Pay It Forward By Giving It Back

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 7, 2018

I’m on my way home and decide to stop at a supermarket near my train station to get some cash from the ATM, so I can grab takeaway on the walk home. That is when I realise that I can’t find my purse. I know I had it when I got on the train and realise that I must have left it on the seat while either taking my book out or putting it back in. I start to walk home, intending to call my bank when it get there, since I don’t want to call my bank in the middle of the supermarket car park.

I haven’t walked more than a few meters when my phone rings with an unknown number. It’s the support line for a youth organisation I volunteer with. I immediately start to panic, thinking something bad has happened, and wondering what else could go wrong today. But to my surprise, she asks if I’ve lost my purse, and when I tell her I have she says that someone has found it, found my ID card for the youth organisation in it, and called them. She then used my membership number to find my record and get my mobile number.

She gives me the phone number of the person who found my purse and I thank her. I call the number. The man had been sitting opposite me on the train and seen me leave my purse, but couldn’t get it back to me before the train doors closed. He apologises for going through my purse and cards to find a phone number. I arrange to meet him in one of the main city train stations, and he hands it to me over the ticket barrier. I have my purse back within an hour of realising I’d lost it.

The whole thing really restored my faith in people, not only that someone wouldn’t just automatically keep my purse but also would go to the trouble of finding a way to return it to me directly rather than just hand it into the station. Thanks to that man, and to the woman on our organisation’s phone that night, I’ve put a business card in there now, so at least next time someone can call me directly — I’d like to say that leaving something like this was a one off, but it really wasn’t!

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