Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Friday, October 20, 2006

REWARD!!! If anyone is still reading this....

Sorry, no, you don't get a reward if you are still reading this. Although, it's true, you deserve one because I haven't posted in like, um, a year...

Who would have thought - because I certainly wouldn't have - that throwing a 3 three-olds birthday party could take up YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?

In the weeks leading up to the party, it seemed I was constantly on the phone with caterers, balloon-makers, cake people, answering regret-only calls....It was never-ending.

One woman who's daughter I had invited called me to tell me all about her daugther's "pooping" issues at school. Seriously. Just because my number is on the REGRETS ONLY part of the invite, I really don't need to know about your kids potty issues.

The party was fun - but also kind of never-ending. I swear, the party started at 4 p.m. and 18 hours later, it seemed, I looked at my watch and, doh!, it was only 4:45 p.m.

But I'll talk more about the party at some other point. I think I have post-stress-birthday-party-disorder. In fact, we haven't even opened the presents yet.

I want to talk about rewards, because well, I was in Toronto the last few days (I was a presenter at the Gemini Awards - now THAT is a whole other post that will have you laughing your asses off....I swear, I'll post that one next week.)

Anyway, I was at the Toronto airport, heading back to Calgary, walking to my gate. In the middle of the floor was a black wallet, which I, of course, picked up.

I, of course, looked through it too. There was cash (about $60) a couple gold credit cards, some other cards for gas stations and the such and a driver's license.

I know what a pain in the ass it would be to lose all that stuff. So, nice me - yes, nice me! - spent 25 minutes trying to find a customer service desk so I could give this wallet to them so they could find the man who lost it.

While at the customer service desk, which I finally found, the dude there opened the wallet and found the man's card inside. He suggested I call the number on his card.

So, there I am, calling on my cell phone this guys office, to let him know not to worry because I have his wallet. He was from Calgary, so I could have easily brought it back with me.

I get a call back, five minutes later, from one of his co-workers, telling me this dude who lost his wallet is on the same plane as I am. Customer Service dude tells me to take it to the gate and give it to them.

Which I do.

Then I hear Gate Person calling this man's name out. I watch as Man With Lost Wallet goes to gate and is handed his wallet. I overhear him say he didn't even know he was missing it.

I suppose it was kind of nice that he asked Gate Man who it was who found the wallet, and Gate Man pointed me out.

So the dude, with his lost wallet now in hand, comes over and says, "Yeah, thanks. You know, my wallet was stolen from my car just last month so this would have been bad."

And that was it.

Then he leaves. Now, I'm not saying that I wanted a reward, but isn't that what people do when they find your wallet? Or do people not do that anymore?

I'm telling you that if someone found my wallet and got it back to me, I would at least offer to give them some cash. I would never have taken the cash, but I'm just saying....it's what you're supposed to do. Or ask for their business card so you can send them a nice little thank you note.

When I think about it, it cost *me* money, and time, to get this guys wallet back to him - long distance call to his office, incoming long distance call from his co-worker, and the fact that I spent 25 minutes of my time finding customer service when I could have bought US Weekly instead.

I once found a high powered CBC execs wallet in a cab. Not only did I get a hand written thank you note, but he sent flowers. That was nice.

I wonder if this dude whose wallet I found has ever seen the movie Pay it Forward. Since the dude, whose wallet I found, never Paid It Forward, I told the gate man while boarding my plane that maybe I should be upgraded because I did a very nice deed and now it's Air Canada's time to Pay It Forward to me.

Well, I'm not going to tell you how it ended for me on the plane. Let's just say it was a nice flight.

And let's just say if someone finds your wallet, with gold credit cards that they could have bought a shit load of expensive stuff with, you should maybe at least show a tiny bit of appreciation.

15 Comments:

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I always thought that if someone found your wallet you'd get something nice too. I know if it were me who had my lost wallet found I would totally do something (though not just open my wallet and hand over the money because the person would be lucky to get $5!!!)
And, funny about the mom with pooping issues. I hate the phone calls like that. Or when you pick your child up and another parent latches on and discuses some stupid issue at length. When it's clearly home time.

5:15 PM

 
Blogger Haley-O said...

I would definitely offer the finder at least something! To show my appreciation....

I'm am so laughing at you with the caterers, the balloon-makers, etc.. Too funny. For the monkey's first birthday, I just called gymboree and had them take care of it -- venue and activities.... Maybe the third b-day should be more elaborate...? Glad you got through it. Sounds like it was great if it went on for that long!

6:17 PM

 
Blogger mad muthas said...

thank heavens you're back - i was about to send out a search party. i was secretly afraid that the party had finished you off and that you were recoving in a private clinic in switzerland.
sorry the man with the wallet didn't have the old fashioned courtesy to thank you profusely. i once found a wallet belonging to a bbc exec in the street, phoned him and delivered it to his door - well, i was hoping for my own series, at least. but he couldn't have been more offhand. when someone turned in my credit cards to the police in my local town, i found out who he was and sent him store vouchers.
in karmic terms, you're owed and, unless air canada also provided champagne, you're still owed!

6:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't you think you may be being a bit greedy? i mean - aren't people just supposed to do things to be nice, not in essence of receiving a reward? i'm surprised it bothered/bothers you so much. you did something nice - did it make you feel good? that's all that matters. sure, a reward would be nice, but don't lose the focus here - the focus is just doing what's nice. stop harping on the reward thing - you should just focus on being nice, that's all that matters.

12:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still check to see if there is an update daily.

1:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole point of paying if forward is that if you do something nice for someone you hope that they are inspired to do something nice for someone else down the road. FORWARD. Get it. Not backwards. Not to do something for you like give you a reward or send flowers. If you were truly a nice person you would believe that returning someone's wallet is a selfless, nice thing to do and not expect to get something out of it. Get over yourself.

1:46 PM

 
Anonymous What's up said...

It said on TV that the Geminis are November 4th? What's up???????????

2:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's nice to be rewarded but the point of doing the right thing is...well..because it's right, not because you expect something in return, isn't it?

The party sounds like a nightmare for you. I hope Rowan at least had fun. We just had a the 2nd birthday here and it couldn't have been more different. Balloons blown up by my husband, catering courtesy of Pizza Pizza, cake from Dairy Queen.

Seven adults and four little kids...and my daughter had an absolute ball.

8:16 AM

 
Blogger AC said...

I think the other post-er is right, it's all about courtesy and good manners, which are in short supply these days. When I write stuff like that I feel like an old lady, "In the oooolden days", but I can't help but think that good manners are considered old fashioned now. The couple of times I lost my wallet I was frantic, and the one time someone called me to get it back to me I was ecstatic. The time and effort required to replace all that ID, not to mention little bits of paper that remind you that you've got your watch in the shop, that you have $82 credit at The Gap and the Gymboree Bucks! That's worth effusive thanks and a bottle of wine, at the very least. I'm in the midst of planning Birthday #2 Party (due to planning issues outlined on this very blog, have relocated to Jumpin' Java, thank you) so can't wait to hear all about how it actually went.

9:10 AM

 
Anonymous chichimama said...

Glad the party went OK. And they DO tend to drag on, don't they?

I am the queen of losing my wallet. And I always send flowers if I know who returned it to me.

9:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago my gucci purse (wallet, glasses, cell phone, keys) fell out of the bottom of my daughter's stroller. A very kind lady found it on the floor of a store, called the last # dialed on the phone and tracked me down. I was thrilled to get the wallet (no cash), all the cards, my lovely purse and all the contents. Of course I sent her flowers - she didn't have to get involved - she could have just left it at security but she made sure that I had it in my hands. Common courtesy dicatates a proper thank you. Could be a guy thing - I bet his wife railed on him for not taking your info.

9:56 AM

 
Anonymous QueenieCarly said...

I don't know. I think that if I lost my wallet or purse, knowingly or not, and then got it back, I might be too flustered to immediately offer someone a reward, but I think I woudl definitely get their business card to do so later. I think that maybe offering cash might be a little tacky, but flowers would be suitable for a woman (CBC exec handled it perfectly), something else for a man.

Two friends and I were once upgraded because I lost my very cool, very expensive, brand new winter hat somewhere in between the check in counter and the gate desk.

11:27 AM

 
Blogger Kiki said...

I remember a few years ago I found someone's ID in the garbage of a bank machine, I presume someone had stolen/found the ID and credit cards and attempted to use them. I took the stuff home and looked up the person by the driver's licence info, he was SO greatful to get it back it was rewarding in itself.
Hopefully if you lose any of your things they will be found by someone such as yourself who will go to great lengths to see you get it back.

9:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in university I was at a shopping mall near my school and found a huge binder with someone's notes from a course sitting on top of an ATM. I took them home and did detective work to find out who the guy was and it turned out he lived down the street. I went over to drop them off, stayed to watch The Simpsons (I didn't have my own TV) and it was the beginning of a friendship with him and his roommates that lasted all throughout university. So I didn't get a monetary reward (which was ok since we were both students) but I got the reward of making some great new friends. AWWWW! :)

11:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree- if someone found my purse and went out of their way to give it back to me I'd at least buy them a drink or a snack or something. Geez. Did he even say thank you???

8:56 AM

 

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