This is about people. 60 or so AE’s from Illinois to be exact. They came to my rescue as I paced across the lobby floor at the Marriott in Lisle on Thursday. My wallet was missing; something I discovered not minutes after a session I gave ended.
I left it in my room after I checked out. I know, pretty lame. I removed it from my jacket pocket prior to ironing it seconds before I ran down to speak. When done, I put the jacket on and bolted. Wallet stayed behind.
Party on, housekeeping staff.
I’m on the phone applying damage control and plotting my course home with AMEX roadside assistance. There’s cards to cancel and other reservations I need handled as I am traveling through most of next week as well. Meanwhile some AE folks are rummaging through my backpack and luggage hoping I was wrong about housekeeping. Others headed upstairs with security to check my room again.
When nothing turned up, they took up a collection.
By the time I left Lisle, I had a pocket full of cash and enough “what else can we do for yous” to last me a lifetime.
7 hours later
I’m Downtown Chicago now. Way past midnight. For the last few hours I have been on the phone begging the Lisle Police to print me a report. They say even a miracle won’t get it done before next Friday. The Sergeant, after much persuasion, faxed me a letter around 1:00 am. It was full of spelling errors, including my name.
I could really use a miracle right around now.
I leave later today at 5:00pm if US AIR will have me. Right now, without ID, I don’t exist. Well I take that back. I exist in Starwoodland. I checked into the W on Lake Shore Drive with only my reservation and a Starwood number. One security question later they handed me a room key. With an upgrade.
I sense a blog post coming on.
Various people have asked if I have anything else in the form of ID. They seem shocked I don’t have a library card or a signed canceled check floating around. If I did, I wonder, wouldn’t that be in my wallet?
Maybe there is a Midwest trend of having a back up wallet.
I’m heading to the airport. Sacramento DMV was no help. I begged them to fax me a copy of my license. They said even a miracle couldn’t get it there until Friday night. After my flight is scheduled to leave.
Here’s my plan. I’ll explain to security that I must be me. Considering the predicament I mean, who would want to be me anyway. Not me, I can tell you that. If I could be anyone else, I would. There appears to be no obvious advantage in being me right now. Hence, I must be me right?
I could sure a miracle right about now.
By the time I got to Phoenix, I had a pocket full of cash
Flight 504 from Chicago to Phoenix scheduled to leave at 5:30 left at 6:30. By the time I got to Phoenix I had a pocket full of cash and no way home.
All flights to San Luis were filled. Next available one is Sat night at 8:00. I get to tell my story about Lisle all over again when I return to Sky Harbor. When I do I will make sure I mention how I how I traded a wallet and a few lost miracles for a lifetime of “what can I do for yous” from a group of Illinois Association Executives who meant every single word of it.
In the long run, its a worthy trade off.
It’ll be over a 100 degrees today in Phoenix. Thankfully I have friends here. John V, picked me up at the airport. I just saw him on Monday, when this whole trip began. When I flew down to celebrate his merger. We hit the gym with a friend of his from Chicago. Hit Red Devil pizzeria afterwards and then his home where I am now his guest.
I miss my wife and kids. And the cool California Coast. Right now, I am enjoying the moment.
I’ll be back to Chicago someday. When I do, I’ll be sure to bring a back up wallet. And cash in a few of those “what can I do for yous” from the folks at IAR. I look forward to seeing them again. There are a few “what can I do for yous” that I’d like to offer them in return.
Thank you for everything.
You guys rock!