yinshubackup: (O RLY?)
so, there was this issue on a local Florida jock-radio show the other night, and I kinda keep thinking about it:
A dude on myspace emailed the DJs of the show. Said he found some other dude's wallet, with $380 in it.
He thought about keeping it, but he just... couldn't bring himself to do it, and just talked himself into giving the wallet back. (He found the owner through a dentist's appointment card in the wallet).
So he returns the wallet to the rightful owner, and the owner thanks him and gives him $20 before he leaves. He gave the $20 sort of almost...grudgingly, the guy said (whether this is true or just the guy's perception, I don't know). Then he left real quick, sort of awkwardly.

The finder-dude then emails the DJs with this story and said, "am I wrong to feel bothered that the guy didn't give me a larger reward? I kinda would have expected him to give me about half the cash in the wallet, just for returning it all in one peice. Is this wrong of me to feel this way?"

The two DJ's couldn't agree on the point, so they put the question to the audience- should the finder of a wallet give it back without expectation of reward, or should you give the person money as "incentive to encourage good behavior" (this was the rationale most of the pro-money people were giving, that if you give a "reward" it makes someone feel good and encourages them to be good more in the future)?

Surprisingly to me, many people were calling in with the opinion that the wallet-finder deserves a reward, of at least half the cash in the wallet, one guy even went so far as to have the audacity to suggest that it is a "finder's fee" and he felt he would have the right to demand money from the owner for returning the wallet with everything else still in it.
I think that is absurd- you don't have the "right" to another person's money- if it's not yours, taking it is called "stealing". If you're going to be altruistic and return the wallet with the money still inside (because, you could obviously take all the money, THEN call the owner and tell them, "gosh, I just found it like this on the sidewalk" and they would probably not know it was you that took the money to begin with), then why be half-assed about your altruism and demand a percentage as a "finder's fee"?
You don't know what that person's situation is- maybe they can't really afford to give you a reward, even though they are grateful- but that shouldn't color your decision to give the wallet back or not... if you know it's the right thing to do, you DO it, and if you don't, then don't bother if your conscience doesn't lead you to be a goody-two-shoes.


Maybe that money was earmarked for something important. Maybe they are trying to buy groceries and diapers for the week. Maybe the dude just got paid and needed to pay his bills- maybe if they don't have enough money to pay their bills, they are going to end up paying the amount of the "reward" they give you twice over in late fees to their creditors, and would you really want to put someone further in debt over a stupid "reward" for something that was going to bring you positive karma anyway?

You could say, yeah, well, they couldn't really afford to lose ALL their money, either, but I brought some of it back at least... but that's a bogus argument, because that doesn't mean they need all that money back any less than before you found it- and it wasn't yours before you found it, and it's not yours just because you found it. There is no, "oh, they should be happy they got anything back at all". Either give it back freely, or don't give it back if you're too greedy. Just own your decision, is all I'm saying, y'know? Don't give it back and then be pissed because they didn't give a lot of it back to you...

I don't know. I mean, I was brought up to do the right thing because it was the right thing to do. Not because you hoped to get something out of it. If the owner wants to give you a reward for finding and returning their wallet, that is good and nice and happy, and I think it's probably okay to accept it if they offer one.... but you shouldn't expect it, and stand there with your hand out, because the point of giving it back is that it's considered "the right thing to do" in our society, and wouldn't you want someone to return YOUR wallet if they found it? *With* all the money still inside?
But apparently, I'm in the minority on this issue, at least, to the local way of thinking...

What do you guys think? (all comments are screened unless otherwise requested, because I'm really curious to know what people feel about this...)
yinshubackup: (Default)
This has been a crazy week, and it's not even over yet.

Day Hall has, once again, screwed me over, even though I made EXTRA sure this time to try and get all my ducks in a row, and dot every "i" and cross every "t", and not leave one jot or tittle out.
My adventure this afternoon was basically:

Sallie Mae: Hi, how can we help you?
Me: Yeah, you say the loan's waiting on my school to send info to you, and it may take several days. But it's been several weeks. Can I do anything on my end to speed this along?
SM: Uhm, nope, you can't, and we can't. We're just waiting on your school to give us the go ahead.
Me: So I need to talk to them, eh?
SM: Uh, no. That's not your job. I mean, we can't reccommend that.
Me: So I should go talk to them anyway.
SM: We didn't say that.
Me: Okay, thanks.

Bursar Desk Lackey: Hi, can I help you?'
Me: Yeah, can I sign up on the list to meet with a walk-in counselor?
BDL: Well, uh, what's your problem? Maybe I can help you?
Me: *trying not to say, look, don't get offended, but you're a desk lackey. Ain't no way you can handle this.* O-kay. *I explain my problem, which takes a good 10 minutes, while she stares at me blankly*
BDL: *tries futilely to solve problem that is beyond her scope of responsibility* Uhh... maybe you better sign up on the list to see a walk-in counselor.
Me: Thank you.

Me: *waits an hour watching stupid "Virtual Tour of Cornell" rotating veiwscreen in waiting room, feels properly propagandized*

Walk-In Counselor: Sharon?
Me: yes? *goes back to her office*
WIC: So, I don't know what the problem is. I'll be right back. *goes to talk to Random Colleague*
Me: uhm, ok.
WIC: *returns* My Random Colleague says you're registered for a completely different school here, and on top of that, it's Sallie Mae who told us this.
Me: But I just talked to Sallie Mae this morning and they said I was corre--
WIC: Look, you're just going to have to call them again and confirm your registration status. And when you're done, email Random Colleague and let her know to change your status in our system. We can't do anything until you've talked to Sallie Mae.
Me: Well, why hasn't my loan been certified for disbursement, anyway?
WIC: Oh, that. Well, we're still waiting on your parent's tax return.
Me: What? They got an extension this year. I filed all the alternate required paperwork. You should have that on file. Don't you?
WIC: Well, yes, you did. We do.
Me: So, did I get anything wrong? Did I misfile any of it?
WIC: No, oh no, you didn't do anything wrong. We just still need this information, though.
Me: But I followed your instructions, so you shouldn't need anything else-- and furthermore, if my dad has an extension, he has an extension- I can't force him to file faster-- I have no control over this. We've done all we can do.
WIC: Yes, well, I'm really sorry, but we can't finish putting together your financial aid package without his return.
Me: but you have the numbers-- a copy of the extension and a signed estimate of earnings-- I filed all the correct paperwork.
WIC: Yes, but we exist to make your life difficult. We need that peice of paper you are powerless to provide, or we won't take our money. And we'll punish you for our failure.
Me: So, in your online system, all this time, it's been telling me my application is complete, and all my forms are complete, and yet there's another peice of paper that no one told me, or even was going to tell me, that you needed? And I was supposed to pick up this info by... osmosis?
WIC: yup, that's about the size of it.
Me: So, are you still going to charge me the $200 late registration fee, since this doesn't seem like it's going to be resolved by friday (the deadline)?
WIC: Yeah, probably.
Me: What the f***?! Can I get that waived?
WIC: Uhm, I don't know. You'd have to talk to your counselor.
Me: *stares blankly* You're not my counselor?
WIC: Oh, no. I'm just a walk-in counselor. All students are assigned by last name to a specific counselor. You'd have to talk to her, and see if she can get that waived for you.
Me: Well, where is she? Can I go talk to her now, or do I need to make an appointment for tomorrow?
WIC: Oh, she's out of the office for the rest of the week. She won't be back till monday.
Me: MONDAY?? But-- the deadline is-- friday- how am I supposed to....
WIC: Here, fill out this form, detailing your problem and why you think your fee should be waived, and I'll leave it on her desk.
Me: O....kay. So then, do I need to follow up with her on it?
WIC: Oh, no. She'll take care of it. You don't really have to come talk to her about anything.
Me: Okay. *makes a mental note to DEFINITELY come talk to her about it on Monday*

Me: *leaves office with absolutely NOTHING resolved*
Me: Hello, Sallie Mae? I'm calling to check my registration status?
Sallie Mae: Sure. You are [completely correct registration info].
Me: Are you SURE? because I just talked to my school, and they said you said I was [incorrect info].
SM: uhm.... nope. I have you as [correct info, yet again.]
Me: *weakly* uhm... okay.... thanks.

Me: *goes and writes immediate email to Random Colleague, so hopefully at least my registration status will be fixed-- although one can't be too sure. I should probably follow up with her on monday as well.*


This is a very condensed version of how the conversation went in my head, anyway.
In real life, of course, I was much more polite and well-mannered, because you can't exactly finesse bureaucrats with irate shouting-- although I desperately wanted to, believe you me. But this was pretty much the naked gist of it.

And this was only 2 of the frustrating hours in my day. I just find myself all out of steam to write anything more right now.

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yinshubackup

August 2010

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