You’d think I would know better. My youngest daughter was bouncing around, climbing my leg and being a naturally distracting (if adorable) three-year-old. Looking back, I recall a blessed moment of quiet when she discovered my wallet sitting on my desk. I remember thinking, “I’d better take that away before something gets lost,” and even reached out to take the new “toy” out of her hands. But those big blue eyes looked up at me beseechingly, and I let her keep the credit card she had plucked from my wallet clutched in her hands.
This was akin to forgoing a condom because you don’t want to take five minutes to find the darn thing, open the package and put it on, something which I have been known to lecture high school friends about. Safety first and all that. And yet, my need for quiet working time was greater than my need for spontaneous sex ever was.
Looking back, I remember being able to concentrate blissfully for at least fifteen solid minutes. This may not seem like much, but I guarantee it was ” almost ” worth it. It would have been worth it, except that my card has never reappeared. I have absolutely no memory of seeing what my daughter did with the credit card while I finished my work. It turns out that three-year-olds are quite adept with little packages, car keys, earrings, and apparently, credit cards.
So I thought to myself, how hard can it be to solve this issue? I’ll just call the credit card company, let them know what happened, get a replacement, and the job is done, right? Not quite. First I explained my predicament to a woman who actually laughed at me on the phone (and tried to soften the blow by swearing her friend had the exact same thing happen to her the week before). Then I was told that even though the card was clearly not in the hands of a stranger, I would be issued a completely new credit card number for security purposes.
That only meant that every single one of my accounts automatically paid with this credit card account had to be changed immediately or risk non-payment penalties. Between phone calls and online account management protocols, I estimate solving this problem took me only two hours to accomplish, on top of the hour I spent searching around the house.
So, let’s add up the numbers to analyze the situation: 15 minutes of quiet time = 1 lost credit card = 3 hours of problem-solving time. And here’s the interesting part: I can guarantee that I will be desperate enough at some time in the future to do something like this all over again.