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Pacific Tales

Pacific Tales

I’ve just completed the Mentor Summit and Mentor Hall of Fame Meeting in San Francisco, and a day’s presentation for Rob Nixon’s Coaching Club in Honolulu. And now we’re taking a week off on the beach.

We’re at the Sheraton Waikiki, where we stayed a couple of times over 30 years ago. Ordinarily we’d be elsewhere, but the function was held here and they’ve refurbished the suites. We have one balcony in the bedroom that shows the sunrise, and another in the living quarters that shows the sunset! Twenty-five stories below, we can watch giant, green sea turtles meander in the crystal clear water. If you’re lucky, they’ll swim up to you when you wade in.

Unlike so many popular tourist destinations, the food here is great (as it was in San Francisco, where we dined again at Gary Danko, for my money on of the dozen best restaurants in the US). So far, Roy’s has been our favorite here with some incredible fish, but we’re off to Alan Wong’s tomorrow which has a sterling reputation, so we’ll see.

Sitting in church before mass on Sunday here, I realized that my wallet was gone. It must have fallen out of my pocket in the cab. My wife asked if I wanted to leave, but I observed that church was probably where I belonged at the moment. Fortunately, I usually keep a hundred dollars of bills in a side pocket, and I had money for the collections and a cab home. I tried to enjoy the service and the sermon was quite well done.

I notified the cab company (“Sir, we have 500 cabs, but I’ll put out a text message for you”) which is actually called The Cab Company. I notified Cori, the guest services manager who had escorted us to our suite when we arrived, in case I needed to get some cash. Then I called the credit card companies, which took only 20 minutes for all of them. One woman asked, “Are you all right?” I was very impressed. Amex will have three different, new cards to me today, Tuesday, by Fedex, at no charge.

My wife remarked on how well I had handled things, and said that she hoped whoever found the wallet could really use the $800 inside of it.

We hit the beach.

At about 4 pm we returned, to a blinking message light. It was Cori. “I have your wallet,” she practically screamed, “the cab driver dropped it off and I have his number for you.” I quickly called to ask him to return for a reward. He hasn’t done so yet.

The worst thing about losing my wallet would be a few photos from 30 years ago that can’t be replaced. My car dealer would replace the registration, and AAA would replace my license. Various club memberships would easily be restored. The money can always be replaced. We have to keep things in perspective.

And the greatest perspective is that most other people are like you, not damaged somehow, and willing to do the right thing. I realized that I had returned money, airline tickets, and all sorts of things I’ve found. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t the cab driver?

We’re off to the beach again, to the turtles, to the Pacific.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 5

  • Mark Cioni

    January 19, 2010

    Alan, glad to hear it turned out for the better. I lost my wallet last Sep and went through an infantile anger/venting period of an hour or so, but then picked up the pieces and moved on. Although I don’t recommend the experience, the perspective is liberating! Agreed about most people returning it as well, and since it hasn’t happened in my case, I think no one’s found it yet so there’s still hope of getting my pictures back 🙂

  • Shirley

    January 19, 2010

    Hi Alan,
    I am an “old photo” afficionado. Actually, I might also be an “old” photo afficionado as well~

    At any rate, if you don’t have the original negatives, slides, or any other copies of the prints in your wallet, please take a few minutes to have them scanned to disk (have a high-quality scan done).

    Better yet, scan them to disk and have each printed on paper. Use nice paper, but not necessarily photo or glossy paper, so that then you can write a handwritten note by each to indicate the date/year, maybe the event, the people, and maybe a memento how/why you treasure that person or moment.

    I realize this comment did not provide a lot of business value as so many of your other commenters do… but I am also sure that your children and grandchildren will treasure the photos as much or more as you do some day!

  • Alan Weiss

    January 20, 2010

    It’s a valid comment and I appreciate your interest. But I’m always somewhat reluctant to “formalize” memories and create work around pleasure. Maybe I should just be more careful….

  • swagsocial

    January 21, 2010


    You came recommended by my Father, of all people :)) and I just wanted to thank you for this great post!! I had a similar experience last year when living in Vancouver when a Teenage Iranian Boy found my Wallet with $400 dollars cash in it (Which at the time was all the money I had!!!) and contacted me through Facebook to get it back to me (Social Media at its Finest :)…I cant tell you how much that meant to me and How it taught me so much about the Power of Good Deeds…..Certainly We have the Power to Change the World by simply practicing random acts of Kindness and Honesty…The Butterfly Effect can be soooo Powerful!!

    Enjoy the Rest of your Stay in Hawaii, and I would Love to connect by Phone sometime and Talk Work/Life Balance among other things I see we have much in Common!

    Blessings From Canada!

    Warren Daly
    Senior Creative Advisor
    RevSocial Media Group
    [email protected]

  • Alan Weiss

    January 21, 2010

    It helps to share the good news when there is so much discouraging stuff shoveled out by the media.

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