Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A few weeks ago, I left a lab manual for one of my classes in the room after I left, and it was gone when I went back for it. It's nothing incredibly important, but I does cost 30 bucks, so I held off buying a new one. I did yesterday get around to going to the lost and found of the building, and checking to see if it had been turned in.

When I got there, I found another lab manual, exact same as mine, and it was found in the very same room. However, looking through it, I saw the writing was not mine. So, regretfully, I told the person it wasn't mine, and she took down my name and number and what I was missing, to give to her boss who was out to lunch.

I left, figuring maybe sometime I'd get be contacted. However, I got an email today, informing me that they have a lab manual, and to come get it. Now, either one of two things happened. One, unlikely, another one was turned in in less than 24 hours. In which case, going to get it, it might be mine even, problem solved. However, the much more likely case is that the person I talked to didn't inform the person in charge that the one they have isn't mine.

Now, the question of morality begins. On one hand, it is not mine, and so I should not take it no matter what. However, there are other things to consider. First being, I have already told them once that it is not mine, and they are still saying come take it. Second, the lab manual they have has been their for about 2 weeks so far, and was brought in around the same time as I lost mine. Third, I lost mine in the first place, and so I wouldn't really be gaining something, I would be getting back to equal, making up what I lost. Also, since it was lost at the same time that mine was, and still hasn't been reclaimed, it suggests the possibility that someone just took mine instead of theirs, and still has it.

All of this suggests to me that I should in fact take it. However, none of that changes the fact that it is not mine, and so I'm not sure.

I faced a similar situation, ironically enough, just a few weeks ago. Last semester, I lost a calculator, just a simply scientific calculator, 20 bucks. A couple weeks ago, I saw one sitting on a chair, no people around. I immediately thought, hey, I should take this, it'll make up for the one I lost. However, I dismissed that because someone else would no longer have one, and I didn't wish that on a person. However, I didn't want to leave it, because I knew if I did, it would be taken by someone else, and the owner still wouldn't get it back. So, I sat down and waited for about 15 min, to see if he or she would show up. No such luck, no one came. So, I took it. However, I left in the same place, a note with my contact info, and a little explanation of how I'd found it and to call me.

No one did end up calling, but I know that I did make a legit attempt to get it back to the owner. What I would like is to find a solution to my current problem that is as good as that, where I get the thing, but without being immoral. However, I don't know if it is possible. I am going to talk to the lady today, and see if she did possibly find a different one or not. I'd love some advice, if you'd be so kind as to leave a comment.

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