I stop at Walmart at least once a week, sometimes more. I like to stop in the morning on my way to work because there are no lines at 8 AM. I can get what I need and get out in 15 minutes, unless I’m looking for cards or clothes, or better yet – books. Then I could be there awhile!
During a recent stop, I found a neatly folded $100 bill near the health and beauty aisles. There wasn’t anybody around, so I picked it up and put it in my pocket, then continued my shopping. $100 is a $100, and in these economic times, we can all use extra cash. But I honestly never considered keeping it. What if an elderly grandmother had lost it and needed the money to pay for her medicines? What if a young mother had dropped it and it was all the money she had left from her paycheck to buy groceries or diapers for her baby?
When I checked out, I asked the cashier what the store did with lost and found items – namely cash. She looked at me like I was crazy, but sent me to customer service to speak with a store manager. The store manager promised to keep the money on the bulletin board in the backroom in case someone came looking for it. She thanked me for being honest, and told me about a lady who lost over $800 in the store around Christmas. None of that money was turned in, and the lady was devastated. The manager assured me if nobody claimed the money, it would be donated to charity. I wondered how safe a $100 bill would be pinned to a bulletin board, but I left the store knowing I did a good deed. I did the right thing by turning that money in.
They say truth is stranger than fiction. I often consider how my characters might react if they were in my shoes. Their backgrounds and experiences would color their reactions to situations, just as my background and experiences color mine. It’s what makes each of us unique.
What would you do if you found a $100 bill? What experiences might color your decision? How might your characters react and why?