Borrowing Items

When I sat down at my desk today, I intended to write an etiquette tip for children about borrowing.  I observed an argument between two children yesterday fueled by one child borrowing an item from the other child without asking for permission and felt inspired to write an etiquette tip on the topic.

As I sat down at my desk to begin writing, I looked for my favorite coaster to set my cup of hot tea on.  The coaster was nowhere to be found.  After a 20 minute search, I finally found it on another person’s desk.  I asked the person why my coaster was on their desk, and they said they needed it yesterday and forgot to return it.  By the time I finished my “great coaster search” and returned to my desk, my tea was cold and I wasted over 20 minutes of my day.  So I am now writing an entry for everyone, young and old.

If you need to borrow an item, always ask for permission first.  If the owner of the item is not available to ask for permission, do not borrow the item.  Never borrow or take anything without asking permission.

When using a borrowed item, take good care of it and return it promptly in the same or better condition than you found it.  For example, I borrowed my neighbors wheelbarrow which was covered in mud.  Before returning it, I washed the wheelbarrow so it was as clean as whistle to show my appreciation for the opportunity to borrow the wheelbarrow.

If you damage or break a borrowed item, tell the owner and replace, repair, or pay for the item.

Finally, it never hurts to write a thank you note after someone has allowed you to borrow something.  It’s always a nice touch.

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