It’s Saturday, November 5, 2022, and I’m sitting at the Seattle airport waiting for the final leg of my flight home.
24 hours ago, when I was in Scottsdale, I lost my wallet.
And then I found it.
(Or, it found me.)
Here’s a story of a team of heroes made up of:
- An incredibly kind pal
- An unnamed resort staff member
- Someone named “Yolanda”
- Many Uber drivers
First, a few highlights:
- I’ll start by saying what doesn’t need to be said: Losing my wallet sucked. It sucked immensely more in that I was traveling. Maybe it sucked a tad bit more because my flight was leaving at 7:00 AM the next day. Throw in a heaping cup of suckage in that I didn’t have a place to stay that night. (But, whatever. It’s 2022.)
- Highlight 2: This was all my fault.
- Highlight 3: I highly recommend not losing your wallet.
Here’s the story…
Roughly 24 hours ago, I checked out of our hotel and was planning to join my colleagues for lunch and a conference debrief. I left my checked bags at the hotel and took my backpack (and my wallet) with me.
While I was waiting for an Uber, I met Bill.
Bill was also waiting for an Uber. We started chatting about the conference (we had both attended). He was heading to Southern California. We talked about our fondness for the Burbank airport.
Then, his Uber canceled on him. What an uber jerk!
I let him know I was heading into downtown Scottsdale. He could just join me and we’d add a stop to the ride.
Uber showed up. He hopped in. Off we went.
(Bill later texted me he got to his flight just in time!)
Here’s where I think I lost my wallet: I got out of the Uber and joined my colleagues for lunch. I think it fell out when I exited the Uber.
After lunch, two of us headed to Top Golf to chat and, um, crush some golf balls and talk about work, the conference, etc.
It was at Top Golf that I realized: My wallet’s gone! My wallet’s gone!
- I called the restaurant. No luck.
- I called the hotel. No luck.
- I called Ryan the Uber driver. No luck.
(This is where things get a little whacky.)
Dusty, my pal, now known as Uncle Dusty, lends me some cash. I don’t think I need it so I resist the crazy-kind offer. Uncle Dusty knows better and hands it to me anyway.
It was around this time that someone called me from a 480 area code. When I answered, she didn’t say her name, rather that she worked at the hotel and confirmed I was looking for a lost wallet.
- I was! That was me!
- She found my wallet!
- But she didn’t have the wallet!
- “Yolanda” has it!
You are likely asking yourself a very good and natural question: “Who is Yolanda?”.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that question at this point in the story.
Ok, cool. I’m one step closer to finding my wallet.
I’m a little excited now!
I should say, for the most part, I’m a pretty chill dude. So I wasn’t overly concerned about the wallet. Not that I had some sort of wild notion my wallet would magically turn up or I’d go on some crazy ride that would reunite me with my wallet.
But I carry my passport with me when I travel. So I wasn’t overly worried about getting home.
(I.e., I knew things could have been a lot worse.)
(Ok, back to the story.)
So, I call Yolanda. (The unnamed caller from the hotel gave me her number.)
Yolanda and I chat. I don’t recall the majority of the conversation.
Not because I was getting foggy over the notion that I might soon be reunited with my wallet.
Rather, she spoke Spanish.
And, well, I don’t speak Spanish.
This is where the Spanish-speaking team of Top Golf
employees heroes come into play.
Uncle Dusty and I explained the situation and asked them if they spoke Spanish and if they’d be willing to help out.
Three of them rallied and tag-teamed their way to speak with Yolanda. See heroes, above!
Side note here: Yolanda was at work. So the calls would come and go as she was available to talk. Whenever she’d call back, I’d track down one of our Top Golf heroes.
When I approached one of the heroes with the phone, their response: “Is it Yolanda?”.
It was at this point that the coyotes were introduced. She was talking with one of the Top Golf team when she “had to go quickly – there are coyotes”.
When in Rome? I guess?
At this point, Uncle Dusty had to go. His flight was leaving soon. I let him know I’d keep him updated.
I was also keeping my wife updated. Somehow I kept my phone charged. I have no idea how. There was a lot going on at this point.
Ok, so Yolanda calls back with directions to her work and explains that I need to call her when I arrive and she’d come out and give me the wallet.
All good. A bit odd, maybe?
(At this point, it’s all rather odd.)
As I’m leaving, I hear a chant from the heroes: “Wallet. Wallet! WALLETT!”.
I find an Uber. Tim picks me up. We talk about Vietnam, his work, etc.
I’m excitedly trying to explain my missing wallet story, and how he’s now part of this massive rescue effort.
“TIM! YOU ARE A BIG PART OF THIS!!”
I don’t think he is as enthused as I am.
Instead, he tells me that he’s concerned about getting back in time to drive his daughter to piano lessons.
Ok, so we arrive at the address.
We pull off to the side and wait.
It’s at this point that I start questioning myself: Maybe this isn’t the greatest idea?
I start thinking back to that movie with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Sicario? Is that what coyotes mean?
Was Yolando telling me something without telling me something?
Were all these people–Bill, the unnamed voice from the hotel, the heroes at Top Golf, DUSTY??…
WERE THEY ALL IN ON THIS??
WHY IS IT SO DARK?
Then, Yolanda appeared.
She had my wallet!
She apologized for any missing cash. It’s how she found it.
Whatever. I had my wallet!
We posed for a selfie. I gave her some money. Thanked her profusely.
Then I got back in the Uber with Tim and headed back to the hotel to pick up my bags.
(Tim made it in time to take his daughter to piano lessons!)
I texted Uncle Dusty! I have my wallet!
I grabbed my bags, then hopped in another Uber where Oskar took me to a hotel that I somehow reserved between being dropped off at the other hotel and before Oskar picked me up while explaining to my wife everything was good.
After checking in to my hotel, I ordered (and grossly consumed) enchiladas, drank a gallon of water, then fell asleep.
A few hours later, Jean picked me up and dropped me off at the airport.
And here I am.
Sitting at the airport in Seattle.
Heading home with my wallet in my back…. pocket.
The moral of this story: Don’t lose your wallet.
But if you do, don’t lose hope that there are people willing to help.
Also, be fucking nice to people.