Feeling violated

Today was an ordinary day. Get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work. Yada, yada, yada.

The only difference in my morning routine was that I stopped at the ATM to deposit my check. Some guy pulled in fast behind me and pulled up pretty darn close to my bumper. So I glared a bit into my rearview mirror and delighted in the fact that the computer was taking its time. (I’m bitter that way.)

In the end, it spewed out my receipt, my $40 cash back, and my debit card and I pulled up out of the lane to get my stuff in order. I stuffed the receipt into the proper place, folded the two 20s in half and slipped them in with a few dollar bills I had left, and slotted the debit card. Then, off I went to my client.

Now we’re back to typical. A day of writing emails, approving PDFs, deciphering marketing briefs, etc. And meetings, of course. After the 11:00 status meeting, I returned to my desk to find an odd pad of paper sitting there. I just figured someone had come by looking for me and mistakenly left it there. No biggie.

Then I decided to grab some cash for a run down to the cafeteria.

That’s where the same-old routine ended.

I reached into my wallet and there was no money. None. No 20s and no ones. Empty. I checked the other pockets where I thought maybe I’d mistakenly stuffed the cash. Nothing. I checked through all of my receipts. Nothing. As I was doing this, I could feel my face burning because it’s just dawned on me.

I think someone has stolen money out of my wallet.

But that’s a pretty heavy charge to levy against anyone, so I desperately began to search my wallet again and again. And my purse. And my pants pockets. And my coat pockets. And my desk. And my wallet again. And now my face is really red and I’m feeling kind of shaky.

I call my husband because I don’t know what to do. He plays devil’s advocate and tells me I probably left it in one of my pockets. I’ve already thought about the other places it could be, but I also vividly remember folding the 20s in half and putting them in with the few dollars I saw in there. I know I put them in the wallet. And I’ve checked everywhere.

So I go to the department secretary. Still shaky as I walk over. First, because someone has had the gall to actually go through my bag, remove my wallet, dig through it to find the cash…all while other people are around. Secondly, because I’m still feeling unsure of myself. Although I’m sure I put the money in there, I’m also equally worried that I could make a mistake.

I explain everything to her. She calls security. (It’s a large client.) They come and get my story. I tell them everything I can remember. They nab the mysterious notepad. We remark on the seclusion of my cube (I’m tucked in an out-of-the-way corner reserved for contractors), although I point out that people pass by my desk all the time. I explain that my entire team was in a meeting downstairs for 45 minutes, although several people in my immediate area aren’t part of that team.

After I tell all, I go downstairs to the ATM and grab another $40 so I can eat lunch. Then I rifle through my desk drawer and find a key to lock up my purse. Then I periodically pull out my purse and root through my wallet again. And again. And again. Because I just can’t believe that someone really did that.