What is this, some kind of an ethics test?

Within the past 24 hours, two unusual things have happened to me. The first thing wasn’t such a biggie, but still unusual, in my experience: I found an envelope lying in our yard.

The envelope was stamped, postmarked, and addressed to someone in this city, but not on my street. The return address was from somewhere out of state. It did not appear to be an advertisement or a business type of thing, it looked like a personal letter, several pages thick. A personal letter in this day of social media, texting, and email? That’s a rarity in itself.

The envelope was slightly damp and lightly soiled, but otherwise intact and sealed shut. So, what did I do with the letter?

A) Throw it in the trash. Hey, it’s not my problem, and it’s littering my yard.
B) Open it up and read it — there might be some juicy gossip in there, and maybe even some money!
C) Get in my car, drive to the address on the envelope, ring the bell and deliver it to the rightful recipient.
D) Write “Found in yard at wrong address” on the envelope and put it in our mailbox with the flag up.

Of course, options A and B are out of the question for a Christian grandma, I just added those for laughs. πŸ˜€

I considered doing option C, take it to the rightful recipient. But I know who this woman is and she strikes me as very private. It might frighten her if I were to show up unannounced on her doorstep. So I ended up choosing option D. I wrote “Found in yard at wrong address” on the envelope and put it in our mailbox with the flag up.

Right after putting the letter in the mailbox this morning, I let our two dogs out into the back yard. I went out with them, like I typically do, to clean up their droppings and pull some weeds. Then, with a bag full of trash and yard debris in my hand, I went out through the gate and walked down to the dumpster that sits beside the alley on the edge of our yard.

When I lifted the lid on the dumpster, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The dumpster was mostly empty, because the garbage truck had come by two days ago. There were just two small bags of trash, one of which was mine from yesterday — and on top of those bags, there was a pile of State Police uniforms.

The uniforms looked new or nearly new and completely intact, with the official State Police patches still attached to the shirts. The uniforms were not inside a bag either, they were just lying there on top of the trash for anyone to see.

“This can’t be OK,” I thought. “Anybody could open up this dumpster between now and next Monday, see these uniforms, and decide to impersonate a police officer!”

I tossed my bag of trash into the dumpster and walked back up to the house, pondering what to do. Five minutes later my phone rang. It was my stepdaughter calling, as she does every morning, so we can chat while she drives to her “mission essential” job at a special ops military base. Several years ago she was a sergeant with a Sheriff’s department, so I knew she was the person to ask about those uniforms.

“Oh no, police uniforms should never be thrown in a dumpster like that. Not even if they are hidden inside a bag and taken straight to the dump, because people go through bags of trash at the dump. Anybody could find those and impersonate an officer and do some very bad things. When I left the Sheriff’s department, I had to turn in all my uniform shirts and my patches so they could be shredded. I was only allowed to keep one patch, but not on a shirt.”

I told her I thought that was the case. I also said that I wonder if maybe somebody’s girlfriend or wife got mad and decided to throw all of her man’s uniforms in a dumpster — and, luck of the draw, she threw them in “my” dumpster.

So, what did I do about the state police uniforms?

A) Leave them where I found them. It’s not my problem and besides, I am a germophobe. I don’t even want to touch those things after they’ve been lying out there in a filthy dumpster.
B) Take them out of the dumpster, wash and iron them, and hang onto them in case I ever want to impersonate a police officer. That could be fun!
C) Take them out of the dumpster, shred the official police patches, cut up the uniforms, and then put the shredded pieces back inside the dumpster.
D) Take them out of the dumpster, put them inside a trash bag, tie up the bag and thoroughly spray the outside of the bag with Lysol because GERMS, then scrub the grabber tool I used to pull them out of the dumpster with Lysol wipes, wash my hands really, REALLY thoroughly with antibacterial soap, and after my husband gets home this afternoon, take the bag of uniforms over to the nearest state police office so they can dispose of them however they wish.

Can you guess which option I picked? 😁

By the way, there were six uniform shirts, some short sleeve, some long sleeve, all looking nearly new and all with the official police patches, plus two, new-looking uniform pants, plus six white t-shirts to wear under the uniform shirts, and there was also a reflecting vest that says POLICE across the back. Yeah, somebody got mad and threw a hissy fit, is my guess.

What about you, have you ever had anything like this happen? If so, how did you handle it?

UPDATE ADDED APRIL 18: the mystery of the trashed state trooper uniforms has been solved. I explain in the next post: About those state police uniforms…

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32 thoughts on “What is this, some kind of an ethics test?

  1. Lee Poskey April 17, 2019 / 11:54 am

    Interesting story miss Linda.

    Or, you could leave them as is, and call the police to come retrieve them.

    You did right on both scenarios though. 🀠

    Liked by 4 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 1:39 pm

      I agree! In fact, I suggested that when I was talking with my stepdaughter. But she thought I should get them out of the dumpster right away, before they disappear. Because the police are kind of slow in this area sometimes.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. tidalscribe April 17, 2019 / 12:13 pm

    An elderly man turned up huffing and puffing carrying a very heavy box – it wasn’t large but it was heavy when he handed it to me – it was addressed to our house. He said he came from round the corner, but I had never seen him before. Then my brain clicked into action – our daughter had ordered ready roll icing and slabs of sugar paste – she and the three layers of wedding cake she had baked were arriving the next day. I thanked the man profusely! Why it went to his house we will never know…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    OhhhKAY. . .

    What. The. Heck.

    The letter is one thing; it coulda been dropped or fallen and blown your way by the wind.

    How lovely that you thought it through far enough to consider the recipient’s feelings ❀ (Are you by any chance also an INFJ?)

    The unforms?! WOW. I hope it's "just" as "innocent" as a hissy fit.

    Please let us know what happens.

    (And I sat here nodding my head and laughing at myself at your description of what you're gonna do about fishing the uniforms out of the dumpster and afterwards! Although I wouldn't describe myself as germophobic, I sure do feel your pain; LOL!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 1:43 pm

      INFJ… Yes, that would be me. I’m not always sure that’s a good thing!

      Yes, I will let you know the outcome. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 1:46 pm

        I hear ya there, but I can’t imagine being any other way!

        Thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Looking for the Light April 17, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    Wow! All in one day, totally wierd. You made the same choices I would. We want a good outcome because we are good citizens. Have a great day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 1:45 pm

      Thanks. I hope this post doesn’t come across like am tooting my own horn for doing “good deeds.” I think most people would do what I did. It’s just so weird, especially the uniforms!

      Liked by 3 people

      • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 1:47 pm

        Oh, my goodness; not at ALL!

        Liked by 2 people

          • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 1:53 pm

            Or maybe just think enough! (Or at least we think so; LOL!)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 2:01 pm

            Ya know, you’ve got a point…

            I wonder sometimes if I am an alien. INFJ is supposedly the rarest personality type, making up less than 2% of the population. Green eyes are the rarest, around 1 or 2%. Naturally blonde is the rarest hair color and naturally curly is also very rare. The rarest blood type is AB negative. That’s me, right there. INFJ, green eyes, blonde, curly, AB neg. Not to mention the Mensa thing.

            If only I could have that kind of luck with the lottery! Of course, I would need to buy tickets. Anyway, my hair isn’t naturally blonde anymore, it’s naturally gray. But still cutly. πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 2 people

          • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 2:14 pm

            Oh, my goodness! I, too, am a MENSAn!

            Don’t have light eyes or naturally-blonde hair (playfully sticking my tongue out at you πŸ˜‰ ) and am virtually certain I’m not AB or negative, but my curls are natural!

            (At five-ten, I am also unusually tall for a woman, but I doubt that’s so rare as your genetic stuff.)

            I buy high-potential-value lottery tickets every couple-few months. So far, all of them have ended up as what I call “Another Donation To The State.”

            (What’s goin’ on with that goat, do you know?)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 4:02 pm

            5’10” is definitely taller than average. I used to be 5’9″. Now I am just a hair over 5’7″, due to so-called degenerative disc disease. Back when I was at my full height, little old ladies used to approach me in stores and say “You’re nice and tall, Dear. Would you mind getting something off the top shelf for me?”

            Funny you should ask about the Barbary Sheep Goat-Antelope. While I was pulling the state police uniforms out of the dumpster at around 8:30 this morning, I could hear him calling “Baaaa” off in the distance. I hear him almost every morning. Yesterday about 7am I let the dogs out, and our big dog immediately ran around to the side fence and gave a single short bark. “Baaa” came from the other side. By the time I got there with my camera, he was gone. However, the fattest Roadrunner that I have ever seen was foraging in our front yard. I tried to get a picture, but she won’t stand still long enough.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 5:35 pm

            Here we go again! I, too, have DDD, although as far as I know it hasn’t (yet?) shrunk me.

            I used to get more little old ladies asking me to help them. Lately, I have gone to them when I see them struggling to reach something as they stand, precariously balanced, on a lower shelf!

            Thanks for the update on the Barbary. Glad he’s still alive and, apparently, well.

            Hope you do get a shot of that roadrunner. I would love to see a fat roadrunner! We lived in Phoenix for a short time when I was a child, and I was hugely disappointed that real road runners looked pretty much like regular birds and were not leggy like the Warner Brothers version.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 4:06 pm

          I don’t know about karma. But some of the things I have experienced in my life are so far out there, I’m not even going to write about. People would think I was lying or crazy or both. But with most of my really weird experiences, I had at least one other person with me who experienced what I did. Even so… I just don’t know why so many “believe it or not” kind of things have happened in my life!

          I’m writing a memoir. But most of the freakier things I am leaving out!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Looking for the Light April 17, 2019 / 4:36 pm

            Maybe you’re being tested as to what decisions you would make. I know I’m tested all the time, everytime I get a new illness I question what he whats me to learn. πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 5:26 pm

            I think you’re right! When the doctor mistakenly told me two days before last Thanksgiving that I had skin cancer, I definitely learned some lessons. Two weeks later, after the surgery, the biopsy report came back saying no cancer, yaay! Then my husband and I both got the flu and were sick through Christmas. In January my doctor called me after a routine physical and tests, and informed me that something was on my mammogram that shouldn’t be there. More lessons! The xray tech found the “something that shouldn’t be there” on the compression test and another tech found it at the beginning of an ultrasound test — then the “something” vanished during the ultrasound! Sooo, my doctor wants me to repeat all the tests in June.

            Meanwhile, my husband’s doctor told him today that he needs to have four lumps removed. That surgical procedure has been scheduled for April 29.

            We’re getting a little exhausted from all these lessons!

            Liked by 2 people

          • ibikenyc April 17, 2019 / 5:37 pm

            I hope and will pray that all remains well with both of you ❀

            Liked by 1 person

          • Looking for the Light April 18, 2019 / 1:35 pm

            I ask God very often, possibly daily why he is giving so many lessons and when am I going to be able to share and act on what I’ve learned. I’ve asked this question for ten years now. I happy that your strange events worked out, I pray the procedure on your husband is the same or good news. I’m having a procedure in the next couple of weeks and I’ve already asked God if he had another lesson he was throwing my way. I just keep believing one day I may understand. πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Lee Poskey April 17, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    Hey miss Linda, I just thought of something funny.

    Did you ever see that episode on that candid camera type show (I forgot what it was called),

    When some man hurried up to an unsuspecting stranger on the street, and hastily handed him a bank bag, asked him to hold that for a little while until he returned, and ran off?

    It was very funny

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote April 17, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      I don’t remember that particular episode, but you just made me lol. Candid camera had some funny things.

      Hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking… I wonder if someone has a hidden camera aimed at our dumpster. 😯 😊 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. atimetoshare.me April 17, 2019 / 2:14 pm

    Weird. I’ll have to think on this. I’m sure something similar has happened in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hawk2017 April 17, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    I never have any fun.:)))

    Liked by 2 people

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