A young professional's take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
People are always losing things around my office. Weird things. Things people oughtn't lose in places they shouldn't lose them. There is a person employed by my company whose job includes sending mass emails announcing said losses, and inviting people to claim their wayward possessions. I live for these emails. They embody everything that makes corporate life both unbearably absurd and completely entertaining. A few of my favorites from over the years:
A pouch was left in the 9th floor ladies room.
An orthodontic device was found by the copier on the 10th floor.
Money was found on the 4th floor earlier today.
Oooh, money! Wait, is it green and papery and is there a dead guy on the front? And is there a lot of it? Yes, yes, that's got to be mine. I'd recognize it anywhere.
Here's a good one: a Connecticut Powerball ticket worth the $254 million jackpot was sold at a convenience store in Fairfield County in September, and no one has come forth to claim the prize except for a dude who insists he "lost it." No receipt, no proof. Not even a little wad of bleached out paper compacted with lint from having gone through the spin cycle. He has until April to convince the Powerballs That Be that those were, indeed, his winning numbers.
This is either the saddest story ever or the dumbest story ever.
But wait, Hang on. Did they say $254 million? Largest pot ever? Connecticut lottery, right? Enough money to buy Canada, or at least French Canada? Yep. That's right. That's ringing a bell. I totally bought that winning ticket too. But then I used it as a bookmark and my dog chewed it up and it fell down a subway grate and also my mom stole it but then I accidentally flushed it down the toilet and why don't you just trust me and give me the cash. Seriously, those numbers you announced were definitely my numbers. I can tell you what they were, even. I mean I could tell you before they were televised, I swear. Why would I lie?
Now that I'm on the subject, I also lost that expensive thing you've got in your lost and found bin, there, whoever you are or wherever you work. You know, the shiny one. Or I mean, the not shiny one. The thing with the doo-dads that's either a ring or not a ring? Whatever, hand it over.
There's plenty of other things I've lost which I've been meaning to claim, too. Too many to list. Why don't you just send me descriptions and approximate values of items which lay unclaimed and I'll let you know which are mine? They're probably all very important and costly.
There's just no justice in this world.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I'm always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
The Nina Archives:
for more features.