Advice for your Wallet

I recently took my daughter Sarah to see the movie ICE AGE. It was a very good show, but I had a very unhappy ending.

Somehow my wallet fell out of my pants pocket. I didn't realize this until about five hours later. This discovery, of course, came on the heels of searching every place in the house, the car, the truck, the garage, the boat, and every other place that I had been to in the last few hours.

I returned to the movie theater and spoke with the "professional" behind the window. She paged the manager, and supposedly the manager would search the theater for my missing wallet.

Of course, it wasn't found. The manager took my name and cell phone number and promised he would call me if it turned up.

I spent the rest of that Sunday night and the following Monday calling all of my credit card companies - at least the ones that I could remember. I also had to order replacement health insurance cards. As for the most miserable task of all, I also had to go and visit our local driver's license office. TALK ABOUT A WASTE OF LIFE AND PRECIOUS TIME!!! Ordering a replacement driver's license took over FIVE hours!

Here's the Important Advice

For each credit card, I had to go to the bank's web site and find a number to call for Lost and Stolen cards. Remarkably, after you call this number, ALL of the banks want you to enter your 16 digit account number to navigate through their delightful phone tree systems.

I lost my cards. I do not have the account numbers.

Since I don't have the account numbers handy, it is completely aggravating trying to reach a human. Each call probably takes at least 10-15 minutes longer than it should. Fortunately, once you reach a human, they can look you up via your social security number.

ADVICE:

Take an inventory of everything in your wallet. Write it down or put it into an Excel spreadsheet. Be sure to include bank names, account numbers, and phone numbers - this will save you hours of aggravation.

Amazingly, FIVE days later, the movie theater manager telephoned me to let me know that he found my wallet while searching for a little girl's doll. I left work immediately and picked up my wallet 30 minutes later. But, FIVE days later? What does this tell you about how often and thoroughly movie theater floors are cleaned?!?!?

Of course, unfortunately, my $90 cash was gone but everything else was still intact. I got back some wallet photos of my wife and daughter that were irreplaceable. I also realized there were two credit cards that I forgot to call and cancel.

Well, this drama isn't over yet. The new replacement credit cards are starting to arrive by mail. Each card requires a call to be made to activate the card - there goes another two hours of time.

And the worst is still yet to come. I, probably like most people, have many service suppliers that charge their monthly fees to my credit cards automatically each month. All of these automated charges will now start to be declined when the vendors hit the old card number. Dozens of suppliers will have to be called to provide new card numbers. New forms will have to be filled out. Phone menu trees will have to be navigated. I still have several hours of lost/stolen/replaced credit card misery ahead of me.

And the State of Texas assured me that they would "rush" my new license right out to me - "You should have it in about six to seven weeks sir" they said.

Let's summarize this Advice for your Wallet:

  1. Keep it secure. I am looking for a leash for mine.
  2. Make an inventory of everything in your wallet and keep this inventory in a safe place that is readily accessible.

Cheers,
Scott