The Chehalem Fitness Center Lost and Found is a sham. That’s both the title of the story AND the first sentence of my blog post, so you know that it’s a very serious issue to me. Believe it or not, I am have very serious stances on lost and founds. Some may call me a radical, but I believe in one core idea in life: things should not be lost in lost and found). In this harrowing story of my life, one of those two things was challenged and it shook me to the core. Allow me to set the stage.
It was mid-September, and I had just finished a thrilling basketball game against my girlfriend, Lillie. We were getting ready to head back to her house to make some pre-marital eye contact when I realized that I had left my house key somewhere. Now, I don’t often carry around my house key, the house we have is usually open during the day and locked at night (Please don’t break in during the day, we don’t have anything valuable). However, I was fairly certain I had brought my key to basketball this time.
I went back and checked my cubby where my shoes had been. No key. Okay, maybe I just forgot it at home. I left Chehalem and went to Lillie’s house confident I had left it at my house. I hung out with her without a worry in my mind. I returned to my house to look for it, sure I would find it one my nightstand. One problem. This was the most elusive key of all time. It was nowhere to be found in my house, my room, my car, anywhere. I realized that I had been filled with false hope; my key was still at Chehalem.
I returned to the fitness center after a few more hopeless searches and walked up to the desk, asking if anyone had left a small silver key there a few days prior. The woman at the desk immediately perked up. I knew the look. They had my key. She quickly had me describe the key and then said four beautiful words,
“Yes, we have it.”
I could’ve hugged her right then. As she went to get it from the lost and found I was happy my short escapade was over and that my key had been found. Now all that was left was to wait for her to come back. I waited. And waited. And waited. Oh no. The one thing believe in, will fight for, it was happening. The woman cam back and confirmed my fears. They had lost my key in the lost and found.
I left my name and number with the center and returned home upset, confused, and keyless. Thoughts raced through my head. How could a lost and found lose something? Where could it be misplaced? Were there 300 other silver keys that had been lost as well? Could someone let me in? All were intriguing and I had answers to none. I decided to wait and search for a week and then go back to Chehalem and ask if there had been updates.
Before this experience, lost and founds had been trivial matters to me. I didn’t care about them because I didn’t often lose things. I misplaced many things, but if I ever lost something I would get it back. And that’s how a lost and found works, right? Apparently not. A week later i strolled in and was informed that the fitness center definitely did not have my key. It was lost to humanity. I gave up, and went home, ready to get another key made at Fred Meyer.
Flash forward another week. It was now two weeks since my small silver key had vanished into thin air. I was golfing with my friend Cade in Oregon City, and the the only thing on my mind was if I should hit a 3 wood or a driver. Suddenly, I got a call. Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center. No way. Could it be? I answered the phone.
“Is this Antonio Arredondo? We have your key in our lost and found.”
FINALLY! I NEVER THOUGHT THIS DAY WOULD COME. This might have been one of the best moments of my life, the biggest payoff by far. I walked into that lost and found and finally retrieved my key, weeks of waiting finally coming to a close.
The Chehalem Fitness Center Lost and Found is a sham. But the people there aren’t. I don’t blame them more misplacing something that I misplaced. That’s human. What I care about is that they took the time and effort to keep looking for it, even after they told me it was gone forever. They called me back, and all was well. Maybe they just need a better system.
After all, a lost and found should be for finding things, not losing them.