Apr 26 2006

Of saints and samaritans…

I’m an officer in a local ex-pat club that meets once a month in Malmö, and while I love being part of this group, meeting days are invariably stressful for me.  I am responsible for preparing the agenda for the Board of Directors meeting that immediately precedes the regular club session, and this agenda tends to expand and contract right up until a few hours before the meeting. Hardly a month goes by when I’m not on the phone with one or two other officers at last minute…usually on my commute home from the office.

When we lived in Limhamn, I went directly to this Board meeting from work, but now that we live a 15-minute walk from where the club meets, I actually have the luxury of going home for about 45 minutes first. This allows me to say hi to Dr. Darling, grab a quick bite to eat and collect my thoughts before leading both the board and regular meetings. And this month I had the added responsibility of bringing the guest speaker and raffle gifts, both of which still needed to be wrapped.

So yesterday afternoon felt even more rushed and stressful than usual, and just to make things even more chaotic, I managed to lose my mobile phone sometime between getting off the train and arriving at the apartment. This was not a good thing.

Of course I called it immediately hoping someone would answer, but because it had been set to silent/vibrate mode for my commute home in the Quiet Car, I was not confident that anyone would even know it was ringing unless that had actually picked it up.  And I was pretty sure that it must have fallen out of the shallow pocket of my spring jacket while I was sitting on the train, because surely I would have heard it had it fallen out while I was walking through the station or riding my bike home.

So after barely making eye-contact with the Swede (who thinks I have a careless streak to begin with) I retraced my trip home from the station all the way back to the platform just in case … a mere 20 minutes after I’d made the original trip … and found nothing. I reported the phone to the train station’s Lost & Found office before riding home … crestfallen and absolutely certain that my mobile phone was somewhere in Denmark (the train was headed there after I got off).

I also began thinking about all the issues involved in replacing it. How much would it cost? Would I be able to keep my phone number? And what about the technical support hassles I went through to get it to work with my Palm…would I ever be able to figure out the configuration settings again? It was all too depressing to contemplate.

When I got back the apartment, Dr. Darling wasn’t there. I looked around for a note, and not finding one (she’d laid it by a pile of papers I’d taken out of my backpack while frantically looking for the lost phone), I called her mobile. She was at one of the major city bus stations to rendezvous with a driver who had my phone!  I couldn’t believe it!

This good samaritan had seen the phone fall out of my pocket as I rode my bike past his bus at the Central Station and tried to get my attention, but I didn’t hear him in the rush hour traffic. He took it with him in the hopes he could figure out how to call me on his next stop-over, but it turned out that Dr. Darling reached him first.

After hanging up with the Swede, I sat down at the dining room table and marveled at my good fortune. First that someone had found my phone and made a special effort to see that I got it back, and second that my ever-practical, level-headed partner had continued to pursue the matter while I was off on my futile search.

And as I sat there, I realized that Dr. Darling had wrapped the guest speaker gift for me and had obviously been in the middle of tackling the raffle gift when she managed to reach the bus driver.  How wonderful and kind is that?!  I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done in my whole life to deserve her, but clearly it must have been something really, really good.

Later, at the board meeting, I was still too touched by how the situation had worked out (not to mention slightly embarrassed that I’d lost the phone in the first place) to even recount the story to my friends. And then the club treasurer walked in and said, “Oh by the way Shazz, I tried to call you a little bit ago and talked to a really nice bus driver who has your mobile phone.”


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Feed my ego!

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