Background to story: ( Monday afternoon) On the way home from work I stopped at the west Bradenton Walmart to get some supplies for my employer. I waited in line at the checkout forever, finally paid and headed to the parking lot with my bags, keys, register slip, etc… in hand. Unlocking the door, I heard something hit the pavement so I set things down inside the car and looked for what had fallen. My bright red aluminum credit card case was lying slightly under the car and I picked it up and put it in my purse. Drove home.
The Dillema: (Tuesday evening) The husband and I are on our way to a meeting, planning to carpool with someone. We find out at the last minute that we are not carpooling but driving ourselves there – but since we started out early, we suddenly have nearly an hour before the meeting. What to do with the time? Suddenly I am thinking of a Wendy’s Frostee and how I would really like to get one and just sit and enjoy it for a few minutes. We are passing a Wendy’s so pull in and I go in to order. I pull out my credit card case for the first time since Walmart and … what?! there is nothing in it. It is empty, cleaned out. I still am able to get the Frostee but am inwardly freaking out and trying to imagine what could have happened to those nine or ten important pieces of plastic (driver’s license, credit cards, etc…) I go out to the car and confess my discovery to the husband. He also freaks.
The Plot Evolves: I start to think when I might have left my purse unattended for even a moment… can’t think of anyplace I’ve been except at home or at work. The husband starts calling credit card companies to check on balances and our loss protection plan. I try to remember exactly what was in the case but I’m a little foggy on some of it. I suddenly remember when I last used the credit card and being at Walmart. I know I didn’t leave it in the store because I remember dropping it in the parking lot. DROPPING IT IN THE PARKING LOT!!!!! Aaaagghh! I call Walmart and am routed to the service desk. After an interminable length of time someone actually asks me what my name is and I tell them. After another interminable length of time someone says they have some things with my name on them in a plastic bag. Oh joy, I can hardly believe it. Husband stops making calls and we begin to breathe normally.
The Plot Resolves: We decide not to press our luck and set out to get the cards immediately. It is in the opposite direction from our meeting and will make us about an hour late but is clearly the right thing to do. We make the drive and I go in and ask at the service desk. Walmart is fairly careful with some things and it requires a manager to unlock the room where lost and found valuables are kept so I wait an interminable length of time for a manager to appear. The manager is a 5 foot 1, 95 lb. slip of a girl who looks to be about 14 years old, but has a definite aloof, authoritative air. She disappears into the locked room while talking on the phone, but eventually comes out with a small baggy containing all my credit cards and my license.
Postscript: What must have happened is that when my case hit the pavement, it popped open and ejected my cards forcefully under the car where they weren’t visible – who would have thought? In it’s resting state, on it’s side, it was closed and appeared not to have opened so I didn’t check it. In hindsight, I should have. And in leaving the parking lot I was looking where I was backing, and where I was going, not where I had been. There was an employee collecting carts in the close vicinity and in all likelihood, it was he who found the cards moments after I had left. The manager said that they often find things and are very good about turning them in. Obviously this could have ended in a very different manner. I am grateful for every honest person involved, and for every prompting that led me to discover the loss and remember where to look. And we still made it to the meeting for all the vital parts.