Mornings are bad for allot of people. I usually need a Rockstar or similar beverage and at least one cup of coffee before being considered "functional." So, I guess it might be understandable how I thought I lost my wallet a few mornings back.
I had returned from my interview the night before around nine or ten after a very long ride on the metro. I put the gear carefully on the floor under the desk a flung the rest of my belongings onto the bed, grabbed my towel and toiletries and hit the showers.
After dealing with the DC "tunnel funk" I grabbed some dinner, kicked most of my stuff (purse, hoodie...etc...) to the floor, crawled in between the covers and was out.
Soon my cell phone's alarm was going off, time to get ready for work. It tookme about half an hour to make myself presentable and I was out the door. On the way to the elevator drunk-guy-from-down-the-hall said good morning and we started chatting. (He wasn't drunk this particular morning, he was just spectacularly drunk the first night I really remember seeing him and the title stuck.)
By the way, I'm staying in the dorms of an unnamed university. More on that later.
So, while exchanging pleasantries, I dug in my purse for my wallet. I wanted the bills in my hand and ready to go when I reached the energy-drink vending machine in the lobby.
Hmmm, no wallet. I excused myself from Drunkie waved bye to the people holding the elevator doors and went back to the room I share with another NPR intern. (She's probably okay with me naming her here, but I'd rather wait to do so...it's like suspense, but not as interesting.)
Once back in the room, I start looking around. I check the top of the dresser, the desk and the bed.
My roommate wanted to know "what's up?" "I can't find my wallet," I said distractedly throwing all the clothes out of my cardboard box laundry hamper onto the floor. I checked the pockets of every pair of pants as I put them back into the box. I looked on the bed, the desk and the top of the dresser again, then under the bed, in my underwear drawer and on the shelves where I store my food. The whole time I was doing this I felt like I was moving faster and faster in the tiny shared space. I repeated the process three or four times. It's not like there were new places to look magically appearing.
My poor roommate was staying home from work, sick with strep. She started to look concerned when I dump the contents of my purse onto the floor... for the third time.
Ten minutes into my frantic tear around the room, I started thinking about everyplace I took my wallet out of my purse the day before. The metro, the gas station, that's it. The gas station, right before my interviews.
I left it someplace! That's the only thing that made sense as I shoved the bed away from the wall for the second time to look in the space between.
As I searched, I start thinking about my debit card....my credit card....my target card... Damn the paperless economy! Then I went cold. I left my social security card in there. I had put it in when I had to fill out the hiring forms at NPR. I never took it out. That is when I started cussing. My roommate began to look alarmed.
I made the first call. The bank representative was sort of sympathetic. He explained that if I didn't cancel the debit card "RIGHT NOW", I'd be responsible for any charges on the account. I asked him to stay on the line for one more second. I was tearing the blankets off of my bed again. I knew that I'd find the damn thing as soon as I canceled the card.
I was late for work. He wanted off of the phone with the crazy woman. He offered to leave the card active with a note that I called and may call back in a second to cancel the card. He said he didn't know if I'd still be held responsible for any fraudulent charges. I canceled the card.
I found the wallet -according to my roommate- less than a minute after getting off the phone.