Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Losing It

There are few things that dig at me more than when I misplace something.  When an item turns up missing, whether it be large or small, I simply cannot rest easy until I find it. Unfortunately, I have always had an absent-minded professor kind of brain, where my thoughts can be so occupied with some other issue that I can set something down and walk away from it without even noticing.  It’s not something that has come with age either.  I’ve been absentmindedly setting things down and forgetting them since I was a kid.  Of course age hasn’t made it any better.

My favorite things to lose are coffee mugs.  Every place I have worked, I have unintentionally left half-full mugs of coffee in various locations like some kind of cross between the Easter Bunny and Juan Valdez.  If I was lucky, I’d notice its absence in fairly short order and locate it while the coffee was still drinkable, or someone I worked with would return it to me.  There have been a few occasions where I’ve set a coffee mug down in an obscure location like a storage closet, and it goes unfound for weeks or even months.  

In case you were wondering, coffee can become a solid if given enough time. A nasty, blue-green solid.

Another common item for me to lose is, disconcertingly,  paychecks.  For most of my working life, I have been able to have my paychecks deposited directly into my bank accounts.  I haven’t had that option with my current place of work.  Over the years I have been working there, I have lost at least three paychecks.  Thankfully, our accountant is a kind and forgiving soul (not to mention endlessly patient) and has been willing to issue me a new one in each case.  Typically, I cram it into my pocket when I get it, and take it out as soon as I get home, where it safely stays in a secure spot until I am able to take it to the bank for deposit.  On all three occasions when I’ve lost a paycheck, I have literally torn apart my home, my car and my workplace looking for it.  I’ve also scoured my garage, yard, and the parking lot at work in my searches.  Having sent paper through the laundry process on numerous occasions, I know that I didn’t leave it in my pocket and destroy it in the wash, since the evidence left behind when I’ve laundered paper in the past has always been pretty clear.

Oddly enough, no trace of those three missing paychecks has ever turned up.  No one has tried to cash them, and they haven’t been found underneath a piece or furniture or under a melting snowbank.  It’s like there is some kind of Bermuda Triangle designated especially for my paychecks.

My most recent tragic loss, and the one that inspired this post, was the tiny little USB plug that goes with my wireless mouse.  I have a corded mouse that I use when I am on my laptop computer in bed, and a wireless one that I use when the laptop is downstairs in its usual place.  Last night, I briefly needed to use one of the USB ports for something else, and since I was in bed at the time, I took out the USB plug for my wireless mouse, which I was not using at the time, and (I thought) set it down on the bed next to me.  One thing lead to another, and before long I forgot all about the tiny USB plug I had set aside.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t miss it until the next morning, when I got up for my coffee and internet news fix.  My wireless mouse was not working, and the USB plug was nowhere to be found.

I immediately knew what had happened to it, but when I went upstairs to look around, I couldn’t find it.  Knowing better than to tackle a full search prior to having had coffee, I grabbed the corded mouse and went back to my caffeine and news.  I didn’t enjoy it though.  While I could very easily replace my wireless mouse, the principle of the thing bothered me.  That USB plug was somewhere. I just had to find it.  And no, I couldn’t wait until later to do it.  So I tore that room apart.  Bedding, mattress, box spring, hamper full of laundry, overloaded desk, everything was overturned.  All the books and whatnots I shoved underneath the bed came out.  Finally, after making a holy old mess, I found it.  It was right where I typically put it when I need to use a USB port, on a shelf next to my iPod and various earbuds.  I remembered taking it out of the port last night, but didn’t remember putting it in its usual place last night, so I didn’t bother to check there until last, for some reason.

Yes, I am kind of a dope, actually.

There’s a delicious irony in this post, which I promise you I am not making up.  Before I started writing this, I went back over previous posts, because I could have sworn that I had previously written one on this topic of my habit of losing things.  Even the title of this post “Losing It”, seemed like one I had used already.  So I looked back over nearly three years of posts.

Guess what?  I couldn’t find it.


  1. You must be glad that you haven't totally lost it yet. Losing paychecks also means that, aside from potentially forfeiting money that was yours, you could have your records messed up as a result, and it could even cost you money if the taxes aren't right. It's great that you can always ask for a new one. Not only are they patient, but trusting as well! Let's hope you don't lose any more important things in the future!

    Sergio Boyd @ Patrice Mills CPA, Inc.

  2. I can only imagine the stress caused by those missing paychecks, Chris. However, despite all those troubles, you’re lucky to have an understanding accountant who spared some time to give you another one. Well, I believe it’s best to request your management to deposit your paychecks directly to your account to avoid further hassle. I bet they’re willing to help you on that matter. All the best to you!

    Herman Thompson @ AccountAbility Plus