As Daniel held the door open, my suitcase at the ready, I took out my wallet to give him a tip. Gabe had told me no tips in Uber, but Daniel indicated cash was always appreciated. He handed me out of the car, gave me a hug, and waved goodbye as he drove off.
At the curbside check-in, my paperwork was intact, but when I reached into my purse for my wallet, it was missing. The last real memory I had of it was when Gabe, had taken a picture of my credit card for the Uber App he’d installed on my phone. All of this was done in a flurry of stuffing my suitcase and saying goodbye. So I called Gabe and Holly. No, they did not see my wallet on their kitchen table. Suggestions, worries, searching of my backpack and purse ensued. Meanwhile, the check-in was limping forward. I could go talk to TSA, my luggage was checked, I had a boarding pass.
Face flushed, I proceeded upstairs still thinking the wallet was just stuffed into the wrong pouch, or back at Gabe’s house. The TSA pulled me aside, and then someone asked when I’d last had the wallet and I remembered in a flash: the backseat of the Uber. I’d put it down on the seat and politely said goodbye.
I got the new iPhone out and tried to understand the new Uber App enough to get a clue about how to contact them. I found somewhere to type in that I had a problem with the ride. Lost wallet! Meanwhile, I was shuttling from one TSA agent to the next, my sweaters on the floor, searching through my carry-ons for any other form of ID.
Tidy. My backpack was tidy, my purse was tidy. No business cards, no receipts, no prescriptions, all of it checked, and of course no ID, cash, credit cards, or passport. I produced a checkbook, the best I could come up with. Something with my name on it.
A young agent took over my case, led me out to the balcony next to security, had me fill out a form, and said I’d have to put my phone aside while she had me answer a few questions to verify my identity. There was a long wait while she was on hold. I was still trying to figure out the Uber App, and alternately talking to or texting Gabe and Holly, updating them about what was happening.
The questions, when they came, were pretty easy, questions about my address, an alternate Santa Fe address (the office) the business name (I stumbled here, sweating, flushed, but eventually spit out the right combo of names ending in the magic word: Inc.) Where had my social security number been issued? Texas I guessed, and that must have been right because the agent hung up and waved me through security. I had the full pat down, a gloved search of my backpack and my purse, and was on my way.
As I rode the bus to the remote American Eagle terminal, Uber sent me an e-mail with my driver’s phone number. We worked out that he would mail me my wallet. He had my address, of course, on my driver’s license, inside the wallet, as well as all my cash and cards. Because of the friendly conversation, Hillary, and the hug, I trusted him. I did not cancel my credit cards. I did not get a new driver’s license. I did not worry. Six days later my wallet arrived, the change wrapped up in a ball of paper so it wouldn’t rattle.
I sent a New Mexico gift basket—red and green chile, local raspberry jam, Senor Murphy’s candy, blue popcorn. I hope Daniel likes it.
A little trust goes a long way.