Sunday, August 3, 2008

No Good Deed

A few weeks ago, I hopped onto the empty 145 bus and before sidling into my usual seat in the back, and I noticed a set of keys on it. Then between the seat and the wall, there was a big shiny Blackberry.

I could have given the keys and the phone to the bus driver right then, since the bus was nigh empty, but I decided to hold on to them. I figured if I were to lose such precious things on a bus, the last thing I would want is to get them lost in the bureaucracy of the CTA lost and found. I've seen news stories about the loads of lost items that are never claimed; I wasn't about to let some person's stuff become statistics.

And I wanted a project.

It was a Friday morning, and I'm notoriously restless on Fridays. I thought it would be a good to break up the workaday monotony by doing some sleuthing. And I kind of wanted to play with this Blackberry - see what the fuss was about. Now I didn't want to play play with it; I just hoped that in doing so, I would find the owner, or a good contact with whom to start the search.

Suck. The keypad was locked. No fun for me there.

The only clues this phone offered was on the home screen: A long Indian name (I'll call him Mr. Suresh), three initials, and the word "Chicago." I did a Google search for the initials and Chicago, and came up with a load of different companies. Instead of giving up, I used the power of critical thinking: I pulled up a map showing all the listings and looked for the ones that were on the bus route.

God I love Google Maps!

One of the companies was a consulting firm in the suburbs, though, so I figured the phone might belong to a consultant who was working downtown. I called there first, if only to rule it out. No such person worked there.

Then I called the places that were closest to my office, and I crossed my fingers hoping I wouldn't have to travel across town to do my good deed. Hey - I'm not completely selfless.

Those numbers were dead, so I went with the last option - an office in the Sears Tower that wasn't necessarily far, but it would be a complicated trek during the workday. Turns out Mr. Suresh did work there, and he didn't even realize his phone was lost; he thought he just left it at home.

I found all this out through his assistant. After everything was cleared up, I said, "Well, how can I get this to you?" She didn't pose any solution, so I too eagerly offered to bring it over on my lunch break. I kind of hoped she'd say, "Oh no, dear soul, we'll send a messenger for it. Don't you go through the trouble."

Instead she said, "Okay. Just have the front desk call me when you get here." Click.

Goddamnit. Now I had to go down there. She didn't have my phone number; I could have just thrown the phone away and had a real lunch break. I could have worked out. I could have eaten at Pompeii. Goddamnit. Why am I such good fucking person?

So I had 45 minutes to get a bus to downtown and back. I was broke, so I couldn't cab it. I tried to catch the 151, but it was taking too long. I walked a couple blocks to the Clark bus, but that was taking too long. Then I raced across LaSalle to get the 156. And I was drenched by the humidity.

I got down to Sears Tower and tried to look my best. If you don't know it by now, I have a BIG THING for Indian men. So yeah, I had an ulterior motive. Maybe Mr. Suresh would get a look at me and know we were meant to be together, brought together by fate and Blackberries.

After a few minutes of waiting in the lobby, Mr. Suresh came down himself to retrieve the phone. And he was CUTE! Sigh! I was a little dumbstruck, and I bumblingly told him that I found the phone in the back of the bus, but couldn't give it to the driver because it was so crowded (lie). He asked if I found his keys, too, and I shuffled through my purse, having forgotten all the about them. Sigh! He asked for my email address (squee!), so I gave him my card, and with a handshake and a thank you, we went our separate ways.

Afterward, I felt like the day after a one-night stand: exhilarated and used.

I came all this motherfucking way to give this motherfucker his phone, his motherfucking life in a basket, and all I get is a handshake and an awkward goodbye? Y'ain't even gonna make me breakfast? Fuck you, guy! Oh I think I love him.

Since I gave him my business card, I hoped to hear from him. Two weeks passed with nothing.

Then on Monday morning, I get an email from Macy's...with a $100 gift certificate from Mr. Suresh.

Hells YES!

Mother Teresa was right, it pays to be selfless. She should know; girlfriend cornered the Indian market

So there's that,



Justin said...

Oh Laura, you're adventures...once you pair up with those Hardy Boys, there'll be no crime or self-imposed mystery that shall go unsolved.

Had he been a true gentleman, he probably would have shoved $500 in your brazierre and called you a cab. That's what I would have done...

manda said...

When you talked to his assistant, you realized you were in Chicago and not Dubois County, right?

Laura said...

Thanks Justin - I already felt like I was writing a Bubbles Blog; I just didn't begin it with "So I..." and end it with some brief adventure with Rockapella. Or 'Pella? Whatevs. I'm a different kind of Nancy Drew.

"Hey guys!"

mkieper said...

Swell story Gordi, Sincerely!

shana said...

I didn't get to hear this story! Faboo.