Something unexpected happened to me on my daily commute to work (okay, internship), the other morning. It usually does. I even joked with a colleague, that when travelling on the tube you have to be a person of many hats. This time I had to put a new one on.
One stop from Vauxhall an older man gestured towards my seat. If you’ve ever ridden the tube… ever, then you’ll know unusual behaviour isn’t unusual. Except he wasn’t crazy. He was trying to tell me I’d dropped my phone. But I hadn’t. Confusion ensued.
Turns out somebody had. I sighed realising I was now responsible for this phone. It’s safe journey back to whoever owned it. And I felt guilty even picking it up. I began blabbering that I’d hand it in; it’d end up back at Baker Street lost property office, no problem. My hat began taking shape.
Then I thought about how annoying this would be. They might not see it for days, weeks or months. And if I’m honest I didn’t even trust the office to get it back to them; who were they to me? So I opened it up, awaiting the person who owned it to pounce on me there and then. Take back what rightfully their’s. I quickly messaged a “sister” and hoped this would work it’s way out throughout the day.
Then it started ringing.
A massive part of me was relieved I’d messaged someone before this happened. Because we automatically think people are going to do the wrong thing. I hated the responsibility at first and the idea that I had to prove to the people in my carriage I was a good person in that moment. I remember getting my phone out at the time as my way of saying, ‘Look I have a phone, I’m not going to nick it’. Even the lady who’d lost this phone was relieved and surprised that I’d done the “right thing”, I think.
She sent me a lovely postcard, note and present as a thank you. I told her she really didn’t need to. And I felt guilty again, thinking about being rewarded for doing this “right thing”. I have no idea what the next person would have done. But I have feeling it more than likely would have been the “wrong thing”. Maybe I’m wrong?