Paolo Costa is a great guy!
I lost my wallet last week at Miami airport, just before I left for a week in Cuba. My driver’s license. Credit cards. Money. A phone number I got from a cute girl 15 years ago I’m keeping just in case. All the stuff we carry around that we think we need.
We didn’t have any phone service in Havana, but when I got back I had a phone message from a man named Paolo. He had found my wallet and was trying to find me to return it. Sadly, he didn’t leave a return number for me to call. His phone number didn’t come up on my voicemail caller ID. He didn’t call again. Just one enigmatic message and no way to reach him.
In the airport, I tried lost and found–nothing. I thought I had lost it in the men’s room, so I tried the janitorial company. No Paolos there. I had run out of things to try.
We got home to California last night, and I was contemplating the hassles of replacing all my credit cards, my driver’s license, phone numbers for back-up girls. I bought a $6 wallet in Cuba to carry my pesos, but it was no match for the elegant Dunhill that had been a Christmas present and I treasured.
This morning,we stopped at the post office to pick up our mail—and there, on top of the pile, was an envelope from Miami, with my wallet enclosed!!! Inside was a note from the redoubtable Paolo, telling me that he had taken out $2.46 for the postage—and the 44¢ change was enclosed with the wallet. The hundreds of dollars I was taking on vacation were perfectly intact. How incredible.
It turns out that Paolo is works for TAM airlines, a Brazilian firm I have never heard of. How fortunate they must be to have an employee of his character. Yes, I’ve written to the airline, telling them of my happy experience and asking for a mailing address to send him a proper reward. I wonder if he’d like a job in the pizza industry?