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How well do you remember your first day on the job? No matter what sort of work you do, it would have to be pretty unusual to top Teodora Petrova's. She's a 20-something Bulgarian national who, despite speaking limited English, landed employment at a Goodwill store in Glen Carbon, Ill., near St. Louis, last Friday. And right off the bat was assigned to process donations of used shoes.
Late that afternoon, she opened a box and found, not just footwear, but also a cool $7,500 in cash. Now, if America is indeed the land of opportunity, she'd just been given one to slip the money into her pocket without anyone else knowing. In fact, she might have been able to afford to quit on the spot, before even collecting her first paycheck. But she didn't. Instead, she marched up to her supervisor and handed over the dough.
"It's not mine," she explained. Goodwill Industries International is following established procedures to try to locate the rightful owner because "if this money was not intended as a donation, we want to be sure it is returned," a spokesman told the Alton (Ill.) Telegraph.
Meanwhile, said Glen Carbon store manager Cissy Altevogt, "So many people I've talked to have [told me], 'I wouldn't have turned it in.' " But during the hiring process, she "got a good vibe" from Teodora, who, by Monday, had been interviewed by virtually every news organization in the area. Oh, one other bit of background on her: Before coming to the US, she earned a bachelor's degree in management and a master's in criminology.