A Speedy Digital Overreaction

I lost my wallet a few weeks ago. I realized that I didn’t have it on a trip to town and was able to use my phone to pay for something. I assumed I’d left it at home in another pair of pants or on my desk.

We were leaving for a trip the next morning, and I was a bit stressed about it being misplaced. I kept looking around the house, thinking I set it somewhere, checking clothes, bags, etc. I even called a the volleyball gym and asked them to look for it. I checked my accounts, and the cards hadn’t been used, so I turned them off and kept thinking I’d misplaced it.

Eventually I had to give up and just go, without any forms of payment for the road. Fortunately my wife had her card, as my daughter forgot to bring hers. We had a fun weekend of sharing a single card as we tried to navigate a world that is mostly card based in the US. We forgot the card one afternoon and couldn’t go to a museum, which only accepted cards.

On the way down, while going through many emotions, I finally accepted that a few hundred dollars were gone and my cards needed replacing. I was traveling in 6 days, so I needed to start preparing. I was able to replace my bank cards and my license online, getting replacements shipped out the next day. It was amazing how quickly and easily I could get this accomplished using my mobile.

An Interesting Recovery

Even though I’d accepted the loss, I kept thinking about my wallet. My best guess was that I’d set it down at home and then it fell behind or near a place I didn’t check. I also kept thinking it was strange that no one had tried to use a card if I’d left it in a public place.

Eventually one of my kids suggested I call Wal-Mart. That was the last place I’d used it, and perhaps they had it. I called them, and surprisingly, a manager called back to say it was there. I drove down, trying not to get my hopes up.

They did have it, and I recovered it, all cards and cash intact. A relief, and somewhat amazing. Fortunately all my cards arrived quickly, and I was able to travel with all the cards I expected to have, albeit with new numbers that I hadn’t memorized.

Lessons Learned

The big lesson is that I should pay more attention to my wallet. I don’t know if I left it on the self-checkout (most likely) or in the cart (less likely), but I can’t let my attention wander.

The second one is that there are good people out there, and I should remember that.

Third, I need a wallet inventory. There were a few things, like insurance cards, that I didn’t consider with regards to replacement. That might prove problematic, so I’m grabbing digital images of these cards to keep around, just for my knowledge.

Fourth, the use of digital NFC payments is by no means universal. Even getting cash out of an ATM isn’t smooth here. Especially once I’ve cancelled the cards. I should have left one enabled, but turned off. I could always turn it on for a few minutes to get cash..

Fifth, I should keep some sort of phone/email identifier in my wallet. If someone were to find it, at least they could attempt to contact me.

Sixth, I’m going to try a tracker of some sort. This isn’t the first time I’ve misplaced my wallet, though it’s usually somewhere in the house or in a family member’s car. I don’t know how well these work, but I’m not in the completely digital world, so we’ll see if this helps me to stop losing things.

About way0utwest

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