This article is based on the AskReddit question “I returned a lost wallet last night and the owner accused me of stealing it! What’s your worst ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ story, reddit?”
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
1. The kid would have definitely got lost
I’m a female education major and I work part-time at a retail store in the mall. A little boy of about 3 left his mother and was running into the crowded food court… and it was Black Friday in my low-income area, so there were a LOT of people.
I yelled for his mom but she was in the dressing room, so I ran out and grabbed him before he could get lost in the crowd of people. When I walked back in the store the woman charged at me (as I explained that he had run out of the store, there was no way she didn’t know what I was doing), took the kid out of my hands, grabbed my ponytail, got in my face, and screamed at me for touching her son.
My boss called security but was otherwise useless, and not a single customer did anything. I didn’t fight back because she had a child in her arms, she was larger, and people in the area have been known to carry knives.
Anyway, a security guard showed up. She was later arrested and faced assault charges.
2. Alrighty then!
In line at 7-11 behind an elderly woman. She pays for her things and leaves. There’s a banana sitting on the counter. Cashier looks up and calls out “Miss, your banana,” but she doesn’t hear.
I bolt after her and catch up quickly, “Hey I think you left your banana inside.”
She turns to me and glares. “I didn’t want the banana you little jerk,” and continues walking away.
3. When it all backfires
I found a wallet outside on a patio by the smokers area at a bar one time. So, as a smoker, I just hung out outside and asked everyone that came back out if they lost their wallet. One girl was like “OMG I DID!?” I asked her to describe it, she did, and I pulled it out and she was like “YOU!? YOU TOOK MY WALLET?” I said “no, it was sitting on that bench right there, figured it was better if I try to find the owner than just let it sit there on a busy Friday night. She said “I have every right to call the cops!!!!”
I just said “Wow, try to do a nice thing for someone…” and threw her wallet into the parking lot and went back inside the bar.
4. The kids are hungry, woman!
I live in an area with fairly low-priced rentals, so it’s full of college kids and people who are of lower incomes. I was at the corner store and the family in front of me had a case of beer, a 12-pack of Coke, a few packs of cigarettes, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and some milk. Their debit card got denied, so they took out the milk. Got denied again, took out the chicken. Got denied again, took out the mac’n’cheese. Finally got approved, so they were going home with beer, Coke, and cigarettes. Their two kids, maybe 4 and 6, asked what they were having for dinner if they didn’t have the chicken nuggets. The mom’s response was, “You can drink Coke, it’s got calories.” The younger kid started crying for the chicken nuggets. The mom grabbed her by the arm and told her she wasn’t getting any dinner.
I bought their chicken nuggets and ran after them. I tried to give them the box, and the mom started screaming at me, “do we look like a charity case, I can raise my own kids, you don’t know what it’s like being a mom. and tons of other things. I was like, “Just take the goddamn chicken, your kids are hungry.” The woman hit the box out of my hands and she and her man grabbed the kids and stormed away.
I wish I’d followed them and called CPS or something.
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5. Punished for a good deed but rewarded
Found a cell phone in the middle of the street. Nobody was around so I figured I should check the contacts to find out who owns. Figured “home” was a safe bet. I call and start talking after they pick up, only to be torn apart by the owner’s mom, who thinks that I’ve stolen it (apparently the phone was lost the day before and they were looking) Anyways, the dude who owned it gave me $30 for returning it and $10 for “dealing with his mom”.
6. Some people are just plain rude
I was at a bar in Boston and noticed there was a backpack under my table. I open it to find a new Macbook pro and a few architecture books with a Northeastern college sticker on it. I went through the items looking for a name or some sort of way to identify the owner but found nothing. I really didnt want to give this to the bouncer because i knew it would probably disappear”. But after about 30 minutes, I turned it in to the bartender who put it behind the bar.
Fast forward an hour later and this girl comes through the door walks over to where I was and starts looking all around. Just keeps saying “where is my backpack” over and over. I say Hey, I just gave it to the bartender. Saying nothing, she PUSHES my girlfriend out of the way and rushes to the bar demanding her backpack. Bartender turns it over then she opens it to inspect the contents. When she realizes its all there she just turns and walks out. No thank you Nothing
7. A favour goes unappreciated
A buddy of mine blew the motor in his truck. I knew of an engine 200 miles away that would be a good replacement. So I drive there pay $250 for it load in my truck and drive back. I leave the motor at the local shop and it gets put in the truck. One week later he sells the truck and never pays me for the motor.
8. Not even a plain thank you
I was on the bus and noticed some guy on his blackberry, dozed off for a few minutes and woke up and noticed the guy left his phone on the bus. I picked it up and tried to find a number in it I could call to let him know I had it. Checked his Facebook and saw he updated his status from home saying some guy on the bus robbed him. He also said how horrible people are in Los Angeles, how its a city filled with thieves and such. I updated his status a and let him know that I had it and that I could send it to him. He emailed me his address and I mailed it to him… he didnt even send a thank you email back, guy was a prick.
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9. All the future plans go down the drain
I jumped in the middle of a fight to try and defend my friend. I was the only one who got an assault charge. Got forcibly taken to the hospital, against my wishes (I was fine.) Had to put my life on hold while facing court cases, homelessness, and unable to find work instead of enlisting in the Air Force like I had planned on doing 2 days after this all happened. Thanks to some jerk losing my paperwork, I am now STILL in this boat, facing a warrant for my arrest even though I never did anything truly wrong.
10. The lost wallet
I went shopping for a Halloween party with two friends from work. At the grocery store, one of the girls lost her wallet. We tore my car apart looking for it, went back in the store and looked everywhere. We never found it. Two days later I was back on that side of town and I decided to go in and check for it in lost and found. We all lived pretty far from that store, and she had no means of transportation. Someone had found it!! So they let me take it to return to her. Well, she wasn’t too excited when I showed up at work with it. She was acting weird. I guess she and the other friend decided I was playing her the whole time. Like I was hiding it so I could be the hero and return it to her. Lesson learned.
11. Handling lost items like Plutonium
I used to work for Walmart, not once did a good deed go unpunished. If ever I found a wallet/purse I would carry it by the corner at arms length, and open it looking for an ID while under a camera (still keeping it at arms length). That way when they accused me of stealing (which I never would) there was plenty of video coverage to protect me. Same with cellphones, I would look for a contact Mom or Dad first (if I couldn’t find one I would check recent calls).
12. Save lives and get slapped in return
I managed a pool for ten years. It had a “zero-depth” area, where the water gets gradually deeper, like a beach. This was also the area with all the kiddie toys. Parents would send their toddlers out there on their own, while they chatted, read, sunbathed, etc. The thing was like a succubus for toddlers and three or four of them would go under daily, resulting in my guards or me going in and saving the lives of these children. The parents basically thought we were babysitters and didn’t give a damn about their children while they were swimming.
At least once a week, I would have to deal with some parent flipping out about how their kid was fine and we had no right to touch them. Threats were made about cops and lawyers. Luckily we always had a patrolman on duty at our pool. He would laugh in their faces and threaten to arrest them for neglect, which usually shut them up. Once, one of my 98 pound female lifeguards saved two kids at the same time. Her reward, a smack across the face from an irate mother. I’ve never seen a cop react so fast.
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13. How ungrateful!
I used to give rides to my roommate to and from work whenever possible. It was a 60 mile round trip. He gave me $10/week for gas but that was maybe a third of what it actually cost me to drive him. I didn’t raise much of a fuss about it even though it was costing me money and pretty inconvenient to me most days
I was working 10-12 hour days at the time and couldn’t take much time off of work. I came down with a nasty flu that knocked me out. I ended up sleeping instead of picking him up from work that night.
The next day, he sends me half a dozen text messages telling me that I have a “severe lack of accountability” and basically calls me lazy, irresponsible etc.
14. When trying to do the right thing
SO I was outside this fast-food place that sold hot dogs. I saw a homeless woman with a shopping cart trying to come out of the joint. She was struggling to open the door, so I did the gentleman thing and held the door open for her. I don’t know if that hobo was on crack or what, but she started yelling at me, telling me that she didn’t need any help. I let go of the door. Smacked her right in the face.
15. Accusations towards an honest man
I found a purse in a grocery basket once. I went across the street, got myself an ice cream cone, found the driver’s license, looked her up in the phone book, and called. She accused me of stealing it and started saying she was calling the police. She threatened me with police reports and litigation. I told her “OK, your purse will be sitting in the parking lot then, better hope someone less honest than me doesn’t find it before you do. I drove back across the street, tossed the purse in the parking lot, and drove home.
16. Losing friends over their irresponsibility
I leased an apartment with my friend and his boyfriend. I was the only one working a reliable job at the time, and as I should have predicted, he lost his job a few months in, so it was only two of us working. This should not have been an issue, but our agreed deal was to each pay 1/3 of the rent. They couldn’t afford their 2/3rds, and since most of it was spent on liquor, D&D paraphernalia, video games and who knows what else, I had to pay his portion of the rent (and sometimes his boyfriend’s) for the better part of a year or find another place to live, of which I had none.
Long story short, I get fed up with their crap, their constantly leaving moldy dishes in the kitchen, entering my bedroom and stealing the food in my fridge (that got so bad I had to install a lock on my fridge, then they complained about trust), so I leave with three days left to the month. They owe me collectively, $700. It’s been about 5 years and I have never seen the money. I’m the bad guy for leaving at the end of the month.
One by one, he turns the rest of our friends against me. I’m better off; they were all terrible people. I would rather have learned that without losing all the money while trying to help out a friend, though.
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17. When trying to return a found wallet
I tried to take a wallet that I found to my nearest the police station, which was not near where I found the wallet – the clerk was really rude and wouldn’t take it. She told me to pull behind the next police I saw in the city I found it and give it to them. (Uhh…no thanks.) I told her I was going to walk outside and throw it in the trash if she wouldn’t take it. She finally sent a cop out to help me. It was a huge hassle. Next time, I’ll just let the kids take the wallet instead.
18. What a good kid
Was at the mall and some little boy came up to me saying “Can you help find my mommy?” I walked him over to the security desk and had them page her. She showed up thirty minutes later and then got all pissed at me, acting like I was some kind of weird pedophile.
She stormed off with her unfortunate son, but not before he yelled “Thanks mister!” to me. I feel bad for that kid.
19. Get yelled at while trying to help
When I was 5, I was at a grocery store with my mum and there was a homeless man sitting outside. We went into the store and bought a loaf of bread to give him. When we paid and left, my mum gave it to me to give to him and when I did, he tried to spit at me. He started screaming that bread won’t pay for beer and weed and yelled at me to go away and bring money next time. My mum and I quickly left after that, but as a 5 year old, all I wanted to do was be kind, like I’d been taught. It really upset 5-year-old me.
20. A simple thank you is enough
I helped 2 guys out of a crushed car, putting my life in danger as gas was spilling. They ran away as soon as I got them out. Turns out the car was stolen and the police were after them. The cops found me on top of the car holding the door open and arrested me. Spent the night in jail for that good deed. Another time I worked in a restaurant at the beach. As I was closing I see a child wondering around crying. I abandoned my work and stayed with her for 4 hours or something, calling the cops, trying out numbers she thinks she remembers etc. When the cops and the parents finally come they start interrogating me like I kidnapped her or something. After some time I got angry and started shouting and they just told me to go away. Not even a thank you or anything. Another time a guy in front of me at the ATM machine left a full wallet on the machine and walked away. I was not paying attention to him so I didnt even notice what he was wearing. So I took the wallet into the bank and explained at the counter what happened. There is a wad of cash in there. I say I have to leave but was asked politely at first that I have to stay until they contact the owner. I say I have to leave I had something important to do. Instead the security guys detain me for like 30 minutes until the owner shows up. He says everything in there, I am just standing there nobody told him that I found it, they just told me you can leave now.
I just continue doing good when I can and most of the times it is appreciated.
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21. Not all heroes wear capes
My uncle’s best-friend is a man named Terry. Terry was a large man, and quite the bruiser. In the mid 90’s Terry was at a local dive bar, when he hears a man screaming at a woman. He really rips into spewing obscenities loudly across the bar. Terry steps in, tells the guy to keep it down, or take it home, nobody wants to hear their problems. The girl runs off to the bathroom crying, and the man apologizes to Terry telling him “Sorry man, I just found out she cheated on me. The guy promises to keep it down, and Terry walks away. When the girl comes back from the bathroom the yelling resumes, and the guy hauls off and hits her. The girl runs off and Terry comes charging over to give the man an ultimatum. Terry offers to kick the guy, or let him walk out on his own. The guy chooses the latter. A couple minutes pass and the bar phone rings, a call for Terry. Terry picks up the phone and almost instantly drops to the floor in agony. The man went across the street to a pay phone, called the bar, asked for Terry, then snuck back in and stabbed him 3 times in the back, making him a paraplegic. The guy took off running but was caught a month or so later in Florida, the girl was still there to identify him. Terry is, and always will be in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. All for standing up for a girl who was getting beat up by her boyfriend.
A friend got arrested with a lot of traffic tickets. He called me, and I got up in the middle of the night, drove to another city and spent over $1500 bailing him out (and several hours waiting on processing). I didn’t hear back from him for a long time. Its cool, I figure he’s embarrassed about the money. 7 months later he emails me wanting to come over to my house. Guess he wants to talk about paying me back. We work out a day/time and he shows up, makes infinitesimal small talk, and then launches into an Amway (start your own business) presentation. Threw him out of the house.
23. Accused wrongly with a reward money
I found a dog (pitbull) wandering in my neighborhood along a busy street. I hopped out of my car and put my dog’s spare collar on him to keep him from being hit. I walked to all the nearby houses and knocked on the doors asking if anybody belongs to the dog or if they knew who did. After about 10 houses I gave up and took him home. That afternoon I made “found dog” fliers (without the dog’s picture), about 100 in all and put the up around the area. In front of my house I put a big one so people would know that this was the place. After a few days I had pretty much resigned myself to keeping the guy when I got a phone call. The lady gave a perfect description of the dog and I told her she could swing by and pick him up.
About an hour later she shows up, with the cops. She gets out of her car and greets me with “Are you the jerk that stole my dog?!?” I was of course taken aback. I stood there with a slack jaw not knowing what to say. “I asked you a question! Did you steal my dog?!” “What? NO! I found a dog and tried to find his home!” “You stole him and I have witnesses!” she then tried to get the officer to arrest me. It only took a few moments for the officer to realize she was crazy. “So he stole your dog, asked all your neighbors who the dog belonged to, put up signs saying he had the dog and then invited you over to take the dog back? Either he’s the worst criminal in the world or you don’t understand the definition of ‘stole’ ma’m.” She then claimed I stole the dog for the reward money. The officer said he didn’t see an offer for a reward nor did I ask for one. “But just out of curiosity, how much reward money were you going to offer?” asked the officer “$200! That’s what he wants, that’s why he took the dog!” “Well, we have no evidence of him stealing the dog but it seems to me that he’s earned the reward money.” Worst $200 I ever earned.