For those of you looking for a warm fuzzy story, this one's true:
10.45pm last night: I get of the train, rooting around in my bag for my phone. My iPhone is in a Book-Book Wallet, which also holds my debit card and oyster card. It's missing. Panicking I empty my bag out onto a bench, and it's definitely not there. Meanwhile, the train that I presumably left it on leaves. I look wildly around for a member of staff, and find one in the main station sweeping the floor. He is entirely unhelpful and says there is nothing he can do. I decide my best bet is to wait for the next train and ask the controller to call ahead to the other train to look for my phone.
This member of staff is much more friendly and helpful - he tells me to 'hop on' – His name is Edward Mayne (as far as I can remember). I get to sit in the train staff person’s bit (it’s not nearly as exciting looking as you’d think). He uses both his work mobile and his personal mobile to try to get in touch with the train ahead, but unfortunately has no signal. He says my best bet is to wait until we get to Waterloo, and then go to the platform where the previous train is and see if someone has found it whilst cleaning, or handed it in.
I wait nervously. We get to Waterloo. Edward takes me to the other platform, and helps me try to find a member of staff. He also gets another member of staff involved, who is obviously just on his way home. Unfortunately I don’t know this man’s name – for the sake of the story, I’ll call him Fred. We find the train, find that it hasn’t been cleaned, so I get on and find the exact seat I was sitting in;- No phone.
‘Not to worry!’ says Edward and Fred! They call up lost property to see if it’s been handed in, and then Edward goes to find the cleaning staff to see if they have it, whilst Fred takes me over to the ticket office to see if it’s been handed in. By this time I’m in despair and crying freely. ‘It’s only a phone!’ I hear you cry – well it’s not – it’s my iPhone which I don’t have insurance for, and has got my whole life on it – yes I’ve got it backed up to iCloud, but that’s no use to me if I can’t afford a new phone to put it all on. Not to mention my Oyster card with two weeks left of a month travelcard, my debit card, my provisional driving license (which I use as ID and can’t afford to replace) and the wallet itself – which is quite an expensive leather little thing that looks like a book and was bought for me by my boyfriend. Plus – a whole book of stamps!! What a waste.
What I was most worried about was a) the fact that I now had no way of getting home, and b) the fact that I had no way of contacting my boyfriend to alert him to this fact. He would be worrying when I didn’t appear home, and then wouldn’t be able to get in contact with me, and all sorts of things could be going through his head! Plus, my brother is staying at the moment, and I was supposed to be going and doing fun things in London with him – how could I do that with no access to my money and no Oyster card to get there?
I must have looked like a proper damsel in distress, because at this point Fred (who has all the time been trying to comfort me, trying to make me feel less stupid by saying that no-one has insurance, and trying to look on the bright side by saying that someone might have picked it up and not handed it in yet) wins a medal; he gives me £10 of his own money to get me home, and Edward gives me all the details for ringing lost property, and they both wish me luck. Even though I’ve lost everything (or so it seems to me), my faith in humanity is restored by these kind men. They both blatantly had finished their shift, and yet were taking the time to help me, and to actually give me money! I plan to write to South West Trains to thank them and try to find out who Fred is so I can return his tenner!
Feeling warm and fuzzy? This is only half the story.
I get home at ten to midnight and tell my boyfriend and my brother that I’ve lost my phone, and promptly burst into tears. Then it’s time to get down to business. I cancel my debit card, report the loss to the British Transport Police, and then call Orange to block my phone. The lady on the other end asks me ‘Have you tried ringing it?’
I’m struck dumb. I haven’t! All this time I have just assumed that someone’s swiped it and will have turned it off immediately, this belief being confirmed by the fact that ‘Find my iPhone’ didn’t work. So I call the phone – It’s ringing!! Someone answers!!
The person who picked up my phone was a very kind man called Samil (if I understood his accent correctly), he reassures me that my phone is alright and all my cards are there too! We arranged to meet up before work this morning so that he could give it back – I couldn’t thank him enough! He even asked me to bring ID (luckily I also had my passport) so that he could make sure he gave it back to the right person! My faith in humanity has been restored today! Of course now I have a cancelled debit card, but oh well - I needed a new one anyway!
So a big thank you to Edward who helped me, and to Fred, the nameless South West Trains employee who also helped me and gave me the money to get home, and definitely to Samil, who is a wonderful human being!
Hope you liked my story, and that you have a wonderful day!