"This may seem random, but hear me out" he exclaimed. He proceeded to tell me that he was from Los Angeles but was in Dallas for a fashion convention. He and some girlfriends were partying it up in the West End, and as they were getting out of a cab they noticed something fall out. It was a wallet, but it did not belong to Mike. He and his friends decided the driver looked a little too..shady to turn the wallet over to, so they kept it in the hopes of finding the owner. My business card was in the wallet, with my number written on the back- so they took a chance and called me.
"Do you know a John O'Brien?", he asked. I instantly knew who and what had happened. Even though I know JO'B, owner of Mother Egan's Irish Pub, it never crossed my mind last night that it was him. I realized immediately that the young Irishman I met a year ago December at Fado's must be in the States for training with Intel. Mike was relieved that I could provide some information about this person and asked for John's phone number. I had to explain that John was from the small town of Sligo in Ireland, was lucky to even have internet access at home. He commutes over 200 miles to Dublin in order to work for Intel. All I have is an email address, and John is very good about not accessing his personal email while at work or in training in the US. I sent an email anyway, and waited.
An hour later I received a phone call from Mike, telling me that they had found a hotel key card and had left a message for John. All I could think was that John must be frantic about his wallet- it contained his American Express Corporate card (issued in Ireland), Social Security card, Intel employee card, and about $60 in cash and Euros.
Late this afternoon, I received a call from John. I was right that he had been out with the blokes drinking, and didn't realize that he had lost his wallet until this morning. He got his wallet back, intact, and the people who found it wouldn't accept a reward. What a great relief for him! Oddly enough, he seemed mildly disappointed that his planned surprise call to me was ruined. It turns out he was only supposed to be in Portland for six months, but at the last minute he was scheduled for two weeks training in Dallas and three days in Austin. He will be arriving Saturday or Sunday here and we plan on getting together for dinner and drinks.
Funny- he told me how he once found a $3000 ring on the floor in a jewelry store, and returned it to the countergirl. She was shocked, but he had no inclination to keep it- that would have been dishonest. I had to explain to him the concept of "karma"- Buddhism is not that prevalent in Sligo, Ireland. However, John is of such a sweet and kind nature, it is wonderful that things turned out the way they did.