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Why is this odd news?

02 Jul 2007

Yahoo found fit to report the following as 'Odd News':

Philippine driver returns lost money

Basically, a cabbie turns in $17K to the police that someone carelessly left in his cab. What makes it more odd, he had rent due and his wife had just gone into the hospital (it doesn't say for what). He is quoted as saying "It was not mine." How truly odd.

I was thinking to myself that, while this is impressive--and admirable--it just doesn't seem like that much money to make a big deal of.

At least he got a reward out of it. About seven times his average daily take--$32.

Huh? Wait a minute! This demands some examination. A quick google for 'average taxi driver salary' shows that taxi drivers in the US make roughly $30k/year.

Based on that final statement (seven times his daily take) the cabbie makes about $1670/year. The ratio here is staggering. What really happened, in language equivalent to living here in the US is that this cabbie turned in $95k (roughly). Holy cow! Now *that's* something to write about!

Rereading the article, I notice that he turned it in about the same time it was being reported by the person who left it. This means, most likely, that he didn't even take the time to think about it.

This isn't odd news, this is great news!
A little color:
I served a LDS mission in the Philippines for 2 years. The average taxi fare in Manila (the capital city where I spent most of my time) is about $1.50. So yes, the life of Filipino taxi driver is tough -- most work 18 hour days from dawn until dusk. I think though the behavior of the driver is typical of Filipinos. Almost all I met were extremely nice, polite and had great integrity.