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“Doing the Right Thing”


While working on a rehab recently, I accidentally left my toolbox at the job site, and the next day it was missing.


This wasn’t just any toolbox, it was an old ammo can that I had carried with me since 1977, with over 35 years of collected, used, broken, lost and replaced tools. At this point, the box contained nearly all my basic hand tools for doing my handyman work, plus some one-of-a-kind tools that I couldn’t replace and was therefore very special to me.

I was desperate and quite angry with myself.  Yes, I was working long days on the job and it was dark when we packed up to leave, but leaving that particular toolbox behind felt as though I had abandoned a favorite hunting dog.

There was no excuse for my carelessness! Not only was I going to have to replace all of the hand tools that were in that box, I had lost many items that meant a great deal to me.

My initial thought was that it was stolen.  My investor had advised me to be sure to cover the windows at night, not allow anyone into the house during the day and to stay on my toes as the home across the street had been recently burglarized in broad daylight!

I came up with an idea, and that was to use one of my “bandit” signs that advertise my business to offer a reward for the return of my toolbox.  I simply turned the sign around and wrote on the backside that no questions would be asked if information would be provided concerning the location of the toolbox.

Bandit sign re-written to offer a reward for missing toolbox

The toolbox had disappeared on a Monday evening and on Wednesday I saw a suspicious character reading my “Reward Offered” sign. As he approached the house, I met him at the front door.

He began asking questions about how much the reward was and I got a bit tense. Trying to control my emotions and talk confidently with him, I assured him it would be worth his while to provide any information he could about the toolbox.

He then tipped his hand. It turns out he was an auto mechanic that makes his living with his hand tools, and he understood the importance of the toolbox to me.

He rightfully chastised me, saying, “I have $10,000 worth of my own tools; I don’t need to steal yours. I came down the street that evening, and the box was sitting in the street”.  I had apparently set it down to load the truck at the days end, then drove off and left it. I can see it sitting there, watching me drive off and wishing it had a cell phone to call me!  He told me he picked it up and gave it to people in the house right down the street. “They are at work right now, but I will call them and tell them to turn it over to you today after 5, when they get home.”

At quitting time, I hadn’t heard anything, so I figured I would go looking for it. I drove down the street to where a resident was placing his garbage cans by the curb and asked him if he knew the man that had come to me earlier, and if he did, did he have something for me? A big friendly smile came across his face and he said “Yes, yes I do have that, come inside and I will get it for you.”

I’m not sure if the “Hallelujah Chorus” was playing on his stereo or just in my head, but I floated into the house and my little green ammo can was soon back in my hands. I passed the homeowner some cash and asked him to pass it on to the original finder, which he assured me he would do, then he wished me well and offered me a “God bless you” as I bounced back to my truck, mentally fist pumping like I was auditioning for Jersey Shore.

I was so grateful for the actions of these people, and wished I could have given them a larger reward than I was able to.  But the bigger reward was the one that I received, I learned that there are still some people in this country who will “do the right thing” when the occasion calls for it.

I am happy to have my toolbox back and ready to use them on your house to meet your handyman needs.

Contact Bob’s Jobs and we will “do the right thing” for you, too!


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