Lost and found

Last week we were in Florida for business. We are part of a small business coaching program that meets twice a year in Chicago and once a year in some warmer climate, like Florida. You see a couple of years ago, I realized, just how bad I was at business. There are so many aspects of running a small business that it is really impossible to be an expert or even good, or even knowledgeable in all of them. Somebody with great back office efficiency, might be bad at getting the word out or being innovative or even meeting their clients needs. And somebody with a great product, might have scaling difficulties, technology challenges, or personnel issues. And that is not to mention bookkeeping, taxes, corporate structure, website, design, marketing, contact lists, leases, employee benefits, and whole host of other things. And running a small business is not like going to a regular job at all. It affects life and family differently, it affects the psyche differently, and so we meet with other small businessmen, and share the little bit that we’ve learned and benefit from their vast amount of experience.

Early last fall, we were in Chicago for this same event and had just packed up to head home when I couldn’t find the car key. We only had one. See we had just purchased this cool 2002 VW Jetta Turbo Diesel. Well, I say “just” but that isn’t exactly true. We had purchased it almost a year before but had some title issues. We finally were driving it regularly. I got it because of the great fuel efficiency and while I have some concern for the environment, I’m also a great proponent of efficiency, especially when that efficiency keeps money in my pocket. At 43+ mpg and plenty of power no matter how loaded down it is with passengers and luggage, I love it. Plus there is the added appeal that in a pinch, with some slight modifications, I could run it off of vegetable oil. But I diverge . . . .

I couldn’t find the car key. Just a couple of months earlier, I had “misplaced” the other car key when we were at a relative’s house on family trip to GA. So we were down to one key. You might ask why I hadn’t gotten a few more made. Well, see, that’s the thing. With these VW keys, they have to be made special. You can only get them at the dealer and they are like $150+ each, and the nearest dealer is 90 minutes away. I just never seemed to be motivated.

I searched high and low for this car key. Steph and Noelle waited in the lobby with all of our stuff. I had the key just the night before. And so I searched the parking lot, the lobby, the elevator, the hall, the hotel room, the hall, the hotel room, the lobby, the parking lot, the hotel room, and even some of our pieces of luggage. I called AAA and they came and unlocked the car and I searched the car, and the hotel room and the hall and the car, and the car, and the lobby. I never found it.

I went to the dealer and got the lowdown on the keys. They were more expensive than I had thought and even worse, the dealer couldn’t make the keys. Apparently only the VW manufacturing plant can actually cut the keys. And then they have to be shipped to location (I suspect by bike messenger, but they could have been using a more traditional form of shipping, like mule train). This was on Friday. On Tuesday, we were finally able to leave town.

Fast forward to last week. I’m searching through my bag with my hands, in the darkened hotel room, and come across a car key. Initially I think it is my current car key that has become detached from the other keys. Taking it over to the light, I am very surprised to find the long lost key. Amazing that it has stayed hidden so long. I’ve used that bag for several trips since then. *sigh* I just had to shake my head that it was there the whole time. I can only surmise that God wanted us to take a break for a few days last fall. We did enjoy the forced down time.

–steve

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2 responses to “Lost and found

  1. Wow! You found it! I had known the first part of the story where you lost the key but didn’t realize you’d ever found it. Thanks for updating us. 🙂

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