The kindness of strangers (aka My Blog is Awesome)


I’ve got to testify.

Today was a weird one.

Somewhere between getting off the train in Hoboken and arriving at the Hoboken PATH entrance, I lost my wallet.

It’s not really a wallet.

It’s more like a change purse.

Let me explain.

I don’t dig the bulk of men’s leather wallets.

You can’t conveniently stow it away without generating an unsightly bulge within your garments.

Back pocket, front pocket, jacket pocket – it doesn’t matter.

Got a wallet? You’ve got a bulge.

So long ago I gave up the bulk for money clips and slim sleeve-like wallets.

My current card and money holder was actually a gem purse from Steven Fox Jewelers.

Don’t trip. It’s functional.

Anyway, it was this purse that was lost in the span of 300 steps.

You can imagine my surprise arriving at the PATH turnstiles, reaching into my pocket to retrieve my Metro card, only to find it gone.

I frantically performed a self stop-n-frisk confirming what I feared – I’d dropped my wallet.

All was not lost though.

I had only gone three hundred steps and my train just arrived at the station.

I could not have been in Hoboken for more than a minute.

I decided to retrace my steps back to the train.

The foot traffic was light, and there weren’t many people in the station when I arrived.

So I assumed if I didn’t see it along the path back to the train, it was either still in my seat or in the custody of a NJ Transit conductor.

But that’s just too clean.

Of course, it wasn’t along the path, on the seat or with either of the train’s conductors.


Don’t fret Stephen.

Head over to customer service.

Report your missing wallet and someone may turn it in.

That’s what “Lost and Found” is for right?

I broke it down to the nice Black lady inside the makeshift Customer Service booth, who took my info, handed me a little slip of paper with a number, and promised to call if my wallet was recovered.

When I asked her if there was a TD Bank in the area – so I could try to convince them to allow me to withdraw my money (with no credentials) to get on the PATH – she dug into a little box from under her desk and proceeded to hand me 11 dusty quarters.

That was the first act of kindness I received today.

Thankful for her charity, I went back to the PATH to buy a single ride to get to work.

But wouldn’t you know that when I went to pay with my 11 dusty quarters, three of them weren’t even quarters.

They were quarter-sized Canadian nonsense coins.

Ashamed I was even in this predicament, I retuned sheepishly to inform the charitable Black woman handing out dusty quarters, that she had given me slugs.

Thankfully she took the slugs, laughing heartily at her error, and dug out three genuine dusty quarter replacements.

Back to the PATH.

Copped a single ride.

Got on the train.

Annoyed the entire ride from Hoboken to 23rd.

Brooding over the fact that as soon as I got to the office, I was going to have to cut off all my shit.

At some point I was going to have to do the dreaded DMV dance to replace my license.

Request new key cards from the j-o.

And replace my COSTCO, AAA and loyalty cards.

Fuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkk me!

Got to the job in a funk.

Glared at the desk clerk, daring him to request the inane tap on the key reader to confirm I worked in the building.

Nigga you see me every day! Don’t even go there!

No pleasantries exchanged with riders sharing the elevator I rode up to the sixth floor, or my colleagues when I hit the door of the office.

Flopped down into my seat at my desk.

Whipped out my lappie and set it on its stand.

Flipped it open and noticed three emails in my Gmail.

The first one was from a Gabriela.

I’m a pimp. So, intrigued, I opened it and read:

Hi Stephen,
I found your wallet on the Path this morning. I work in Manhattan and live in Bloomfield. I Google searched the name on your license and found your blog and your email address. Please let me know if there is an address you would like me to send it to or if you would like to meet in Montclair so I can give it to you. I saw a Montclair address on your license. Let me know!
Best Wishes,

The second act of kindness.

I think I teared up.

I subsequently learned that the lovely Gabriela worked 12 blocks away on Broadway.

She was on her way to a meeting and offered to leave it with her secretary.

Two hours later, my beloved was tucked squarely in my buttoned back pocket.

And I was spared the agony of having to cancel and replace all my shit.

Now what have we learned?

Always check your person for your wallet before you get off the train?


Keep a lil’ stash of moolah tucked on your person, just in case your shit goes missing?

Uh uh.

Publish a pseudonymous blog, so people know where to find you when you lose your shit!

PS Gabriela Moya, you’re an angel.


Filed under branding, Smack talking

5 responses to “The kindness of strangers (aka My Blog is Awesome)

  1. Dianne R.

    you need an old man wallet chain… just saying


  2. Chanel

    As Stephen’s wife I can confirm that he is most definitely NOT a pimp.
    Many thanks Gabriela.
    Your act of kindness spared us from listening to the inevitable grumblings that were sure to follow if he had to replace all those cards.


  3. Pretty cool to read a blog like this. That said, it’s such a shame that we live in a world where kindness isn’t extended in this magnitude. In my area, if you were lose something – you may as well of just tossed it at a trash truck or recycle bin.

    Here’s a story if you’re interested in reading on.
    Not long ago my little niece lost her iPod. Sure, thanks to Apple I was able to lock it which ultimately lead to being able to recover the device, but only due to thievery error. Most thieves aren’t too smart. 😉 She called my brother (niece’s daddy) and asked for the pin code so that she could… do something or another – at that point I told my brother absolutely not. She doesn’t need the pin to return the device nor to turn off the alarm. She didn’t even think of caller ID which was how I tracked her down and my brother threatened to have her fired, since the device was found at her work location. In the end, come to find out she had not planned on returning the device and also planned on keeping all of the personal information like contacts, pics, etc on it. Kind of sick if you ask me. She already had plenty of her stuff put on the device just in the one day it was lost.

    Long story short, kindness only extends so far.

    Back to the topic at hand, I absolutely cannot wait for the day when most of our information will be digitally AND safely stored. But that day may never come until systems can be imbedded into our persons for which I am totally against.

    I think iOS7 is off on the right track to disable iOS device theft and believe OS’s of ANY kind should implement similar measures. Service companies – the people TRULY responsible for checking if a device is stolen, do NOT… but why would they when they have a potential customer – even IF its stolen. To elaborate, iOS 7 offers a solution that pairs your device to one apple account only. Don’t have the credentials? That’s just too bad.


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