I did it again.
I was drawing money from an ATM machine outside a bank. After I had keyed in all the right numbers, I waited, while the machine was processing my request. My mind started wandering ….
Then the screen said OK, and the machine started ejecting my ATM card. I picked up the card, feeling content that I had finished the process smoothly, and started to walk away.
About ten seconds later, I heard some loud shouting from behind. I was usually not a nosy person, so I kept walking. The shouting didn’t stop, and just to check that there wasn’t a robbery going on in the bank, I turned round briefly, and noticed that the shouting was directed at me! Then it didn’t take me more than one millisecond before I understood what was going on. I dashed back to the ATM machine, and picked up the four hundred dollars that was still lying on the dispensing slot. The guy at the next ATM machine then complained to me about the difficult situation that I had put him in: If I had continued to walk on, he wouldn’t know what to do.
There’re still good people around.
About two years ago, for the first time in my life, I lost my mobile phone. I couldn’t even remember where I had lost it. Then, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a man, who found the phone, and my home number in the phone. He then offered to meet me somewhere to return the phone to me.
Afterwards, I sent him a text message saying that his noble act had restored my faith in human kindness.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not always so lucky. The ATM saga had happened to me 16 years ago. But on that occasion, even though I ran back to the machine in less than a minute when I remembered I hadn’t picked up the money, it was not there any more. I looked around; there was nobody in sight. Had this person been stalking me, waiting to cash in on my forgetfulness?
Six months ago, I left my iPod on the treadmill in the gym. Again, it didn’t take more than one minute for it to disappear forever. Afterwards I had to amuse myself by imagining how disappointed the ‘thief’ would be when he/she found out that the contents of the iPod were all video podcasts from TEDTalks and Onion News Network. There was nothing he/she would understand.