Digital Mitzvah

I was about to get out of a taxi last week when I felt a faint vibration from the seat. My instinct was to look for my phone, concerned that it may have fallen out of my bag. What I discovered was not my phone, but someone else’s.

Rather than give the phone to the driver, I made the executive decision to find the owner. I knew that if it went into the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s lost and found, the owner would have had days of frustrating search ahead, and frankly, may have never seen the phone again.

I looked at the screen and there was a message saying that this phone was lost, and please call the number below (I found this very high tech and cool).

I phoned the number which turned out to be that of the owner’s fiancé in Ontario. He then passed along my number to his fiancée, who was out of town. She later called me and we arranged for her friend to retrieve it the next day at the office of a client where I would be working. A series of logistical texts followed.

The next day, I had stepped out when the friend arrived at my client’s office. Upon my return, the receptionist awkwardly handed me some cash which she had left for me at the owner’s insistence.

At first, I was aghast because I neither expected nor felt comfortable receiving this “reward”. I had done what I thought was the right thing, and that was that. My client rightly pointed out that I couldn’t do anything about it now, and we concluded that I’d pay it forward by donating it (which I did).

In the digital era, it’s easy to be anonymous. All I know about the owner is her first name and an unidentified cell phone number from which she contacted me. It intrigued me that now there was no direct link between the owner and me.

The irony was that I had her most precious possession, her cell phone, and nothing about this transaction felt personal. I wanted to thank her for the money and did my best by texting the friend and the phone she had called on the previous evening.

I never heard another word.

Have a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *