Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Always the pessimist

As I got on the train this morning I saw a wallet sitting on a seat. I picked it up and looked around but there was no one in the car. I thought about giving it to the conductor and then automatically thought, I know that I will attempt to find the owner but will they? So I carried it to my usual seat, sat down and opened it up to see if there was any identification in it. It belongs to a 21 year old Temple University student. She must be worried sick. As I opened it I totally felt like I was opening up her medicine chest or looking thru her underwear drawer or something. Her wallet did have a driver’s license and a student ID but no phone number. Then I noticed that she had absolutely no money in her wallet. I realize that this is not unusual for a college student but there were no credit cards or a bank card either. She did have about 7 gift cards to various places though. Then my mind automatically jumped to, “Oh no, what if she DID have money and she DID have credit cards and someone else took them and when I finally contact her she thinks that I took them?”

I got to work, looked up her number on Whitepages.com and left a voicemail saying I found her wallet on the R7 train and that I’d be happy to mail it back to her and left my name and cell number.

As I sit here I really am worried that she’ll think that I took her money and/or credit cards. Isn’t that sad? Here I am trying to do the right thing but am thinking with about 90% certainty that someone already stole her money and credit cards and they probably just dumped the wallet on the train thinking THEY were “being nice” by not just throwing it in the trash. I never thought for a second that I wouldn’t try to find the wallet’s rightful owner but sometimes being nice isn’t the easiest thing to do…

I’ll update the post if she calls me.

UPDATE: I shouldn't be so negative. The girl's Aunt called me last night. VERY happy to know the wallet was safe. I was happy to hear the girl had no money, credit cards or bank card in it when she lost it. I told her I would overnight the wallet back to her. She told me to include my name and address on a piece of paper in it. I told her no. I told her to just do the same thing if she should ever find a wallet. Hearing the relief in her voice and knowing that nothing was missing was reward enough for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience in the parking lot of the hospital where I used to work. After a snowstorm I was heading to the lot & found a wallet in the snow. This one had $$ in it though.

I got home & checked the phone book, called her & she was all, "Oh, I didn't even notice it was gone! I have to go out later tonight but would you mind bringing it to me tomorrow at work?" "Of course, I can bring it to you." I replied.

I took her wallet back on my lunch break and she was very grateful. She was surprised that the $$ and credit cards were all intact. I was like, Well, you dropped it in the EMPLOYEE Parking lot of a CATHOLIC hospital and I just happen to be a very honest person.
I was a tad offended that she thought either I or someone else would empty her wallet before returning it to her.

The Karma of it is this: Her supervisor overheard our conversation & reported my "good deed" to my supervisor and some muckety-muck higher-ups in the hospital heirarchy and I was awarded a $200 check and honorable mention in the hospital newsletter the following month.

April 11, 2006 2:35 PM  

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