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BOTD 7/2/17 "Free Mini Golf Game, or Stealing? An 18 Smacked Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
Free Mini Golf Game, or  Stealing?
An 18Smacked Production


The local miniature golf place near your house gives a free game to all players who can make a hole-in-one on the last hole of each of the six courses that they have there. (It sounds terribly difficult, but whenever you have gone there, you managed to do it three times out of four, and you never play anything but occasional games of mini golf!) When the ball sinks into the 18th hole of the course, a Free Game pass automatically prints out. Your son Mitchell and his friends frequent the miniature golf course since it is close to home.

Mitchell - 11
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You were just passing by the door of your 11 year-old son Mitchell's room when you heard him with three of his friends, all 11 years old themselves;  Paul, Franklin and Phil. You heard Mitchell explaining how many players don't realize the Free Game pass prints out on completing the hole-in-one, and, all one needs to do is pick up the passes that fall to the ground from the printing window. Then, they can go to the window, get a ball, a putter and a scorecard and play a free game! You realize that your son did not know that you were in the hall and heard his conversation. But, you are rather upset, because really, this is stealing! Or, is it different than stealing, since the folks who rightfully owned the Free Game passes are not collecting them.

Is there a decent way for you to handle this issue with Mitch, and his friends, and if so, what is it? Or, should you read him the riot act about this constituting stealing, and if you hear about it again, you will spank him?


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David M. Katz

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Marshall
I can't see this as stealing.

1. The rightful owners abandoned the tickets.

2. The golf establishment had already planned/budgeted for the lost revenue on those games.

I also don't want my son and friends to know I was listening in, even if by accident.

I overhear something dangerous or illegal - I get involved.  I hear a bunch of eleven year-olds talking about free putt-putt games - I let it pass.

My response: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


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Jack

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I have to agree with David. He's not taking anything from anyone. The passes are legitimate, and they've been abandoned by the first owners. They're not even losing money, since the boys wouldn't be able to play otherwise. And, let's face it - if they people running the place don't wonder how the boys got these passes and investigate, then they probably don't care.

The other side is, except for pencil usage and score cards, the boys aren't using anything up.

I doubt I would have ever thought of this as stealing. At most, I would probably talk to Mitch to make sure he's not doing this when they're busy, which would be inconveniencing paying costumers, but nothing more.


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Plagosus


Cowboy
"The rightful owners abandoned the tickets."

Can you abandon something if you do not know you are abandoning it?

Whatever the answer, I would not expect 11 year olds to think they were doing anything wrong.

What I would do a few days letter is start a conversation and see where it leads.: "I hear boys are hanging around the miniature golf waiting to pounce on unclaimed tickets for free rounds. Do you think that's right or should they run after the person who won the ticket and give it to them?"

Peter_Z

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Wrangler
I think I need to explain him very carefully that this is dishonest.

And that we pay for our games like the every player.

And advise him that he should not take unused cards anymore.Guess he will not happy about this and I will assure him that he is still allowed to play but not as much as before anymore.

No spanking this time, maybe non the next time too - but then he should habe learned.

Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
Mitchell's comment about some player not realizing the free game card is there is just an assumption. That the cards are there does show that they have been abandoned although it is not clear whether intentionally or by accident.

Finding low value LOST property does not have a requirement to find the true owner. Intentionally abandoned property does not have an owner to find.

Additionally, the Golf operator has probably marked them as non-replaceable if lost to avoid any discussions (and waste of employees’ time).

So Mitchell is finding and using low value, unidentifiable abandoned stuff.

A discussion is needed to make sure about other class of property he might find.

Y.

P.S. - If too many of his pals tell others then (1) there will be too much competition for the cards and (2) the operators will notice the fights. Things might change.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
I agree with David and Jack.

8 Free Mini Golf Game on Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:44 pm

Crimsonhide

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Dude
The boys aren't stealing anything.  They are picking up unused tickets... sort of like an adult finding a winning race track betting slip or a lottery ticket.

I also agree with David and Jack.

pushkin

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Cowboy
Sadly, the standard EKR (Emlyn Kneejerk Reaction) is not appropriate here.  [Hey! - 'kneejerk' is a good word for it, isn't it?]   Mitch is only doing what any self-respecting boy would do.  I would have done it myself at his age.   What do you do when you see a coin or a note lying in the street?   Leave it for the next person?  Give it to charity?  (Well, I might if it was big enough.)  Hand it in to the police?  If everybody who took advantage of a chance situation got spanked for it, there wouldn't be many people, from the President downwards (?), who could keep their pants up.

As for me, if I'm that good at putting, I should be moving up to play with bigger boys.

And as for Mitch, I might suggest he start up a business of his own, selling those free passes.  Never miss an opportunity, son!  How do you think Rockefeller and Carnegie got started?

Flagrantly Immoral Push

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
I don't see anything wrong with what they are doing unless they are watching someone leave a pass without telling the person. I still wouldn't punish them but I'd talk to them about the ethics of it. Otherwise, it sounds to me like the equivalent of people checking the change chute of a pay telephone for coins back when pay phones existed.

Kat

ivor

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Marshall
Seems pretty harmless to me. I guess paying for a round is a fair chunk out of an eleven year olds' allowance, so getting a freebie - or two - has to be a good thing.

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Plagosus


Cowboy
On re-reading the OP I see it is not made clear whether the boys hang around waiting for someone to leave a ticket or just turn up to see if there are any tickets on the ground. I would class the former as unacceptable and the latter as acceptable - a bit like checking vending machines to see if there is any change. Assuming low value is involved, it is the difference between walking behind someone in the street and seeing them drop something and picking it up and keeping it and just coming across something lying in the street.

db105

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Trailboss
I agree that it is equivalent to checking vending machines for spare change, and i don't see it as a problem. I also think that if they do see people unwittingly abandoning their free tickets, the right thing to do is telling them. However, even if they have done this, I would just have a talk, no punishment.

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Emlyn Morgan

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Trailboss
Being a poor pensioner, I look out for returnable fifty-pence pieces "abandoned" in the swimming pool locker slot opening mechanisms.

Anyway, I'm going to kneejerk those boys.

18Smacked

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Cowboy
Plagosus wrote:On re-reading the OP I see it is not made clear whether the boys hang around waiting for someone to leave a ticket or just turn up to see if there are any tickets on the ground. I would class the former as unacceptable and the latter as acceptable - a bit like checking vending machines to see if there is any change. Assuming low value is involved, it is the difference between walking behind someone in the street and seeing them drop something and picking it up and keeping it and just coming across something lying in the street.


When I wrote this BOTD, I toyed with stating that they were grabbing the tickets as soon as they were printed, and only handing them over when the true winners came to collect them. But, I decided to leave it vague in order to see what might develop from that lack of clarity. As for value, it is likely about $ 8 to $ 10 per game, when tickets are individually purchased. I used to but multiple-game ticket books, which brought down the per game price considerably. I am not sure what would make for "low value" these days, so I leave that open to debate

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Zyngaru

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Kid
David M. Katz wrote:I can't see this as stealing.

1. The rightful owners abandoned the tickets.

2. The golf establishment had already planned/budgeted for the lost revenue on those games.

I also don't want my son and friends to know I was listening in, even if by accident.

I overhear something dangerous or illegal - I get involved.  I hear a bunch of eleven year-olds talking about free putt-putt games - I let it pass.

My response: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

I totally agree. I see no theft.

Back in my day we picked up coke bottle for the refund. Was that theft? Nope.

Finding a quarter on the ground and picking it up and sticking it in your pocket. Is that theft.

Nope. No theft here. Just an enterprising young man that found a way to have fun. Why take that away from him.

Like Dave says, I also don't want him to know I heard him. Letting that out of the bag will make him sneakier and the next time it might be something I do need to hear.

pushkin

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Cowboy
Re-reading the responses to this dilemma, it has been a fascinating eye-opener into differing views of morality.   Translate this from the mini-golf course to the wider world of Washington, the Fed, central banks, Wall Street and the so-called Swamp, and it becomes even more fascinating.  When is stealing not stealing?

Push (with apologies for poking my nose into another continent's business when we have plenty of similar situations in the Old World to think about, but we are all global now.)


PS. Is Mitch left or right handed? He seems to have an unorthodox grip of his putter. Maybe I should take him in hand.

ivor

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Marshall
pushkin wrote:

PS.   Is Mitch left or right handed?   He seems to have an unorthodox grip of his putter.  Maybe I should take him in hand.

Push - you need to see how he grips his wood! Laughing

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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
My deafness is getting worse Wink

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Adric

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Cowboy
I would have difficulty explaining to him why this is stealing.  So I won't try.  I was not intended to overhear that conversation, so I didn't hear it.

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