I overheard part of a conversation on the bus from Dundee, and I must say it concerned me. One young guy (late teens or early twenties) was telling his mate a story about him finding a mobile phone. He found a relatively new, fancy phone in a public place, obviously dropped or misplaced by its owner. After ascertaining that there was nobody around who owned the phone, he took it home to keep for himself or sell on eBay. He left it on a table, and subsequently his girlfriend found it and asked about it. He told her the story and she said he had to find the owner. He asked her if she was stupid, and said it was valuable and he should keep it. While he's out of the room, she calls up somebody on the phone's memory, asks them who the phone belongs to, gets a home number for them, contacts them, and is shortly in a taxi taking the phone back to them. The guy says she's a stupid bitch and he can't believe she'd do something like that.
I'm not only disappointed in his behaviour, but I'm surprised that he seemed completely unable to see what was wrong with it, and considered what I would call the responsible course of action to be stupid and unthinkable. I can understand people not trying to restore lost items to their owners out of apathy, or the reasonable belief that there is no feasible means of finding the owner (such as with cash lost in the street). But this was ignoring an easy means of returning the item purely out of greed, and in the belief that this course of action was the societal norm.
So, what would you do if you found:
- A wallet, lying in the street?
- A mobile phone, lying in the street?
- A ring, lying in the street?
- £100, lying in the gutter?
- £20, lying in the gutter?
- £20, on the floor in your office/lecture theatre/etc.?
- A tasty looking uneaten kebab, in a bus-shelter on your way home when you're very drunk?
Okay, so the last one isn't really related.