August 4th, 2003

JOY

Hollywood Helpers

I had a fantastic weekend at the beach with my mom. The weather was perfect, the water was perfect, and we went the entire weekend without fighting. It rained twice, but perfectly timed not to interfere with any of our activities. Of course, however, something had to sour the weekend.

As I was getting settled into the seat of my connecting flight out of Charlotte, I realized that my cell phone was no longer in my pocket minutes after the plane door sealed shut. I searched around my seat, and concluded that it must have slipped out of my pocket while waiting at the gate. I asked the stewardess if I should call the airport or the airline, and she told me to talk to the agent at the gate who would call Charlotte to see if they have it. There was no answer at Charlotte, so I had to go down to baggage claim. The plane was already an hour late, and piled on top of the frustration of losing my cell phone was the guilt at having Mickey circle the terminal any longer. I spoke with the folks at the Baggage Claim desk, who laughed as they filled out a "Courtesey Claim" form for me. I asked her what was so funny about Courtesy Cliams, and whether I was just filling it out to make myself feel better or if something actually may come of this. She explained that for Courtesy Claims, they'll look, but they won't be held responsible if it's not found.

Bitter, frustrated, and disappointed, Mickey and I head home. This phone was given to me by my sister-in-law when my purse got stolen in November, whose brother gave it to her after upgrading to a better phone. It was a nicer phone than I could ever afford, and I knew I wouldn't be able to duplicate it. It was also more frustrating that I lost the phone than when it got stolen; at least then it wasn't my fault.

I called the Courtesy Claim number this morning and got disconnected four times. On a suggestion from Gamer, I called my phone. I didn't think that would work, since the last thing I remembered doing to it was turning it off. A young man with a thick southern drawl answered, but I didn't think he could hear me, as he was already mid-sentence about picking it up at the gate.

I said Hello a few times and he responded. He explained that he was from the US Airways customer care staff. He said that he picked it up right before closing last night, but forgot to drop it off at lost and found before he left. He took down my work phone number and claim number, and promised to call me when he got into work so he could get it back to me. I asked him his name, and he spelled it out for me as Michael McLeod, "spells like 'mac lee odd', but it's McCloud."

"Like the Highlander?" I asked, and he chuckled and said yes.

Crisis (thus far at least--gotta remember that part about hopes) averted. I noticed a pattern recently with the people in positions of authority helping me out all having Hollywood names. The investigator for my mail theft was Officer McQueen. The cop for my big case is Officer Coburn. Mr. McLeod fits right in.
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    relieved relieved