We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day in Houston, spent with the Smalley family full of wonderful food, lots of family time, laughter and of course football. After experiencing a traditional Thanksgiving for the first time in our lives, we were in a great mood when we were fling back to New Jersey on our way back to India. But I did not know what awaited me next would potentially turn a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday into a nightmare!
We took a train from Newark Airport to Trenton and got off at Hamilton to meet our friends with whom we were staying.
Later that evening, when I had to attend a conference call, I was looking for my laptop bag and suddenly realized that I had forgotten the bag in the train! I was devastated – the bag contained not only my laptop, but my passport, money, camera … basically my entire working kit. It was a Saturday, and already late evening. I called NJ Transit but got a message that they are open between 8:30 am and 6 pm. But I logged my lost bag on their website, and got a tracking number.
I tossed and turned all night thinking about how stupid I was to keep everything in the same bag, and how I would have to delay my return to India to get a replacement passport. Next morning at sharp 8:30 am I called NJ Transit and gave them my tracking number. But to my utter disappointment, they had not yet got any bag matching my description.
Desperate for a way out, I made my way to Trenton station with my friend. We were fortunate to meet with a security officer who explained that all lost baggage was stored for the weekend and would only be processed on Monday morning. That gave me a glimmer of hope!
I waited patiently for Monday morning, praying that my bag was found.
On Monday, after finishing a long call with a customer, I found a voice mail from NJ Transit! I was thrilled to learn that they had found my bag and that I could collect it from Trenton customer service! It was the best voice mail I had ever received!
I shared the news with my friend, and he rushed over from his office to drive me to Trenton. At the station, before going to the customer service counter I bought a bouquet of flowers from a store, and then went over to the counter. There was another person waiting at the counter and he seemed to take forever to have some long winded discussion. He noticed me standing behind and fidgeting away. He was kind enough to allow me to finish my work and I went to the counter and gave the tracking number to the lady at the counter.
She methodically asked for my identification, updated the status of the complaint, and got my bag out. I saw at least 25 other bags that were similarly tagged and several wallets and mobile phones too.
When she came out to give me my bag, I offered her the bouquet of flowers. But she refused to accept them saying that they are not allowed to accept any gifts from customers.
I was so elated at having found my bag, I thanked her profusely and came out beaming from ear to ear. NJ Transit had surely made a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend possible for me!