iPad – lost and found
We hear plenty stories of the bad and the ugly in SA, but every now and again something good happens against all perceptions and expectations, and thus should be voiced and praised.
My wife was traveling out of OR Tambo yesterday and being in a hectic rush (she forgot her passport!), she and our two children (5yrs & 4mnths respectively) were helped through security via the assisted passengers section.
With two children, hand luggage and a buggy – my wife had her hands full and was very grateful for 1 – being on the flight and 2 – being assisted by airport personnel. She and other friends of ours have often commented about the lack of assistance ground staff are willing to give passenger (airport tax payers) who genuinely need it. A friend of ours, also traveling with a toddler,was eventually helped by an SAA captain on a recent flight after the ground staff completely ignored the captain’s request for someone to assist her.
Back to the point. With all the drama of taking a sleeping baby out of the buggy so that it could be searched for WMDs, my wife was extremely grateful for the assistance from the ground staff putting the bags through the scanner. She informed my wife that all the bags were collected and that they should head straight for the gate.
Once the ‘now it is safe to use an electrical device’ indication was given – my son wanted to watch something on the iPad. But after scratching around in every bag in the overhead locker, my wife realised that she must have left it at home, in Centurion. She then got the queasy feeling when she remembered that she actually took it out of the bag to go through the scanner separately.
At cruising altitude, there is not much you can do other than stress for the remaining 5hrs of the flight. Upon landing, she bursts into tears and informs me of the ipad’s new location. Although it is insured, it is still an unnecessary hassle.
The biggest challenge is to get to the correct department on the switchboard. After numerous attempts, transfers, dropped calls we eventually spoke to florence on 0119216159 in airport security who duly informed us that a ‘Y-pad Apple’ was handed in that morning. Cue elation from my wife.
But let me back up a bit. My first instinct and reaction was that it was stolen. That it was deliberately not put in the bag. Then after my wife convinced me that the lady helping her was really very helpful, and that it was more likely a case of her not knowing that the device was part of my wife’s belongings, I turned my frustration against the security staff – that it was extremely unlikely that the device would ever be handed in. I told my wife that it was most likely gone and that we should call the police and file a report for the insurance purposes. I even said something along the lines of even the police would not exactly turn over every stone in investigating it – probably not as polite as that.
When Florence informed me that the ipod was safely stored in the locked up, lost luggage – with a reference number and everything, I was incredibly embarrassed. I feel ashamed at myself for immediately thinking the worst of every possible scenario. Here are people providing invaluable assistance and service and they should have been given credit instead of accusations – even if the device did not show up.
It is a constant challenge for most people, I assume, to always think and act positively. I generally have a positive outlook on most things in life, but it seems that I can too easily slip into a negative mindset. Negativity seems to be more contagious than positivity.
Yesterday, I was taught a big lesson that involved a mere electronic device. My life is not any richer or poorer with or without it. My energy should have been focused in praising the many people at OR Tambo airport, for their assistance in ensuring that my family managed to board the plane safely and on time. Had they not made the flight yesterday, then I would have been very miserable indeed.
So I humbly do that now. I apologise to the wonderful people who helped my family on Sunday morning at terminal A, for immediately thinking the worst of you when I was slightly inconvenienced.