Sunday, November 30, 2014

Business Travel and the Goodness of Others

I spent the past two days travelling for business.  Ordinarily, I kind of like business travel.  I like the hustle of it, and the game of it in terms of how to solve getting from A to B in the most expedient, cost effective, and comfortable way possible.  

Unfortunately, this trip was less than fun.  It started with my conversation with a TSA agent at my departure gate.  As he checked my driver's license, he noticed it was two months out of date.  While that meant I could still travel, I knew my plans for a rental car were likely scrapped.

After waiting in a long line at National Car Rental at my Columbus, OH destination (OSU was hosting Michigan in football the coming day) I did my best to ply the National agent, but Ohio law prevented them, or anyone else, from renting me a car.  Thus, I took a cab to my crappy Holiday Inn Express.

Hungry from my trip, I walked outside to grab a bite.  Options were a Tim Horton's, a Big Boy, a Wendy's, and a grocery store.  I opted for the grocery store, got some baked chicken, and made the most of it in my room.  Ah, the glamour of business travel.

I set up a taxi ride for the next morning to take me to my appointment, and headed off to bed.  I slept like a champ, took a descent run on the hotel's crappy treadmill (it was just too cold outside for a run), and got ready for my taxi.

At my appointed hour, no taxi was there.  I went to the front desk, but that person was working solo and was doing the best she could.  With the game in town, most taxis were around the stadium, and I was at the opposite end of town.  Finally, about 20 minutes late, my cab arrived to take me to my appointment.

After a 10 minute drive we arrived, and I pulled out my credit card to pay.  The cabbie waived me off, and demanded cash (holy cow, it is 2014).  I grabbed my money clip and paid the man, got a receipt, and got on my way.

Everything was going good at my appointment until I got up and for some reason grabbed my own butt and realized that I didn't have my wallet.  I don't carry any of my cash in my wallet (save for an emergency $20), but my out-of-date ID was in there, and I wasn't sure how I was going to board my return flight without it.  Managing the best I could despite my growing panic, we retraced my steps, exhausted all options, and realized it was likely left in the cab.

Thanks to the receipt the cabbie gave me, I had the number to the cab company.  While conversations were very strained (English was not the first language of any of the people with whom I talked), I was able to discern that my wallet has been found.  Unfortunately, the cab was back at OSU making a killing, and he wasn't leaving anytime soon.  When he did, he'd need to charge me for the trip back to me.

Fine.  I just need my ID.  Everything else I can deal with.

I had the cab pick me up at the end of my appointment, and he actually arrived early.  He told me a subsequent fare found it - "they are black people - very bad" but to his surprise they gave him my wallet.  And at that point he handed this over to me:

Between the cabbie and the fare that found it, you know what was missing from my wallet?  Not a damn thing.  

It cost me $60 for a fare back to me to get it, but at least I was able to get home last night.  

Whoever it was that found my wallet, I hope their football team won yesterday.

1 comment:

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