Archive for the ‘Lost and Found’ Category

Service of the Season to be Frazzled

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Packed schedules become more so during the holidays. When irritating things happen that usually don’t, isn’t it grand when they turn out better than expected?

On the same day two friends shared examples of uh-oh’s that ended well.

The Keys to Kindness

One friend is shuttling back and forth between her home and her daughter’s for a week to dog sit while the family is out of town. She spends the night with the dog at the pooch’s home—she has two cats and they don’t get along. Early one morning she arrived home after settling the dog and she couldn’t find her keys. To get in she woke a neighbor who had a second set.

She subsequently wrote: “I just got a call from the library. Someone found my keys on the sidewalk between our two houses and my library card is on the key chain, so that good person turned them in. I will pick them up at the front desk!”

The Bus Left Without Me

A friend arrived just in time to catch a bus that was taking a group on a museum tour and lunch only to discover it had left without her. As she had paid for the day she scrambled to get to the first stop on her own all the time wondering why the bus hadn’t waited for her and her plus one. Although they’d cashed her check, they may have been omitted from the list, she worried.

Once she caught up with the group she complained to the event organizer, eventually forgot about the anxiety she’d experienced and had a grand time.

She wrote a few days later: “The woman who organized the museum/lunch just dropped off a bottle of wine and Godiva chocolates as apology gifts with hopes that we will continue to attend the organization’s events.”

It’s so easy to be distracted during the holidays, increasing the chances that untoward things will happen. Have others saved your bacon or made memorable apologies for mistakes?

This was not the gift mentioned in the story.

Service of Excellent Outcomes

Thursday, January 5th, 2023

What a thrill when situations that look discouraging turn out well.

Print That

My heart sank when I broke my brand-new Canon printer. I’d removed an empty cartridge to determine its order number and didn’t return it to its spot once I learned that my nearest office supply store didn’t have it in stock, and I’d have to buy it online. Turns out you’re not supposed to leave the housing empty.

When I put in the new cartridge the carriage moved to the right, out of sight and stuck. A doomsday message appeared in the digital window. YouTube videos and instructions on Google to fix it didn’t do the trick. I had visions of lugging the printer somewhere for repair.

That’s when I decided to try Canon customer service. It took me some eight phone calls to reach a person. Before that when the computer voice asked me for the name and TR number of the product the computer voice ignored my response and repeated the question again and again. My neighbors, if passing by in the hallway, must have wondered why I was yelling “Pixma TR4720” at the top of my lungs. Punching 0 a zillion times did nothing.

Eventually I lucked out and landed on Christian, a person. Step by step he guided me through unplugging the device from electricity to tapping the on button multiple times to a fix. It worked! I was grateful and relieved. I never got the request to rate my experience. I was disappointed as I’m asked to rate a paper towel order and I wanted to share my gratitude with management.

Lost and Found

A friend didn’t tell me that she’d dropped off a magnificent Christmas gift a few nights before December 25: A stunning orchid. She knew I hadn’t received it because I never mentioned it. Almost a week later she told me about the glitch. Because it was so late—10:30 pm–she asked the doorman NOT to call me. She said he began calling different tenants anyway while she pleaded with him to stop. We figured someone else was enjoying this magnificent plant.

I mentioned the situation to the best building manager on the planet. He explained that the doorman was a new temp and he’d look into it. A few hours later he called to say he’d found it! Mirabile dictu. Hooray!

Am I the luckiest person? Have you experienced situations with potentially bleak outcomes that turned out splendidly?

Service of Questions—Does Google Have All the Answers?

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Questions, without immediate answers, often pop into my head. Every post has them of course and I’ve also focused on the topic several times before.

Here are some recent ones:

  • How do commuters fill the time and not go crazy when a traffic reporter tells them it will be 80 minutes just to get on a bridge or in a tunnel to NYC during morning rush hour–which happened last week?
  • How do pet owners of average means pay the vet bill when they have more than two love-animals?
  • I’ve lived in a moderate sized house and apartments ranging from very large to moderate size and now I live in a small apartment. Why is it that my husband and I lose as many things in the small space as in the large?

I asked Mike, a millennial and techy and my office next door neighbor, if unanswered questions like these pop into his head and did he think about the answers. He said, “I Google everything. I’d rather know.”  The child of the Internet added, “Google has never steered me wrong.”

I use Google a lot but hadn’t thought to do so regarding this crop of questions and when I did, it satisfied a third of them.

  • Commuters in traffic: I’d already thought of learning a language or listening to an audio book which I also read about as a result of a Google search. To address the stress I hadn’t thought of wearing comfy shoes as that would be automatic for me before a potentially trying drive, or loosening clothes and stretching before heading home after a difficult day. None addressed how to tackle the surprise of an extra one hour plus to a commute.
  • Pet owners paying vet bills for many pets: I didn’t find a satisfactory answer to my second question though I admit I didn’t spend a long time looking. I read about what percentage of pet owners have pet insurance; How much should pet owners spend on a sick pet; How much is the average vet bill and How much does a dog cost monthly? I suppose the answer to my question is “these owners don’t go to a vet for routine care.” [Our bills upstate ran on average $350 for such care for one cat especially if a blood test was involved.]
  • Losing things in big and small spaces: Results for question number three were equally unsatisfactory. Response categories covered how to stop losing things at home and a prayer to find a lost item to how to find something you love.

What kinds of questions pop into your head? Do you resort to Google for responses? If not, how do you satisfy them?

Service of Lost and Found

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

We bought a house that came with a feral cat. We fed him outdoors for several years, as the previous owner instructed us to do. One weekend he didn’t come round and we were devastated as we feared he’d been attacked by a coyote. When he reappeared we rejoiced.

He was very friendly but wouldn’t come in the house. He’d put one paw inside the door and then he’d retreat but quick–until one winter when he was trapped under a shallow eve by a storm that left three feet of snow. We scooped him up from the overhang where he was stuck and calling for help, and brought him inside. After that he became an indoor/outdoor cat but if he didn’t return for dinner, we’d worry.

When I read about Reckless the dog, who ran away in fright during Hurricane Sandy and landed up in the Monmouth County, NJ SPCA, I felt for Charles and Elicia James and their three kids who lost him. Lisa L. Colangelo wrote in her Daily News article that he didn’t have a microchip and James found his collar sticking in the fence. Due to the damage to their home they, too had to leave.

Charles searched for Reckless at shelters and elsewhere. A few weeks ago, after 18 months, he and his wife decided to adopt another dog for their daughter’s 10th birthday, so they went to the shelter. There was their pit bull, who had arrived in October.

Reunited with his family Reckless, whom Liz Wise of the SPCA described as “a really sweet dog with a great disposition,” now has a microchip.

I’ve lost and found things that mean a lot to me and feel overwhelming gratitude. Being reunited with a pet inspires more than simple relief. Have you lost and found something and celebrated with a cheer and more?

 

Service of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19th, 2012

I’m surprised I haven’t written a post with this headline in all the years.

Apart from the season, what made me think of it was something that happened in the 14th Street Subway station the other day.

I’ll get back to that in a minute, but first a word from our sponsor [me]. Strange how Thanksgiving reminds me most of my father who was French, didn’t share a turkey and cranberry sauce tradition and moved to this country in his 30s. Until I married and moved away first to Illinois and then to North Dakota and Turkey [as in the country] my Dad and I never walked across Central Park from my parent’s apartment on the east side to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade every year.  And while Thanksgiving continues to be a favorite holiday–I love baking pies, making cranberry sauce and stuffing and eating leftovers the next day–I also feel sad moments missing friends and family.  Just think how those who have lost all their belongings and/or family members in Hurricane Sandy must feel. They are not yet over the shock.

Back to the subway: I’d been jotting a note on my mobile phone while riding downtown. I dashed out, trotting briskly toward the stairs, when I heard a man yelling “Lady! Lady! Miss! Miss!” He was running after me, waving my gloves that he’d just scooped up off the platform. I was so thankful! I often see a belt, scarf or a glove on the ground on city streets and in public places and wonder, with crowds everywhere, why someone hasn’t rescued a dropped accessory and returned it to its owner.

David Reich, a colleague, found a phone on the street and left it off at the T-Mobile store so that the staff could reunite it with its owner. We found an abandoned phone at the American Craft Show NYC at the Javits a few weeks ago. While my client, Richard Rothbard, was placing calls to see if he could identify the owner, the phone rang and it was the owner’s sister. Both were still at the show. The owner was beside herself with gratitude as she hugged her phone. [When my husband lost his mobile phone a few weeks ago, nobody returned it–more typical perhaps?].

More apt, I am thankful that my husband is beginning to feel better after being sick and debilitated since spring. He is recovering from chronic tick-borne diseases that it took months to diagnose. A doctor in Pawling, NY has been unraveling the physical mystery since August.

dsc022581While this is beginning to sound like an Academy Award acceptance speech, I am thankful for my family-and I count close friends in this category-to Lucrezia the loyal commenter on this blog and to all the others who take the time to share their thoughts; to my office colleagues, clients, media and association contacts, the students I’ve mentored for their camaraderie and loyalty and fellow mentors, many of whom have become friends.

Far more important than my Thanksgiving memories and anecdotes are yours. I hope you’ll share.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Discussion after Thanksgiving dinner

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