The Five Dollar Argument

I was at a self-serve checkout when I noticed someone had left $5 in the money collection part of the machine. I had an internal argument which went something like this-

  • Just take it before anyone notices!
  • No one is going to come back for $5!
  • What if someone does come back?
  • What if someone sees me take it and judges me?
  • What if this is a test?
  • Act like you didn’t see it and then collect it with your own change.
  • If you hand it in, the money will just go back into the super wealthy supermarket.
  • You could do with some extra money, think of it as a prize!
  • I don’t need it, someone else might need it more than I do.
  • You’ll look like a fool handing over $5.
  • You’ll look like a fool taking $5.
  • It’s not free money, it’s not on the street, it’s still in the shop, it’s not mine.
  • It’s better to be an honest person, maybe I will be rewarded in some other way.

I ended up calling over the shop assistant and I told her someone must have left the money there. She seemed a bit confused but took it. I don’t know what happened to it after that.

What would you have done?



6 thoughts on “The Five Dollar Argument

  1. eeeeps, no fair a test.

    The only person entitled to it was not likely to get it back, the amount too small I think for them to return and ask. A larger amount should be left with the store, but witnessed too so it didnt vanish…. like the 5 dollars likely did.

    so I would take the money and chase them down, running down the street waving my arms over my head screaming so they would.. uhm stop… but they would look back and see me running and screaming and then realize I lived across from them and spied on them through the window at night… *giggles*

    I think you did the right thing, you are happier with yourself with that decision and who is the person you have to live with.. your only true judge?

    • Haha, excellent response!!
      If I had seen the person before me walk off without the money I would have probably called out to them or got the sales assistant to chase them down (to avoid being recognised as the jeepers creeper!) but the register was empty before I got there.

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