Today started out as any typical day starts for me. Awake, feed the cats, shower, get dressed, stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for my daily iced tea pick me up, get into work and begin my work day. Then at 10:30am it was time to log off the computer and head to DuBois for a client lunch meeting, but before I could leave town, I would need to gas up the 4Runner. So on my way out of town, I stopped at the local gas station that pumps gas for you. It was raining, and I didn’t feel like getting out of the car to pump it myself.
After the attendant finishes pumping the gas, I hand him my debit card to pay. Like any other time, I don’t put my debit card back in my purse, but rather sit it in the ashtray area of my console to put back in my purse when I get to DuBois. Generally, my purse sits next to me, but this time I had a passenger, so my purse was in the back, and I didn’t feel like reaching around to get my wallet to replace the card in it.
We finally arrive in DuBois, just before our scheduled appointment time, and after I park, I grab my debit card and get my purse out of the back of my car. I walk towards the restaurant and I push my card into the top of my purse.
Inside the restaurant, we go about any normal lunch routine of ordering drinks, chit chat, read the menu and decide on our orders, give our orders to the waiter, chit chat some more and then the waiter brings the check. As I do any other client meeting, I grabbed the check and went to my purse to pull out my debit card. But, my debit card isn’t there.
Maybe I pushed it down further than I thought, so I dig my hand a little deeper into the purse fishing for the card. Nothing. My heart starts to race, thinking oh my gosh what did I do with my card. Did I lose my mind? Did I leave it in the car and didn’t put it in my purse as I had thought? At this point, I realize I’m fishing in my purse a little too much to find my card, so I grab the wallet and pull out another credit card to pay.
In the back of my mind a million thoughts are chasing through my mind as to what happened to my card. We get up to leave and my eyes do a search on the floor to see if it dropped out of my purse, I trace my steps back out the restaurant, again keeping my eyes peeled to the floor in search of my missing debit card.
As I walk through the parking lot back to my car, my eyes search the parking lot looking for the card, but still nothing. Last hope – unlock the door to my car, look in the console. Still nothing. Maybe it’s in the back seat? Nope, not there either. So now, panic begins to set in, thinking the worst (of course).
I go back to our DuBois office and dump out my purse, feeling certain the card is in my purse. Still nothing. Now, I know the card is gone. So, I pick up the phone and call my girlfriend at my bank and ask her to shut the card down. We end up discussing about putting a 24-hour hold on the card, giving me enough time to go back and trace my steps in hope of finding my lost card. It takes 7-10 business days to replace the card, and I hate to have to go through that wait again this year. (A year ago, my card was hacked and I had to close out the card – the week before Christmas and my shopping still wasn’t done). At this point, I’m hopeful I will find my card, and I go about finishing up my day before heading back to Altoona.
Twenty minutes later, I get a call from my girlfriend. When they went to place the temporary hold on my card, there was already a hold on it. So, immediately I think great someone has my card and started charging things on it, but the bank shut it down due to being a different pattern than my typical spending patterns. Upon further investigation of the hold, I get another call a short time later – here whomever found my missing card, called the 800 number on the back of the card to report it missing or lost, and the bank put it on hold.
Humanity exists! Nice people really do live in this world, and do the right thing. So, I want to thank that person from the bottom of my heart. The inconvenience of being without my card for the next 7-10 business days isn’t a punishment, but rather a reminder of how grateful I am for the person who saved my card from being stolen and utilized for someone else’s or even their own pleasure at my expense.
After all was said and done with my escapade today, I can’t help but remember a similar situation from my childhood. And, the words of my father are resignating in my head this evening.
The short story goes something like this….during my 47 years of living, I’ve probably only seen my dad really mad a handful of times. Once at me when I was in high school, and another time at my sister. We had been traveling somewhere and stopped at a McDonald’s for a potty break and something to eat. My sister was probably in grade school, and she had carried her purse into the restaurant; however, she didn’t carry it out. It was probably a few miles down the road when she discovered her purse was missing, and my dad lost it on her. In a rush he turned the car around and drove back to the McDonald’s letting her know the mistake she had made, and if she had been paying better attention this wouldn’t have happened. Now, my dad didn’t often yell at us, but when he did, it wasn’t pretty (guess that’s where I get my short temper). Luckily, when we arrived back at the McDonald’s, Liz’s purse was still sitting where she had left it. But it would be a long time before she would forget to make a mistake like that again.
Well, dad….today, those words you uttered to Liz all those years ago are playing over in my head… if I only had had my head screwed on right, I wouldn’t have been so careless and lost my debit card. But, thanks to a very special guardian angel, my card was reported stolen and closed. Thanks dad for always being in my head, even when I don’t follow directions exactly, and thank you to the mystery person who did the right thing.