Monday, November 21, 2011

Never Lose Faith

As I drove out of the city late Saturday night, I was shaking. It was not a good weekend, I kept telling myself. It was all things that were my fault, but that didn't help. Two moments of stupidity in a twenty-four hour span had caused a lot of panic, and the adrenalin was still flowing.

My first issue had come Friday night. My quarterly girls' night out with my shelter friends (we all volunteered together for years, until I moved too far away) in the city meant we were having dinner at Viand - a restaurant I highly recommend with Nick as our awesome server. We stuffed ourselves silly, and chatted after our meal since the restaurant had died down at that point and no one was waiting for our table. We paid our bill in a leisurely manner. Once we figured out the tab, I realized that I didn't have enough cash, so I paid with a credit card while my other friends paid their tabs in cash.

One friend kindly drove me to the train station, and I boarded my train. As it pulled out of the station, my phone rang. It was another of the friends from dinner who asked if by chance I'd left my credit card at the restaurant. Ummm, why yes. Yes, I had. I'd been full and distracted and tired and talking and ... since I was the only one with a credit card, I hadn't even thought of it. I grumbled to myself but realized I'd be in the city again the next night and could get it then. I called the restaurant and made the arrangements, explaining I'd be there a little before seven and getting confirmation that I could illegally park in front the restaurant with valets watching my car while I dashed in to get my card after showing my ID to prove it is me. Phew.

On Saturday, I headed into the city - driving this time. I debated filling the car with gas (a loaner from GM, mind you, so not my car) before I went or waiting until after I picked up my credit card where I get a larger gas rebate. It dawned on me that I was really not likely to want to stop late at night, so I decided to suck it up and deal with a lower rebate for one tank of gas. Of course, at the gas station, I couldn't find the fuel tank release. Anywhere. I ended up having to call OnStar to ask them who transferred me to Chevy who eventually explained that there was no fuel tank release and I simply needed to press the back of the tank and it would pop open. Umm hello, yes, I am an idiot, and it didn't even dawn on me to try that, but there went fifteen minutes that I would have liked to have spent driving.

As I got downtown, traffic backed up significantly. It quickly became apparent that I was going to get to Viand near 7pm and would be late for the event a few blocks the other way, but I simply sighed and crept through traffic. As I continued to creep forward, I eventually came upon a sign explaining that Michigan was closed now due to a parade, which meant there was no time effective way for me to get the half block on the other side of Michigan that I needed to be to pick up my credit card. I grumbled but called the restaurant to let them know that I'd pick it up closer to 10pm. They asked if I could be put on hold, and after eight minutes on hold, I gave up and called back - whereupon I went straight to voicemail. I left a message explaining the situation and headed into the 8pm event, just a couple minutes late.

I had a great time at the event with lots of friends I hadn't realized would be there and headed out after the event to pick up my credit card at Viand. I drove over, happy that Michigan was once again open, and parked directly in front of the restaurant. I ran in and explained the situation to the hostess who went to find her manager. While waiting, I dug through my purse to get my driver's license so I'd be ready for them. Hmm. Not my wallet is not where it belongs. Hmm, my wallet appears to not be in my purse at all. I know it was there because I had to pay for parking right before the other event and remembered putting my wallet inside my purse. I took everything out, but no wallet. With the hostess still not back, I ran to the car in a panic, hoping that it had somehow fallen out there but knowing that it hadn't tipped over. No wallet in the car.

My mind raced, "Holy cow! My wallet has been stolen, and it had to have been stolen at the event and I know most of those people. How is that even possible?" I was absolutely crushed, my faith in humanity shaken. I went back inside and explained to the hostess that my wallet was missing. She asked if I had anything with my photo on it. And no, apparently my bloggy business cards don't count. She said she'd take my car registration, except that of course I wasn't driving my car right now, so I had no registration. Seriously?

I had held my purse the majority of the night, only putting it down briefly at my feet twice. Hoping against hope, I tried to find the number of the place Craftsman Experience where I'd been earlier in the night. I somehow found the number and expected to leave a message begging if they had heard anything about a wallet. Instead, a voice answered. As I started to explain that I'd been there earlier for a blogger event, he interrupted and asked if I had lost a wallet. I almost wept with joy. I verified that it was my information inside and thus my wallet, and they explained that someone had found it outside and just turned it in a few minutes earlier. I have no idea who did it, but I am grateful beyond belief.

Unfortunately, I still had no photo ID, and the hostess couldn't release my credit card. I explained that my wallet had been found and that it was at the Craftsman Experience where I had been earlier. I suggested they check their voicemail from earlier in the evening to find my message and call the number I'd left - since it would ring to my phone in front of them, that would prove that I'm me, right? No can do. I asked if they could call the Craftsman Experience and verify that they had my lost wallet and that it was mine and use that in conjunction with everything else. I showed them the card with the phone number on it, so it wasn't like they were just calling a "friend" who would say anything. She agreed and spent a few minutes on the phone with them using an unorthodox was to verify that I am who I say I am - oh and my photo is on the back of the credit card, which matches my photo on my bloggy business cards though it was of me with long hair, which also helped slightly. In the end, I was able to get my credit card back, though the hostess kept my bloggy business card (so hello if you're reading your story!) which I found interesting.

I am grateful that they don't simply give out a credit card to anyone who happens by, but I was thisclose to being denied my own card even though: 1) I knew whose card was there, 2) knew when it had been left and when I was supposed to pick it up, 3) matched the photo on the back, 4) had a business card with my name and photo, and 5) had left a voicemail earlier in the night where they could have verified it was me and my phone. And then of course there's the sheer panic when I couldn't find my wallet; would someone really make that up?

Once I got back in my car, which fortunately had been neither ticketed nor towed in the twenty minutes I spent there, I drove back to the Craftsman Experience where the very nice folks were waiting for me. My wallet was fully intact with no items missing. They couldn't tell me who turned it in, but I am extremely grateful regardless.

In the end, I drove out the city shaking from all this but grateful that my faith in humanity was not misplaced and that there are still good people in this world. And that even though I may panic and I may do stupid things, taking a deep breath and dealing with them instead of freaking out and getting upset always has a better outcome. In this case, it's as good as I could have hoped. But is it wrong that I'm still going to monitor my bank account and the credit cards that were in my wallet?

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Melisa Wells November 22, 2011 at 6:59 AM  

YIKES. No wonder you were all shaky. Glad you recovered everything!

Tara R. November 22, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

It's nice to hear stories where people do the right thing, like turning in a lost wallet. Glad everything worked out well for you.

Momo Fali November 22, 2011 at 9:07 AM  

After all of that, I'm really shocked that your car didn't get towed!

(Hope things get better for you this week.)

Not a Perfect Mom November 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM  

I had a bad weekend too...
glad it all worked out though..phew!

Michelle November 22, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Melisa - Ummm yep. That's what it takes to get me shaky. I know it could so easily have been so much worse or a bigger deal, but still....

Tara - I KNOW! I have to admit that I was honestly shocked. Very happy, but shocked. I wish I could find out who it was to thank them.

Momo - I know. I was waiting for that one to happen. And fortunately, this week is definitely better from OT getting moved to a better time for Mister Man to getting to celebrate a friend being recognized for her efforts.

Holly - Oh so sorry! Trust me, I feel for you. Here's hoping it all works out for you, too.

tiarastantrums November 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM  

oh Michelle - this is so sad! I would have been panicking!! I wish I would have known you were driving - I would have carpooled with you! I didn't want to drive downtown again (we were there in the AM for the Chitag event).

Pat November 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM  

My heart would have been pounding, my mouth dry, my skin cold and clammy and I don't know that I'd have been able to think as clearly as you were thinking! Way to go, Michelle, in keeping a level head!

Michelle December 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM  

Teresa - I was mildly panicking :) Fortunately it worked out... and my driving was somewhat last minute since I had to wait for others to get home, etc. One day we'll get that carpool thing down!

Pat - I didn't have the dry mouth and clammy skin but the rest of it sounds about right. Did I mention that I left my glasses case (sans glasses thankfully) atop the hostess stand in the restaurant from when I was searching my purse? Ahem.

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