General Question

Jude's avatar

My girlfriend left her car/house/work keys at a local bar, last night. The owner (after she called him) said that he "if he feels like it, he'll go and look for the keys." What would you do?

Asked by Jude (31971 points ) October 30th, 2011

Her new coat has big pockets and she is %99.9 sure that they fell out when we were snuggling on the couch there. The bar is only open on Friday and Saturday nights. The owner lives 30 minutes away. He was rather rude to my g/f over the phone.

She needs to get back home (to the U.S. We’re in Canada right now). My vehicle is in the States getting fixed.

Anything that we could say to him, so, that we could increase our chances of him following through for us?

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44 Answers

robmandu's avatar

You’re kind of at his mercy. What’s in it for him, other than just being a nice guy? And what happens if you search the bar only to realize her keys aren’t there?

Make sure you convey the desperation of your situation as well as your appreciation for him going out of his way.

rebbel's avatar

If you have not already done that, I would suggest to say exactly what you wrote in your details.
Try to make him see the necessity for you(r girlfriend) to get the keys back.
And be friendly that would work with me, had I been the bar owner.

Jude's avatar

Unfortunately, she has a work project to work on, today. All of the work documents are in her vehicle, and she told the owner that she needs to get to them. She was very polite over the phone.

tinyfaery's avatar

Call the cops and tell them he is knowingly withholding your property.

And never go back to that bar.

Coloma's avatar

Well…she lost her keys, she should go look for them herself. Pretty simple. It might be NICE if the bar owner was more cooperative, but, it’s not his responsibility to keep track of peoples lost stuff.

Don’t turn it into a “problem.” It is not a problem, it is a situation that your girlfriend needs to take responsibility for.

Jude's avatar

@Coloma They’re on the couch and the bar is locked up. The owner lives 30 minutes away. The bar is only open on Friday and Saturday night.

Jude's avatar

@Coloma Read the question and details.

Brian1946's avatar

How did you get home from the bar?

robmandu's avatar

“Knowingly withholding property” is a bit of a stretch, @tinyfaery.

It’s merely the next day and not during normal business hours. They’re lost keys, not valuable property with intrinsic value that the bar owner has taken responsibility for. I think taking that tack will likely lead to further delay.

@Jude, your girlfriend might need to pay a locksmith (or a dealership) to get a replacement car key.

Jude's avatar

@Brian1946 The bar is a few blocks from my apartment. We walked.

tinyfaery's avatar

It might work. He knows her keys are there but refuses to make them available to her. Can’t hurt to make a call.

robmandu's avatar

No, he does not know that.

The current best guess is that that’s where they are. He hasn’t seen them… and @Jude cannot even guarantee they’ll be there.

What if, for example, they were left on the couch, but another patron picked them up and took them home? Or what if they fell out somewhere else altogether? What if they’re under the bed at @Jude‘s house?

Involving the police and worse, leveling vaguely criminal-sounding charges at the guy whose help you need isn’t typically the best approach, y’dig?

Ela's avatar

Call him back. She may have woke him up, therefore he was less receptive to helping out.
Acknowledge his feelings that you understand it is an inconvenience and that if there was any possible way you could wait you would. Apologize, toss in a compliment about the bar, appeal to his overall sense of wanting to do something to help out.
If he is still an ass and refuses then I’d tell him “Thanks for your time. I’ll be sure to tell my friends…. ” yada yada yada depending on how mad I was : (

tinyfaery's avatar

If he already said no, fuck ‘em. I’d make his life difficult until he opened up the bar so I could look for my keys. What a dick.

lillycoyote's avatar

It’s not clear from your details but did you g/f just ask him to drive 30 minutes there, look for the keys himself, and then call you if he found them, and then drive the 30 minutes back while you just sat around your house? I would have been a little ticked too. I would have called him and asked him if he could possibly meet you at the bar so you could look for the keys; even if I was working I would try to find a time when I could go there myself. You said you g/f has work, can you go and help look for the keys?

nikipedia's avatar

You asked, he said no. Call a locksmith.

lillycoyote's avatar

and @nikipedia suggestion may, in the end, be the only option your friend has if you don’t get the keys back. Then you would have to go to the bar when it’s open and look for the keys and mail them to her if they are there.

Ela's avatar

Personally, I’d not ask to meet him there @lillycoyote. I try not pose questions because they can be answered with a no. I’d say I’d be glad to meet him at the bar so I (or we) could look.
Being rude is definitely not good PR.

I have always been prone to locking myself out of my car, home (or keys in my car) so I have like 3 sets of keys in various places.

Coloma's avatar

@Jude

I did. Not being difficult here, but, if the bar is only open on Fri.&Sat. and the owner is not available, what else can you do? Either he goes out of his way to help or, you have to wait til next Friday. Sucks, but, again, I can also relate to the bar owner not wanting to disrupt his day. It is what is…either he goes out of his way to help, or, you just have to wait.

I hope it works out sooner rather than later. :-)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Aside from offering to take him to lunch and/or gas up his car if he’ll come out on a non-business day, I’d call a locksmith so your gf can get into her car. This happens in all kinds of business, ours too and it’s no one’s obligation to track down lost/missing/forgotten items aside from the person who owns them. If you offer to compensate him and apologize the inconvenience, he might have a change of heart and do it without accepting a thing.

Jude's avatar

@lillycoyote We offered to go and look for the keys. He said, “no, I’ll do it!”

Ela's avatar

I think saying he’ll do it is good. When was that and have you heard back from him?
Hope,hope, hopers your way : )

Jude's avatar

My girlfriend called again. His wife answered this time. His wife said that he would meet my g/f there at 2:30 (in 25 minutes).

Ela's avatar

Yay! Be sure to get dup keys made! ; )

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Jude: Yay, offer the guy a meal with the two of you or buy some flowers he can take home to his wife. I hope the keys are there!

wundayatta's avatar

I would have offered to compensate him for his time. I would not expect him to take and hour and a half out of his Sunday for nothing.

I think you’re very lucky he is helping you.

Jude's avatar

His wife was really sweet. We’re going to give him money for gas.

Jude's avatar

@wundayatta It’s nice that he is doing this.

Honestly, if I was the bar owner and I knew that someone was stuck over here in Canada and they needed to get back to the U.S.; that they had an important work project that needed to be done and they needed to get into their vehicle, I wouldn’t hesitate to go and help them out. Even if it was on Sunday (my day off).

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jude Awesome! And duplicate keys are a great idea. I was in Portland and left my keys at IKEA the day before I was scheduled to fly home and we couldn’t go back to the store in time. I keep a spare car key in my wallet and a spare house key stashed at home, plus my neighbors have one. So I was able to pick my car up at the airport and get into my house. Then I contacted IKEA when I got home and they mailed my keys to me. I would have really been screwed if I hadn’t had my spare car key with me and spare keys at home.

Jude's avatar

Curious; how many people here would have an issue with going and looking for the keys (if you were the bar owner)?

Haha, not sure that I would get an honest answer here because who is going to say that they wouldn’t, and come off as a scrooge?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Jude: If it was a regular forgotten set of keys then I would be the Scrooge bar owner. In a situation as you explained though where your gf needed to get across the border then I would. You’re lucky you got a person to answer the phone and not a recording. Me, I’d listen to the recording and decide the urgency before picking up or calling back.

Jude's avatar

She got them. They were sitting on that couch. Problem solved.

mangeons's avatar

@Jude I’m glad you were able to get in and find them, crisis averted!

whitetigress's avatar

$ Talks. You want a favor in this world? Pay em off :D It’s the good old mafia arm wrestle.

robmandu's avatar

@Jude, thanks for the final update. Nice to tie off te thread with a happy ending.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’d go. That’s why I think he’s a dick.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yay! Real life drama resolved in a good way! Yay!

robmandu's avatar

@tinyfaery… let’s assume that dude’s had this bar for years. And every single Sunday morning, some hungover, wrung out person calls up saying he forgot his cellphone, lost his keys, forgot his credit card, dropped a $100 bill, or whatever.

And they each wanted you to make the hour-long round-trip drive to help them find the thing they lost.

Why is their poor habit cause for him to go out of his way? Every week. For years.

Coloma's avatar

I’m glad it worked out @Jude :-)

@robmandu Agreed, at risk of sounding hard nosed, but, everyone needs to set boundaries or you’re gonna get walked on. I don’t answer my phone calls from work if they come in on a day off. If my boss can’t give me advance notice, I don’t jump to his every whim.

prioritymail's avatar

30 minutes each way plus the time it takes for you guys to search? Did you at least offer him gas money and money for his time? I think that’s only fair. Yes, I agree with @robmandu. And I’m glad you @Jude got your stuff in the end.

Jude's avatar

Yes, we gave him gas money. We all chatted about a blues band that will be playing next weekend. He was pretty cordial. We told him that we’ll pop in for a drink and have a listen :)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

You girls might get some free drinks in your future :)

Jude's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I think that we have a new buddy. :)

lillycoyote's avatar

This one worked out really well! Yay!

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