DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work on landscaping and grounds maintenance projects. On many occasions, I have encountered hidden house keys -- under the mat, beneath a flowerpot and so forth.
Should I mention my discoveries to the owners? It seems awkward to say, "I know where your keys are hidden."
GENTLE READER: The only reason Miss Manners can think of for mentioning it is if there is a problem with returning it to its original location -- for example, if the flowerpot is now broken and the key is lying exposed on the front porch, or if the owner just had you remove the flora that had served as a hiding spot.
She agrees that "I know where your keys are hidden" is not a good way to foster trust. Far better would be, "It worried me that this was in plain sight, and I wasn't sure what you would like done with it."