You Snooze, You Lose

You Snooze, You Lose

Date sent: Thu, 20 Mar 1997
From: Glenda McKinney
Subject: cure for jetlag and credit card theft

I was going to England a couple of years ago. I researched jetlag to find out how to not lose a day or two there to adjusting and came up with a great plan. For the 5 days before I left, I moved my personal clock forward an hour or two per day. I just got up a bit earlier, ate meals earlier, and went to bed earlier everyday.

By the time I got on the airplane, I was so completely ready that even though it was 9pm, it felt more like 2am to me. I used a blanket as a tent over me so that the attendants wouldn't try to feed me. I was exhausted, and fell deeply asleep on the plane, after unbuckling my fanny pack and snuggling under another blanket.

When we landed, I felt great. I was well-rested and ready to go, unlike most of the folks on the plane. I got off, collected my luggage, zipped through customs, and proceeded to buy a bus ticket to connect me to the train, so that I could use my train pass.

When I got to the counter, I didn't have my Master Card. It thought it was strange, but figured that I had forgotten to move it from my big purse to my fanny pack. My husband paid for the tickets with his card for the same account. When then spent a lovely couple of weeks traveling about, only using the card a half dozen times when the silly Brits wouldn't take a traveler's check. (Why is that? What is the problem with them?)

A couple of days after we got home, we got a call from the card issuer. (We'd forgotten all about the card being missing; I was too busy having my return-home jetlag.) They were wondering if we were in England. "No, but we were the last couple of weeks." Could we verify a few charges? "Sure, which ones?" They were all charges that we remembered. "Why? Is there a problem?"

Well, it turned out that the police in London had a man in custody who had tried to use my MasterCard, but the clerk wasn't fooled. (That's one nice thing about the Brits: they actually check your signature when you sign for a charge.)

Apparently, he (or an accomplice) had stolen the card from my fanny pack on the airplane, while I was asleep. They weren't able to hold him or press charges, because the clerk had caught on before the transaction was complete. (Having a stolen card didn't seem to be illegal--just successfully purchasing something with it.) I wonder why they waited two weeks to try to use it?

Glenda McKinney

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