Honesty truly is alive and well in Central London. What happened after I picked up a voicemail from a stranger on my phone today has restored my faith in people in the Capital.
There I was sitting in the office interviewing a candidate this morning when my phone buzzed on the desk. A number I didn’t recognize and a voicemail message awaited me.
Thinking nothing of it, (just another recruiter I thought,) imagine my astonishment when, a short while later, I listened to the message. “Sorry, my name is Hector. I am bus driver. I found a wallet, I believe it’s yours. You can call me back on xxxxxxx if you need to pick it up, let me know.” Er… it’s been a long time since I had a lost and found experience.
First of all, I didn’t even realise I’d lost my wallet!! Secondly, I never take the bus. Well, except today of course. The Underground at London Waterloo was closed/rammed full when I arrived at the station at 7.50am today. With no sign of it improving, I decided to find a bus up to Bond Street and after a bit of searching around and queuing, I boarded the 139.
Some 25 minutes later I got off the bus outside Selfridges, walked to the office, hung up my coat, made myself a coffee and settled in for a busy morning.
When I first tried to return Hector’s call, the phone rang out. Turns out my new friend was still driving. Then of course all the questions started. Did ‘he’ find it? Did a passenger hand it in? Did anyone tamper with the contents? What would have happened if I’d not left a business card in the wallet? When would I have realised I’d lost the wallet?
I called my card protection company who suggested I cancel and replace all cards, although they confirmed after my explanation that I had 24 hours in which to make the decision, I was covered either way. That gave me piece of mind.
A short while later, I finally got hold of the bus driver. He told me he was at the Cricklewood Depot having finished his shift. After a bit of a chat, he bowled me over by suggesting he would board a bus from the depot and come all the way back into town to Oxford Street just so he could hand me back my wallet. We agreed on that plan.
I borrowed some money from a colleague, rushed out and bought a nice thank you card, wrote a message of thanks in it, popped some money inside and sealed the envelope.
Within the hour I was standing face to face with my friendly bus driver outside M&S on Oxford Street with the World rushing by. I recognized him easily in his hi-vis corporate vest. We chatted for a couple of minutes and I had to insist on him taking the thank you card/envelope from me. I only realised his name was not Hector but Ettore in fact once I saw his badge. We had a smile about the fact I’d written the card to Hector!
After we parted I got a lovely SMS from him once he opened the envelope.
Besides thanking Ettore, I should love to also thank the kind lady who handed him my wallet in the first place. Perhaps it was you or someone you know. Please accept my sincere thanks. Honesty truly is alive and well in the Capital. Thank goodness!