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Monday, 5 February 2018

The best policy

It was an experiment by a regional credit union to test the honesty of people in Atlantic Canada. Twelve wallets containing $100.00 cash, bus tickets, a debit card, receipts and contact information for the owner, were left around the four Atlantic provinces in eastern Canada. Nine of the twelve wallets were returned to the owner, a great result! This story reminded me of an experience I had with my mother years ago.


Mom never used a credit card or cheques. She paid for everything with cash or through the bank. She’d take money out of the bank to pay bills etc. at the end of every month. Besides, bank day was a social occasion!





Every summer after Dad died, I spent some time with Mom. We traveled throughout the province of Newfoundland over the years, stayed in hotels or bed and breakfasts, toured around to see the sights and visited friends and family. We each enjoyed our excursions which always ended at my home.


One year, Mom’s house and car insurance bills were due as we headed for our annual trip. She took the cash from the bank to pay her bills and some extra money for her vacation. She had about $2000.00 in her purse. We headed to pay the insurance but I had to stop at the mall first. While I shopped, Mom waited on one of the benches. She laid her purse down next to her. When I arrived back, I passed her a parcel to carry for me and when we left, she forget her purse, leaving it on the bench.


At the top of an escalator we realized Mom’s purse was back on the bench. Panic set in as we headed back down there, within five minutes. The purse was gone.


This was a huge loss for Mom who was not wealthy. She would have saved all year to pay her insurance and have a vacation. We were devastated.


“Maybe someone turned it in to Lost and Found,” I said. “We’ll check there.”


Neither of us knew where the office was so it took fifteen minutes to locate. Sure enough, a man had turned in the purse with everything in it. We had passed him on the way into the office so Mom was able to thank him and give him a small reward. There are good and honest people in this world and we were fortunate to encounter one that day.


“Mrs.,” the man said to Mom, “you shouldn’t carry so much money around in your purse.”


After that experience, Mom had a debit card. When she died, I found small amounts of cash in various places around her apartment. She never did use the card.


 




38 comments:

  1. It's a cashless society more and more. We went to the movies last week (saw Paddington 2) and I had money in my hand to buy the ticket, but no..... could only buy a ticket through a machine just inside the door.
    Your mum was very lucky that an honest person found her purse, could have been much worse, But I think most people would have turned the purse in to the lost and found.

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    1. I like to think most people would return the purse too, Shammi.

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  2. Thank gawd for honest people! It is SUCH a horrible, sinking feeling when you realize you've left your purse behind -- I've had that experience several times. Always turned out well . . . so far (touch wood).

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  3. It does the heart good to read such stories. But old people, eh? Wait a minute, I'm one of them. So nevermind.

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    1. I know, AC. I am just a few years younger than Mom was then.

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  4. Next time I lose my wallet I'll make sure to do it in E Canada!

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  5. Such a good story. There are honest people about even in a shopping mall. Love it.

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  6. Amen! I am so glad your mom got her purse and contents back! I used to get cash out each month for my groceries at one swoop. After a few times the bank asked me to come in and get it (I used the drive-up window) as it was a high amount and I guess they needed more time or something...not sure. Andrea

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    1. My problem today is I rarely carry cash and I need it sometimes, Andrea.

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  7. very heartwarming. Not enough people like that gentleman.

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  8. They did the same wallet experiment in the city I work in 6 wallets, 3 in the north end 3 in the south end. The north end of the city is known to be lower income etc. the wallets from the north end were never recovered but the south ones were.
    I lost my purse once and had driven quite a ways away before I realized. Panic definitely sets in, I didn't live in the best area at the time but my purse was returned with nothing missing. I was so thankful!

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    1. I am glad you got your purse back, Jenn. Many people have similar stories.

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  9. My faith in humans has been restored. What a great story. My Dad also always used only cash! Have a good week, Diane

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    1. There are lots of honest people around, Diane.

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  10. What a nice story. I never heard of an experiments like those you mentioned. It's wonderful that the result was a positive one just like your mother's.

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    1. There was similar experiments done in various parts of the world, Bill. I believe the best results were somewhere in Scandanavia.

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  11. Very lucky that an honest person came across it.

    I vary between cash and debit. I only use my credit card maybe at most, once a month, and that's just a purchase of a book or an item or two of clothing.

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    1. I work the opposite way, William. I have little cash!

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  12. A moving story that ended well. There are more good people in this world than not that's for sure. And looks like time spent with your mother was such an adventure, seeing the world and all. Really heartwarming, and sorry about your loss.

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    1. Thank you, B. It’s ten years this year and I miss her everyday.

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  13. It is good to hear that there was a honest man. Your mother was lucky. She is beautiful with her lovely smile.
    This post reminds me of my mother-in-law 97 who has been living with us,me and my husband.
    She never used a card. She used to carry cash in her purse. Now she is very old and has forgotten using money. She spends most of her time in her room. I still find small amount of money in various places in her room when cleaning her room.

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    1. The preference for cash crosses cultures in the elderly, Tomoko.🙂

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  14. Old habits die hard Marie. I had a similar experience to your mum except it wasn't case I was worried about it was my credit card and all the other things we carry in our wallets these days. I was lucky too, someone had handed it in intact. You must miss your mum a lot Marie, I do mine, she lived close by and I saw her everyday.

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    1. Even after ten years, I still miss Mom, PDP.

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  15. These are very heartwarming stories, making me realize that there are still a lot of honest people out there. Thank you for the uplifting post. :-)

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    1. You are welcome Jan. I hope you find such a person if you need one.

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  16. We need encouragement today, FG.

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  17. I love to hear stories that end like this - it keeps my faith in my fellow humans alive. My mother does the same as yours did - everything in cash. Always. This is a good memory of your mom.

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  18. It's nice that so many of the wallets were returned. It's a higher number than I would have expected, but I work in the court system, so I'm sure my view is probably a little more cynical.

    That would have been devastating if your mom's purse hadn't been returned. I very rarely carry much cash with me, but hubby and I have both had our bank cards hacked a few times. We both bank with credit unions, so we get the money back eventually, but it's still not a fun process. I can't imagine trying to live with the guilt of taking someone's money.

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    1. The number of returns was higher than I expected too, Danielle.

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