"Can I help you?"
I instantly thought security or police but when I turned around I observed a woman in a fairly nice car looking at me with quizative eyes.
I replied, "No, just looking for something."
It was then that she identified herself as the property owner. This cache was hidden in the middle of a huge parking lot with multitudes of buildings. Not someone I would like to have made mad. Now I could have lied, walked away or done something stupid like you read in the news. Instead I went with my gut and told the truth.
"No, sorry!" says she.
Great, I think to myself but I had a plan. I first showed her the cache and log book inside as I explained what geocaching was. With her permission I put the cache back and then handed her a brochure about geocaching. I always keep them in my pack.
By the time I was done she thanked me for educating her about geocaching and said she would do more research about it. Then drove off towards one of the buildings.
If this was not handled correctly it could have turned ugly but it didn't. I remained calm and gave needed information to resolve the situation. The brochure just sealed the information with something tangible to hold. A good lesson learned for those who need to learn it.
Definitely an interesting story to be able to tell the next time I am asked how to handle these encounters. Until the next Lunchtime Geocache of the Day...
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