The first rule of successful photography is to not suck.
Unfortunately, I violated that rule a week ago. I brought my camera to work (it's an expensive model, too). Took some photos. Brought it home. And left it on the train.
I left my damn D200 on the LIRR. I didn't even realize it for a few days because I've been frazzled. A few days later I went to get it, and there was no D200. The shelf was empty. I looked everywhere. I realized that the camera was not in the house, and I hadn't used it since the previous Friday.
There was no way i was ever getting it back. There was $3000 in gear in that bag. I should have felt like crying, but I've been on Zoloft lately so I got frustrated that I wasn't feeling more upset.
I called the LIRR Lost and Found and left a message. No one was there until Monday. I started gathering up all my receipts. I fought my way through the homeowners policy. It turns out that these policies cover just about any damage to any of your belongings, which is great! They also have something called Form HO 23 95. This has the unusual title of "Off-Premises Theft Exclusion, NY." My policy has a special exception to avoid paying off if anything goes missing in the five boroughs, Nassau or Suffolk.
Horrible images started to course through my brain. My wonderful camera, born of the gray-market antics of HotBuys Electronics, would never be in my hands again. Some dumbass would be taking shitty pictures of his ugly kids with it, or would sell it to a fence for $50. They wouldn't even know how to use the flashes in TTL mode. I love my dead gray camera.
I got on the 7:15 train this morning, and when it pulled in on Track 20 just before 8:30 AM, I ran over to the Lost and Found office. It's set up sort of like a pawn office. There's a guy with a computer who sits behind bullet-proof glass. There are all kinds of cell phones and credit cards on the counter on his side, and a bunch of bins in an attached room, each labeled with the type of lost cell phone it contained. "Kyocera," "LG," "Motorola," but no "Nikon."
I described my bag exactly, including the contents. He gave me that "No one would ever turn that in" look, but then said "Yeah, I think we may have gotten that in, but it's in the manager's office. He's here at 8:30, but he's not here yet." With potential back in my heart, I gave him my name and cell number.
I hadn't heard from them by 11:15, so I called up. I got a different guy who was significantly more gruff, and who asked why it would be in the manager's office. I told him I didn't know, but that's what they said. He said he'd call back in 15 minutes and hung up. He didn't ask for my number.
At 11:45, I called again. I got the first guy on the line, and he said that yes, they had the bag. I said I'd come down right away. 30 minutes later, I described the exact contents of the bag, filled out a form, showed them my license, and got my bag back.
So now I have that weird feeling. I am overjoyed that I got back this bag that I never thought I would see again. I am grateful towards the honest employees (and possibly commuters) who made sure the bag got to where it had to go, with nothing missing. But really, I am only back to where I was a week ago.
Plus, I got a jury summons today.