Twice recently one of our editors lost something of value. The first time it was his cell phone – a sort of practice run – and the second time it was his wallet. Both times he was acting first and thinking later, or, as it is sometimes called, acting stupid in the smart zone. We are familiar with this syndrome, because it is something we know our clients have done when we are retained to aid in a recovery.
The loss of the cell phone came when the editor was traveling from Nevis to Santiago, in the Dominican Republic. The fire truck was broken at the Nevis airport, so American Eagle would not land there to pick us up. Instead, passengers were told to arrive an hour and a half early to check in. They were then loaded on to vans and driven from the airport in Nevis to the airport in St. Kitts – no mean feat since they are on two different islands!
The new Nevis/St. Kitts ferry service, a roll-on/roll-off ferry, was very pleasant, but by the time we had arrived in St. Kitts everyone had missed their connection. They were collectively loaded onto a later flight, which arrived late in San Juan Puerto Rico, which meant our editor missed his connection to Santiago.
He was put on a later flight to Puerto Plata, DR, which at least put him on the right island, and provided an airline voucher for a taxi toSantiago. The first cab driver, who said he accepted vouchers, announced as he left the airport that he would not accept the voucher. So our hero ordered the cab back to the airport. Quite miffed at this bait-and-switch, he got into a second cab, who also said that he took vouchers. As they left the airport the driver asked for the voucher and 2,000 more pesos! He too was ordered back to the airport. Finally, after much haggling in English and Spanish, one cab driver accepted the voucher, with the proviso he would need to make some stops along the way. This seemed not-unreasonable, so the editor had some local rum and a bite of chicken with the driver at a shack along the way. All quite agreeable.
It was while eating and going to call his host that he would be very late, he noticed he cell phone was missing and concluded that he exited both of the first two cabs so hastily – being miffed and all – that he left one of the cabs with all of his belongs and left the other with nearly all of his belongings – acting with out thinking, but with a pleasant end, albeit no phone.
The second item lost was a wallet. This was more troubling since it had credit cards and ID. It was lost just prior to a trip – the day before, in fact – when the editor was flying around town trying to accomplish tasks before he left. The editor watched the credit cards on line to see if there were any charges accruing on the missing credit card – there were none – so he was more or less assured that he had put it some place safe and just could not remember were it was. That was until the wallet arrived by mail at his post office box! It seems the wallet fell out of his car when our hero dropped off a coworker and a good Samaritan dropped it in a postal box. The Post Office rewrapped the wallet and sent it along. Many thanks to the USPS for this, as well as to our good Samaritan.
The editors, far from being hardboiled international investigators who make no mistakes, are like most of you. We become impatient, hurried, and rushed, and we make mistakes. For this editor it was two significant mistakes in one month. And in both cases he was pleasantly reassured by the goodness that was found amongst his fellow man. To the cab driver in the DR who was so pleasant and the street person who found my wallet: Thanks for being there when I was acting and not thinking.