Lost And Found Knows No Bounds

| Right | July 17, 2017

(An older lady walks into the ER waiting room, where I am sitting at the front desk.)

Lady: “I have a strange request for you, young lady. I hope you can help me.”

Me: *thinking I’ve heard strange* “Oh, I’m sure it’s not that bad, ma’am. How can I help you?”

Lady: “Well, see, I was here the other day and I left a pair of earrings here by accident.”

Me: “Oh, that’s no trouble!”

(I pick up the phone to call Security since we hand such items to our Lost and Found.)

Lady: *continuing* “Yes, they’re a small black pair of magnetic earrings. I left them on my wheelchair. ”

Me: *pauses, puts down the phone* “I’m sorry?”

Lady: “I put them on my wheelchair. See, I wasn’t feeling very well, I have vertigo, and I took them off and put them on the nearest metal item! My daughter remembered that, too.”

(At this point I’m thinking it’ll be a little harder to check, since we have about 100 or so wheelchairs on the hospital property and with patients currently using them, but I figure it’s only been a few days.)

Me: “Okay, and when was your visit, ma’am? You said a few days ago?”

Lady: “Well… actually it was a while ago. On [date three months earlier].”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I will do my best but I have to warn you, the likelihood we’ll find them is slim after that long. But I’ll try.”

Lady: “Please do.”

(I call Security, who first asks me to repeat what I just asked for, then where the earrings might have been found, all while this lady keeps interrupting me and “helping” when I’m listening to their answers. After a few minutes they come up empty.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, we don’t have them in our Lost and Found. We can check the wheelchairs we have out here, but unfortunately I can’t go through every—”

Lady: *indignant* “Why can’t we check all the wheelchairs?”

Me: “Ma’am, we have over 100 wheelchairs! And by now the one you were in could be on the other side of the campus, or up on a floor. Some of them have patients in them. I’m sorry but this is the best I can do. Let me help you—”

(She storms over to the wheelchairs muttering under her breath, and I follow, dutifully checking all the metal for earrings. After I have finished under her supervision, she still checks them herself and — surprise — comes up empty.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, did you check your purse when you got home in case—”

Lady: “My daughter and I checked! And she distinctly remembers me leaving them here!” *she goes into a rant about how we aren’t being helpful at all*

(I am about to ask for her name and phone number so we can call in case we find them, but that is the last proverbial straw.)

Me: “Well, all I can say is, I’m sorry, ma’am. I hope you have a nice—”

Lady: *walks away, ignoring me*

Nurse: *pops her head around the corner* “Did that really just happen?”

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