Browsing through some old documents recently unearthed some vivid memories of a difficult situation that happened in London in 2016.
It was Thursday morning two days before my project ended in London, my laptop bag was stolen from the breakfast room at Hilton London Metropole hotel. It was a big shock that a bag disappeared from next to my breakfast table of a "big and reputed" hotel. I was supposed to fly out of London on Saturday morning.
Even more tragic was that my bag contained a pouch with my passport that carried my US visa to arrive in the US in the next two weeks for my new job. This added complications and uncertainty into the mix. For a moment, I lost my orientation from what happened. When I calmed myself down, I immediately rushed to the Indian embassy, filled the form and got photos. However, I learned that the embassy did not accept credit card so I had to rush to the office and borrow cash for the emergency passport.
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the support and help I got from everybody that day. Most primary support was from our project manager, Linda, who helped with everything from registering security report to letting me borrow cash for the passport. I got help from my management and the security team. A big kudos and thanks to the Indian Embassy for issuing my emergency passport within the same day. Incredible service!
These are the things I learned from the experience:
1. Never leave your bag unattended, even in a location that you deem reliable and safe.
2. Try to recover quickly from the shock; maintain calm and think of immediate actions.
3. Acknowledge the support and help received from everybody.
4. Be optimistic; things might go wrong but they could have been worse if my wallet or phone was in the bag or if the bag was stolen on the morning of my flight / on a weekend.