Thursday, January 14, 2010

My favorite trend story is back!

It seems only appropriate that the first week back at WBB one of my all-time favorite trend stories would re-emerge: the story of the poor person/service worker/person generally not of "significant means" who found a crap-ton of money (or an equally valuable item) and--AGAINST ALL ODDS--actually did the right thing and returned it.
I first blogged about this exciting and mind-blowing phenomenon two years ago and again later that year. This time, it's a Bangladeshi cabbie in NYC who found $21,000 in his cab and returned it to the rightful owner. This is, of course, exciting stuff. Because 99 percent of cabbies would probably just go on a spending spree with the ill-gotten loot, buying fur coats and fancy cigars, and hitting Atlantic City all mobster-style, am I right? Well, no. Probably not. Like any economic class of people or profession, most would probably return it and a few would probably try to get away with taking it and spending it. I laid out my my beefs with this type of story more thoroughly in this post from March 2008.

Anyway, my point remains the same. Why don't we hear about lawyers or magazine editors or office workers or any other "white collar" employees finding a boatload of money and returning it? I'm sure it happens. My guess is because there's a silent-but-implied idea lurking in these stories that education or money translates into having a superior sense of morals or ethics. (Although I'm not sure the money argument even really works here...I imagine cab drivers, particularly in NYC, that are good at what they do earn a pretty decent wage.) So yes, while it's a heartwarming story (and I'm glad whoever thought it was a smart idea to ride around town with $21,000 in cash got their money back), I'm not really sure it's wise to propagate the concept that a cabbie or McDonald's worker returning what he or she has found is the exception--and not the rule.


Your escalator operator said...

Dude, I totally agree. Except for the part about magazine editors. Those people would totally keep the loot. I should know.

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