
Hello, ehellions!

I frequent a local coffee chain and I found a one-hundred dollar bill on the floor of the establishment before ordering my drink .  The manager happened to be working and I brought it to his attention and gave him the money in case the person who lost it returns.  Today, while at the same establishment, another worker said, "I hear you found money yesterday" - so other employees were made aware of my findings.  She also mentioned that she believes the money was put in the safe.

I was on the phone with my mother this afternoon and shared the story with her and she said it's her understanding that if no one comes back to claim the money that it's mine.  Is she correct in thinking that?  Do I ask the manager what happens to the money if it's not retrieved? 

Thank you all for your input!
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: rose red on December 14, 2012, 04:59:08 PM
If you bring the money to the police, you get the money after a certain amount of days if not claimed.  I think the same rules should apply. 
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: alkira6 on December 14, 2012, 06:08:50 PM
In a wonderful world it would, but the 4 times I've turned in found money it was never claimed but it never became mine either  :'( , though in one case it did fund a pretty sweet Christmas party, so there is that.  ;D
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: WillyNilly on December 14, 2012, 06:10:59 PM
I'm pretty sure you are never going to see that money again. Hopefully it gets put in the employees tip pool at least though, not just the manager's pocket.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Seraphine1 on December 15, 2012, 04:54:25 AM
I found a diamond pendant in an 18K setting once - I took it to the police and they told me that if it wasn't found, it was auctioned off at the end of the year and the proceeds go to... wait for it... the police department.

So I take it that there's not much impetus to actually find the owners of lost property then! 

Next time I should find something valuable, I'll find the person myself.

Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Venus193 on December 15, 2012, 07:03:03 AM
I once found $40 on the floor of the ladies' restroom at the office.  I asked the receptionist on that floor to put the word out without telling her how much it was.  Three weeks later nobody claimed to have lost any money, so I kept it.  During the interim it stayed in my desk drawer in an envelope under the tray that held pens, paper clips, etc.

In NYC no police station is going to make an effort to find the person who lost a $50 bill in a public place, so I say keep it with a clear conscience.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: camlan on December 15, 2012, 08:23:30 AM
I'm pretty sure you are never going to see that money again. Hopefully it gets put in the employees tip pool at least though, not just the manager's pocket.

You never know. The manager could be holding the money, waiting for a customer to come in and ask if anyone found it. That might be why all the staff know about it.

When I worked in a large university library, we had a couple of wallets turned in to our desk. They all had money in them. When the person who owned the wallet claimed it, they were always surprised that all their money was still there.

There are a lot of honest people out there.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Sharnita on December 15, 2012, 08:43:40 AM
OP, did they ask you for contact information? To me that would indicate a lot about their intentions.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: WillyNilly on December 15, 2012, 09:18:11 AM
I'm pretty sure you are never going to see that money again. Hopefully it gets put in the employees tip pool at least though, not just the manager's pocket.

You never know. The manager could be holding the money, waiting for a customer to come in and ask if anyone found it. That might be why all the staff know about it.

When I worked in a large university library, we had a couple of wallets turned in to our desk. They all had money in them. When the person who owned the wallet claimed it, they were always surprised that all their money was still there.

There are a lot of honest people out there.

There's a big different between a whole wallet and a single bill though, no matter how large the bill. It would never even occur to me to ask if someone found money I'd dropped, I doubt most people would look for it. A wallet is a different story though.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Raintree on December 15, 2012, 08:01:35 PM
I found a wallet when I was a teenager. It had $80 in it. I turned it in to the police. To my surprise, a few months later the police called and said nobody had claimed it, so I should come in and take the money. I couldn't believe it.

But if I found cash on the floor of a retail store or some public place, I'd likely keep it. There is no way of determining whose money it was. At most, I might let management know that if someone comes looking for it, here's my phone number. (And they would have to know the amount in order to claim it). Why should the store get to keep it? (And I wouldn't trust them not to). I guess it depends on the amount, though. If I found $10 I'd be less likely to make a big deal of it by calling management, vs if it were a large wad of cash.

Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: JenJay on December 15, 2012, 08:22:49 PM
I found a purse while I was working at a grocery store. I took it to the book keeper and asked her to put it in the safe until I could get ahold of the owner. When the lady showed up she was extremely upset and then extremely relieved. Apparently there was about $1k cash in there - she had been on her way to do all of her Christmas shopping.

I found a wallet with over $600 cash in it, lying in the parking lot at a walmart. I tried to call the number on his ID but it was disconnected. I went inside to the customer service desk and told them I was taking it to the police station on X street so they'd know where to send the owner if he came looking for it. As it turned out he came bursting into the station just as we were leaving. I've never been thanked so much in my life (He told us the cash was an insurance payout and he'd been inside purchasing items to repair his bathroom after a flood!).

No offense to the employees at that walmart but there was no way I was leaving $600 cash with anyone but a police officer. When I worked 24-hour retail I was told NOT to turn lost money in at the office because, according to two of the ladies who worked in there during the day, it would always mysteriously disappear overnight anyway (lots of people in and out on both the night and overnight shifts).  :(
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: 25wishes on December 16, 2012, 01:39:21 PM
I think I might be inclined to keep it, although I would wait on the premises to see if anyone came back looking for it.
 A single bill, the owner probably has no idea where they lost it.

A wallet with identifying info, I would 100% try to get it back to the owner with all funds intact.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 16, 2012, 01:59:00 PM
Hello, ehellions!

I frequent a local coffee chain and I found a one-hundred dollar bill on the floor of the establishment before ordering my drink .  The manager happened to be working and I brought it to his attention and gave him the money in case the person who lost it returns.  Today, while at the same establishment, another worker said, "I hear you found money yesterday" - so other employees were made aware of my findings.  She also mentioned that she believes the money was put in the safe.

I was on the phone with my mother this afternoon and shared the story with her and she said it's her understanding that if no one comes back to claim the money that it's mine.  Is she correct in thinking that?  Do I ask the manager what happens to the money if it's not retrieved? 

Thank you all for your input!

If this happened to me, I would just try to forget about it. I wouldn't follow up on it later, or "expect" to get it back if no one else claimed it. Not that you would be demanding it back or anything, of course, but if you just put it out of your mind, then you'll be pleasantly surprised in the unlikely event that they give it to you. And, in the much more likely event that you never see it again, you won't be disappointed.

For some reason this seems like weird advice to give, like I'm telling you how to think.  :P As far as I'm aware there's no consistent rule, tradition, or etiquette governing this. So, that's just what I personally would do.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Bijou on December 16, 2012, 07:19:04 PM
If you find it in an establishment I wonder if it is the same as finding it on the street.  It does seem that the establishment owners have some kind of claim to it.  I don't know.   It could have been dropped by someone who works there or by someone who is in some department transporting money belonging to the business. 
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: baconsmom on December 16, 2012, 11:54:55 PM
I once found $20 on the ground at a gas station. I kept it: there was no way to tell whose it had been, and I worked at a neighboring station, so I knew the employees were not always the most scrupulous.

A couple days later, I came out of work to find a woman parked next to me with three tired kids in the car. She asked if I had any diaper coupons - just that. But she looked so sad and tired that I couldn't imagine she was in a good place.

I gave her $20.

I say, if they do give you the money (or you find some and keep it), pay it forward.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Bijou on December 17, 2012, 01:48:06 PM
I once found $20 on the ground at a gas station. I kept it: there was no way to tell whose it had been, and I worked at a neighboring station, so I knew the employees were not always the most scrupulous.

A couple days later, I came out of work to find a woman parked next to me with three tired kids in the car. She asked if I had any diaper coupons - just that. But she looked so sad and tired that I couldn't imagine she was in a good place.

I gave her $20.

I say, if they do give you the money (or you find some and keep it), pay it forward.
I like what you did with the money.   :)
I'm a big supporter of paying it forward, although I thought that refered to something you received and benefited from, then passing the good fortune on to someone else.
We found 14 dollars in the alley and years later still have it paper clipped together.  I guess the owner wouldn't be asking if anyone found it at this point, so it's time to donate it to something.  We figure on giving it to the food bank or maybe the hospitality house a block up from us. 
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 17, 2012, 02:05:13 PM
I've found money of note (more than a quarter) only once - I found a twenty dollar bill on the floor in an empty corridor when I was volunteering at the hospital in high school. I asked the volunteer coordinator what I should do with it, and she said I should keep it, as there was no way to know who dropped it in that spot - it was a high traffic corridor, but empty for long stretches between rushes.

That funded my lunch for five days in the cafeteria. That was five days mom and dad didn't have to pay for me to volunteer. It worked out very well. :-)
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: sweetonsno on December 17, 2012, 04:56:19 PM
I can't answer whether or not the money is "yours" if nobody claims it. This may in fact be a legal question as well as an etiquette question. Rather than speculating on the legal bits, I encourage you to look up your local laws on found property. (Some of them are rather surprising.) For instance, when I was in my early teens, I found a money clip with cash in it at a local park. I have no idea how much was in there, but the police said that if I wanted to be able to claim it, I would have to post an ad in the paper for two weeks. That is what constituted a "good faith effort" to find the owner.

I think that the proper course of action is to find out what the law is in your area and then approach the manager. If you are legally entitled to keep the money,mention it and ask that they keep your information in the event that nobody claims it, or (if you must turn it in to the police), ask that they do that. I don't see anything wrong with calling the police station and explaining your situation and asking them what your rights are in this situation, either.
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: fnygrl on December 29, 2012, 04:23:37 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions.  I'm sorry for my delayed response.

I frequent this coffee shop at least once a day, so there was no need for them to ask for my contact information, as they'd see me anyway.  I have seen the manager who I handed the money to, but there was never an apporpriate time to ask him about the money as he was busy with other costumers or duties in the store.
I have asked a few workers if they know or had heard if the person came back to claim the money, but they either answer with an, "I don't know" or "no".

So nothing has changed since I last posted.  Just wanted to say thank you and "updated" you on the matter.

Thanks for listening!
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: gramma dishes on December 29, 2012, 09:22:36 PM
It's such a tough question.  You KNOW you are honest, but you can't always know for sure if the person you turn the money over to is as honest as you.

I think I'd probably keep the money, but I'd tell the store manager that I found some (not exactly how much) and that if someone came in and inquired, to please get contact information and you'd take it from there.

It's a hard call. 
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 31, 2012, 10:18:49 PM
Honestly I think I personally would just step over the money and keep walking... I actually did that the other day, to a dollar bill on the ground. I don't need, financially, to pick up dollar bills from the ground; maybe the next person who comes along does, and it will be great for them. Unless there's someone five feet further on, digging frantically in their purse, there's very little way to accurately determine who the cash belongs to--not by me, the police, a nearby store manager, etc.. And that's assuming everyone involved is completely honest and invested in returning the money. So basically it's a choice between me keeping money I know isn't mine, or me giving it to other people when I also know it isn't theirs (like a store manager). Or, you know, just stepping over the money and walking on.

Plus, honestly, I think I've just seen too many heist movies.  :P I watched a really lame one the other day where a guy found literally a suitcase full of cash--a hundred thousand dollars or whatever--on the side of the road... the same day as a bank robbery nearby... and he promptly decides to take it home and spend it with his wife upgrading their dingy lives, with this "miracle money." I was really kind of rooting for the robbery-associated hitman in the end... Granted, I don't think times are hard enough yet to send a hitman to retrieve a dollar bill, or even a hundred dollars. :)
Title: Re: Found Money
Post by: fnygrl on January 06, 2013, 08:17:47 PM
I wanted to update you all about the "found money".  My husband stopped in the coffee shop the other day and had the opportunity to talk with the manager whom I gave the money to.  My husband was told that, as it turns out, the cash register was short almost one hundred dollars and it was their money after all.  Of course, there's really no way that in the place and way I found the money could it have ever come from their register (it would almost be like the "magic bullet" and "grassy knoll".  Ah well.  It wasn't mine to begin with, so it's no loss on my part. 

Thank you all for your help and input!  I appreciate it!