Ahh, the life's lessons I learn! Some are profound, some are arcane, and some are practical. This week's is most definitely the latter...and may save you a helluva lot of hassle.
So last week, leaving work at about 6:45, I found a wallet outside my office. It belonged to a freshman McGill University faculty of science student.
No cash inside--either by design or prior act of larceny--but a bunch of receipts, a student ID and residence entry swipe card, bank/debit card and most importantly, attached by a thick metal ring, a set of house/apartment keys.
What was missing was any fast and easy way to contact this person.
Now maybe I'm old school, but me separated from this kind of stuff sets me into panic mode, so I assumed it for this person and took it upon myself to find a way to contact her.
What was supposed to be a relaxing supper and work session at home was thrown askew by me trying to track this person via Facebook (she's probably still wondering who this stranger is trying to befriend her) and then by phone. I called the number on the residence card, but it led to a voicemail and rebound instructions to a website. I went to said website and left an email at the "info@" address.
Knowing that neither would be attended to until the morning, I clicked over to the List of Residences on the McGill site and picked one at random. Obviously, they couldn't tell me whether this student lived there, but after checking to confirm that she didn't, they gave me another number to call, McGill Central Security.
Doing all this while eating, I dialed Central Security who suggested I drop the wallet by their offices, which was only about 10 blocks away on the same street where I lived, but there was only so far I was going to go with the immediate dinner interruption I explained.
"No problem," the woman said. "Just drop it by tomorrow."
"But I have her keys."
"Well, you can also drop it by the nearest police station. They have better ways of tracking this person down."
Great. So now, two-and-a-half-hours after I'd found it, this cursed wallet had become some sort of millstone around my neck.
I cajoled the Security person to do some of her own research, take my number in case they find the wallet's owner, and call me if there is any success.
At 11:11 p.m., the wallet's owner texted.
"Hey. I heard u found my keys n ID.
Thank u! Where could I get them back?"
I called the number on the text, and spoke to someone who was surprisingly less concerned with the matter than I was. End result is that I left the wallet with my building's doorman, and I think it has been picked up.
Not that I mind terribly, and I know it adds to my karmic account, but I spent the good part of four hours trying to track down someone who lost her wallet. Her problem became mine. I'm sure there are others that would've said "Screw it," and tossed the wallet back on the street for someone else to deal with.
So here's the lesson.
Emblazon anything you value
with an easy way
to contact you
I have my email and phone number on the back of my iPad, my iPhone and inside my written journal. I have at least one business card in my wallet, my briefcase, in the pockets of favorite jackets and coats, and inside and outside every piece of luggage when I travel. My dogs are tagged. There's even a little sticker inside high-end umbrellas.
Yeah, maybe I'm anal-retentive about it. But at least I'm not a burden on someone else if MY stuff gets lost.
Identify all your important stuff. (Or as they say in the Tom Peters-ian marketing world, "Establish your personal brand.")
Make life easy for you.
AND for someone who may become inadvertently connected to you.
It may be the difference between found...or lost.