I had a bad experience last week. A bad experience which quickly rebounded into a good one, I am happy to say.
It was Friday 6 pm. I was rushing to wrap up things at work. Last minute emails to complete. A call from our Director in China with a client issue. A Skype call from our Europe MD. And then my wife on the phone saying don’t forget to pick up the kids.
I race down the elevator to the under-building car park, juggling laptop, gym gear, mobile phone and security pass. Don’t ask me why, but to ease the burden I put my wallet and Blackberry on the roof of the car, “just for a minute,” while I pack stuff in the boot (’trunk’ for US readers), and hang my jacket in the back of the car.
Of course, I am so rushed, so flustered, I get right in that car and race off into the night through hectic Sydney Friday night traffic. I swing into Bridge Street and just as I pass the Intercontinental Hotel, it hits me.
My wallet! My phone!
On the car roof!
Now I am stuck in traffic and almost on the Expressway leading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I swerve left into Macquarie Street, double park, and more in desperate hope than real anticipation, search my car roof. Nothing there of course.
I weave my way back through side streets and into my car park again. Sprinting now, I retrace my steps ,in the dark, through the crowded streets, looking for my precious stuff.
My mind starts racing. In the wallet are three credit cards, drivers license, Medicare and health insurance cards, Frequent Flyer cards and of course, my ATM card, my only access to ready cash. All the normal stuff, that takes a million years and tons of stress to replace. The wallet has some money too, but that’s the least of my worries!
Then I remember my Blackberry! I am traveling Interstate on Sunday night. How will I do my job without ready access to email and phone and SMS? Who will be leaving voice mail messages wondering why I never reply? And I don’t even want to contemplate loosing the address book, with its hundreds of phone numbers, email addresses and notes attached.
I trudge back to my office, go back up the lift and sit at my desk - a beaten man.
Then I have that most obvious of ideas! I pick up my desk phone and, slowly, dial my mobile number. Is there a good Samaritan out there who, incredibly, has at least picked up my phone and will get it back to me? I mentally give up my wallet as lost for good.
My phone rings. It’s answered!
Male Voice. “ Hello, Greg?”
Me “Yes! Have you got my phone?” (stupid question I know. The guy just answered my number - but I was stressed)
MV “Sure, and your name is on it too” (that’s right, my name is coded into the home page)!
Me ( almost begging)” Do you by any chance have my wallet as well?”
MV ” Sure do. Got them both right here with me”
Me “Are you a good man and going to give them back to me?”
MV “Of course mate! What do you reckon?”
Turns out ‘MV’ is in the pub, the Customs House, across the road from my office! We make a quick plan and two minutes later I have my phone and wallet, all in tact, and am buying MV and his buddies a round of beers.
He found the phone and the wallet , next to each other, on the roadway out back of my office. We chat, We laugh. My relief is palpable.
And here is the clincher.
Guess what MV does for a living?
Yes, you guessed it