Would you Return the Cheese?

Canada
March 9, 2007 7:02pm CST
A week or so ago, I had just finished my grocery shopping at the warehouse store where I shop when I noticed that someone had left 2 5 pound packages of individually wrapped processed cheese in a shopping cart, the value of which was close to $40.00 Canadian. After loading my groceries into my trunk I took the cheese into the store and gave it to the store manager, and told him that someone would be coming in to tell him that they paid for it but didn't get it. He took it and looked very surprised and thanked me profusely. Later when I mentioned this to some others, they told me that I should have kept it. My husband was the only one who agreed with my actions. What would you have done and why?
8 people like this
27 responses
• United States
10 Mar 07
You did the right thing. Hey, just because there are an awful lot of dishonest people in the world doesn't mean you have to do what they do. Of course, I would have taken it back; I have actually done the same thing more times than I can count. I have also gone back to tell a cashier she had given me $20 more change than she should have - they have to pay back shortages or can lose their jobs over this kind of mistake. I absolutely believe in the Universal Law of Reciprocity, a tenet of nearly every major religion: we receive what we give in this world; what goes around comes around. Just remember that whoever told you you should have kept what you found, doesn't have to face your maker. Tell your husband for me that he is a very smart man.
2 people like this
@Connie1013 (1098)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I have 3 kids. Sometimes, we don't have enough for everything. I might have kept it. I feel bad when we don't have enough $$$ for lots of food. I would probally then feel bad that I took it but my kids ate.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have returned it but not necessarily for altruistic motives. While the cheese was sitting in the cart in the parking lot (I assume) it was not under the control of the store. Any sicko could have injected some toxin into the cheese (think Tylenol from the 80s). More likely, while sitting in the cart in plastic packaging, the cheese warmed to temperatures favoring the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria & Salmonella. If you've ever had food poisoning, you'd return the cheese to the store and express your concerns to the manager. Food establishments do not need the negative publicity of a foodborne outbreak.
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Connie1013, if you had found the cheese, then you would probably have been meant to keep it.
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Julia, this is the middle of winter in Canada, so the outside temperature was much cooler than the refrigerator in the store, so the cheese would not have suffered. I was in the store for only a few minutes and the cheese was not there when I went in. I think for it to have been contaminated by a 3rd party would be highly unlikely, although I agree with you, some people are pretty twisted and your point about someone deliberately contaminating the cheese is a good one, but I didn't think about that at the time.
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have kept it. I mean it was as if you were being thanked for something good you did. It was food too so come on obviously you were being thanked by good karma. But you never know maybe for returning it you will get rewarded. Good karma.
1 person likes this
@buldwgz (1483)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I often wonder about this idea of karma. Does that mean that the person that lost it was deserving of bad karma? I am really curious.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
So far I have lived a very fortunate life, so maybe you have something there.
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
10 Mar 07
We are not at all very well off and although the cheese could certainly have been used, without a doubt or having to think twice I can tell you right now I would have done the very same thing you did. Unfortunately we are living in a dishonest world a lot of time, and I thank you for being honest. Finders keepers sometime hurts others. You may have asked the fellow at the store to take your phone number and if the cheese wasn't asked for then I think it would be only right for you to get it. I don't agree the store should sell it twice. Thank You
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I don't think honesty is an attribute that is held in very high esteem by many people. However, when I go to bed at night or look myself in the mirror I feel pretty good about myself. I am not perfect by any means, but I do try to do the right things. I don't entirely disagree with the concept of finders, keepers, but it depends on the situation. I found $20.00 on the road the other day and gave it to my friend that I was walking with, because it is good luck to give away money that you found. She didn't want to take it, but I said it was as much hers as mine, and she could buy me lunch one day. I recall one time I went to the local exhibition with a friend and on the way home I found a dime on the road and gave it her. That day she won the car that was being raffled, so it was good luck for her. I thought about taking the cheese and telling the store manager that I had found something in the parking lot and to contact me if anyone called him about an item they had lost, but I didn't particularly want to have to babysit 10 lbs of cheese, and have to worry about storing it properly. If the store ended up selling it twice, it would be fair compensation for all the losses that most have to endure from theft.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Apr 07
You really do have a good attitude and it's too bad everyone couldn't be liked you.
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I think that you did the right thing by returning it. It is nice to hear that there are still people out there. Someone was probably very happy when they called the store to find out that their cheese had been recovered. Personally, I would have done the same thing too, as if I hadn't I would have felt as if I was stealing. Due to being a retail manager for 3 years before becoming a stay at home mom. I know how it works. It wouldn't have been too bad in your situation because a customer forgot their own goods, but like when a cashier gives back too much change, they can actually get in a lot of trouble. The company that I worked for as a manager had a three dollar or something like that limit and if you had more than three mistakes, you could and people were fired. That is why I always try and return stuff that isn't mine, especially when it comes to money.
• Canada
10 Mar 07
One of my friends put forth the argument that the store probably just kept it and put it back on the shelf and when and if the customer called they were probably told that the loss of the cheese was their problem. I said, then that would be on their conscience, not mine. I figure I did the right thing, and I have no regrets.
1 person likes this
@arcadian (931)
• United States
18 Mar 07
I doubt that the store put it back. I would have done what you did. Here's what I think If everything we did could be considered a brick- and we were all building a world for the next generation, every misplaced, careless brick or ruined brick would make a hole in what we were all building., then anytime someone acts selfishly or immorally they create a hole in the structure. People don't realize that when they scrap their self worth for a package of cheese or any such thing, they have affected the whole of mankind. And made themselves a bit more worthless in their own eyes.
1 person likes this
@greengal (4286)
• United States
10 Mar 07
You did a very good thing by returning those items khalablue, not everybody is as honest as you are. No wonder the manager was surprised as well. I would definitely do the same since I believe what goes around comes around. What if I was the one who left behind the cheese by mistake and came back only to find it was gone, $40 is a lot and not good to lose! In returning it, if the one who bought it came back, they would be thankful. You did good, it will surely come back to you someday:)
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
So far the majority of people who have responded agree with my actions and say they would do the same thing. Then they say that most people probably wouldn't. If the responses are any indication, I would say that most people probably would return the cheese.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I would have returned the cheese too. For one I did not pay for it so it was not mine. Someone was probably going to come back and look for it and be disappointed if they did not get it back. Another remote reason would have to do with all the wackos around. Someone, could have put something into the cheese and it could make you sick.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Good points. The cheese had not been there very long because I was only in the store for about 10 minutes and it was not there when I went in.
@Kellrae (69)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have returned it. I found a real gold necklace one time. It was still in the shopping bag with the receipt stapled to it.I returned it to the service desk. I have also taken a box of crayons back that I found under my purse. I hadn't paid for them. My dd was about four and she took a broken necklace from a thrift store. When we got to the car, I saw it and we had to go back inside and I made her return it and apologize. The clerk said it was okay and there was no need to return it because it was broken when the store got it. I was upset! I told her that it was not okay for my daughter to steal, no matter if it was broken or not! To my knowledge, she has never took anything else!
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I agree very much with your actions. If parents don't teach their children right from wrong, where are they going to learn these things?
• United States
10 Mar 07
i wouldnt have kept it cause you dont know how long it was sitting out there. also you didnt pay for it, so its not yours. you did a good thing buy returning the cheese.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I have a good idea of how long it was out there. It wasn't there when I went in, and when I returned about 10 minutes later it was there. Also, it was a cold winter day in Canada, so it could have been there for a week and not suffered. You are right, it wasn't mine, which made the choice clear to me.
@thekiwi (588)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have returned it also, that is a whole lot of cheese...I think if it came with the same amount of bread, i would then have kept it, i could have made a whole lot of grilled cheese! LOL But yea its rare you find people being honest these days and returning something they found. I think you did the right thing!
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I love grilled cheese sandwiches too, but I think if I had kept the cheese it would have been hard to swallow. Read over the responses and you have to conclude that the people who would have returned it far outnumber the ones who would have kept it. I think I did the right thing, too.
@weemam (13377)
10 Mar 07
I would have taken it back, I left a large size washing powder on the bottom of my shoppingg trolly but no-one handed it in for me , I thought that was pretty miserable of them , its nice to hear of someone being honest like you xx
• Canada
10 Mar 07
See, look how much distress was caused for you because someone was thinking only of themselves. Whoever ended up with your wash powder probably has trouble to this day with stains in their clothing that won't come out, ha ha.
• United States
10 Mar 07
i would have done exactly the same as you honesty is always the best policy and since it wasnt yours it would in my oppinion be stealing to keep it You were right in your actions
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
See, yet another person who would have done the same as me. Thank you for your reply.
@theddy (31)
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
i would have done same thing... you did a great job... a reward in heaven is waiting for you.. Ü not only that you felt well after returning the cheese but... you made the owner of that cheese thank you in ways you won't even know.Ü
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Thank you for your kind words. However, as someone else pointed out the owner may not have even returned to claim the cheese, and where is the guarantee that the store would have even given it to them if they had returned.
• India
10 Mar 07
your husband is very much right. it is a good thingto return those things that doesn't belong to us. Because someone is really in need of that thing. I appreciate your sincereness....
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Well, at least my husband is on my side. It was actually his sisters who disagreed with me.
@buldwgz (1483)
• United States
10 Mar 07
Those that say they would have kept it speak VOLUMES of their own character. Good for you! I would have returned it. I am a manager with a grocery store, and occasionally someone such as yourelf will return items to us that they find. It is rare, sadly, and I am sure that is why the manager looked surprised. Too often customers come in looking for items they have lost only to find no one has returned it. Maybe if we spent more time looking to help one another rather than take from each other we would be living in a much better world. Again...GOOD FOR YOU!
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Do you really think that it is a character flaw to decide to keep the cheese. If the person who left it never returned to claim it, then the store benefits as someone else pointed out. From my own perspective, the cheese wasn't mine. I didn't pay for it, but I had no way of determining who did. I could have taken it and put it in the dumpster in the back of the store and probably fed a bunch of homeless people, but never thought of that either. A few years ago I went into a department store and purchased a bunch of sewing items, including a couple of feet for my sewing machine, a package of threads with sewing machine needles and several other items. As I was walking to my car, I was thinking about the fact that the amount I had paid seemed to be quite a bit less than what I should have paid. So, I checked the bill and saw that I had been charged a penny for an item that should have been about $35.00. The correct amount had not been entered into the computer. So, I went back to the store, and told them that they had charged me the wrong price for one of my purchases. The clerk called the department manager over and said, "Can you believe this? This woman is complaining because we undercharged her." I said, "You will lose a lot of money if you don't correct the price in your computer." They would not charge me the full price. I think I ended up paying $10.00, but the department manager said, "Why on earth would you come back?" How can you answer a question like that? Because in my opinion, it was the right thing to do.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have returned it also- I believe in Karma-- Good things happen to you when you do good things- And vise versa with bad things. The person probably did come back for the cheese- Cripes if it was almost $40. Wow.. That was a real nice thing you did-- I'm sure alot of people would say they would return it- But I bet alof would have kept it- Or just left it there.
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I actually thought about just leaving it there, because it was a fair distance back to the store, but then it would have bugged me, which is why I took it in. I don't know. I think a lot of people would have returned it.
• United States
10 Mar 07
I agree with you, as you were very honest. God knows what you did, and that is all that is important. I too, have done this many times. Even with a $1. It is our human instinct to keep it, but it shows much character and integrity not too. So dear, I commend you. Your are a trustworthy person, and shame on your friends.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Speaking of money, I found a $20 bill in the lobby of my bank one day, and I went in and told the manager to call me if someone claimed that they had lost a sum of money. He asked me if I wanted to give it to him for safekeeping, and I told him no, that I could keep it just as safe as he could. I never heard from him so I kept the $20.
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
i believe you did the right thing and it makes me glad knowing that there are still honest people like you around. may you be blessed by doing such a noble act.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
Thank you. I am blessed with a clear conscience.
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
10 Mar 07
I would have taken it back. You never know, maybe the person who bought it was poor and that was all they could buy to make do for a week or something. I always think about what if it were me. I would want someone to return my items that I spent money on to buy. You did good. Bravo to you!! Don't let the ones who told you to "keep it" bother you. Just remember what goes around, comes around. Some day they might be in the same situation.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 07
The only thing that really bothered me about my friends' opinion is that they really thought they were right and were very scornful about what I did. I thought it was interesting that we could be friends and differ so greatly in something as basic as this.
@uu4h708 (638)
• Philippines
10 Mar 07
yup!! have to agree with the other 7mylotters and you're husband.. its good that you were able to think and do the right thing when you were in that situation.. wish all people are like you... if that was me, id return the cheese, first of all... because with that huge cheese, i dont think i would be able to eat all that till it expires can i?? and second, i firmly believe in "karma" and if i eat that food i'd probably be food poisoned or have diarrhea... so again.. good job!!!! =)
• Canada
10 Mar 07
I don't particularly care for processed cheese. However, I do have 2 very large dogs that love cheese and I could have added it to their dinner and they would have loved me for it, but it wasn't mine to keep. Actually, you wouldn't get diarrhea from cheese, you would get constipated, ha ha.