I do not believe there are too many things more aggravating than misplacing something of value, be it keys, jewelry, a wallet or whatever. It's maddening. When you first become aware something is missing, you initially believe you know its location which, of course, you do not. Terror sets in when you realize it is not there. Your disposition goes from calm concern to desperate panic in a few scant seconds depending on the value of the object and where you believe you lost it, such as in a public venue like a restaurant. In addition to the object of your concern, you also lose your personality in the process.
Losing a wallet or a purse can unnerve the best of us as I believe we are all mindful of the dangers of identity theft. This inevitably results in frantic calls to credit card companies to stop and change accounts, and frankly, I am not too keen on talking to "Bob" in Bombay when havoc strikes. Wallets and money clips are one thing, keys are another as you become obsessed with the security of your home, office, or automobile. Believe me, changing credit card accounts is a lot easier than replacing keys which is why I rarely treat them with a carefree attitude, even in places where I feel safe and secure. Plain and simply, I do not want to go through the trouble of replacing them.
Women tend to get upset when they've misplaced an article of jewelry, even if it is relatively inexpensive, such as a matching earring or a bauble with sentimental value. This unnerves the best of them as they search frantically for it. Drawers are emptied, closets turned upside-down, rugs turned over, laundry hampers rummaged through. The last desperate act is to look in sink drains, washing machines and dryers where the person fears the worst. It can get rather ugly.
It is difficult to deal with people when they are in a state of panic. They tend to be irrational. Don't ask them to do anything else as they are obsessed with the object and will not stop until they find it, which could be a long time. One tip I can suggest for small items is to search the cracks of sofas and chairs. You will be surprised what you find down there, a veritable treasure trove. Also check jackets you haven't worn in awhile, or suit pockets.
Over the years, my family has lost keys, jewelry, lighters, sunglasses, garage door openers, wallets, and purses. And every time we do, we vow to turn over a new leaf and take better care of such possessions. Unfortunately, one never does. Something always slips through the cracks if you are not careful. To illustrate, I was leaving the office late one night and planned on going to a friend's house to relax. I turned on the office security, closed the door, and lit up a cigar on our front porch. I then got in my car and took a leisurely ride over to my friend's house. As I arrived, I parked in his driveway, exited the car, and headed towards the front door. It was then that an alarm went off in my head. Something was wrong. I stopped and started to go down a mental checklist...wallet (check), money (check), cell phone (check), car keys (check), office keys...Oh, oh! I then frantically scoured my car looking for the keys, but couldn't find them. The only thing to do was to retrace my steps. I got in my car and drove back to my office. As I went up the steps, there they were in the front door lock. In the process of lighting my cigar, I had somehow forgotten them in the keyhole. Although I was irritated to go back to my office, I was glad I remembered them as quickly as I did and felt fortunate that nobody had stopped by the front door of the office and taken them. I narrowly dodged the bullet on this one. Yes, misplacing an object is one thing, forgetting to lock a door or close a window is another. I found it interesting that some sort of mental warning system had flashed telling me something was wrong.
As maddening as it is to believe you have lost or forgotten something, there is nothing quite as comforting as finding it. It is like a fog suddenly lifting and the sun shining through again. Rather euphoric I think, but I can certainly do without the histrionics leading up to it.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim's columns, see: timbryce.com
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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.