Since we get a lot of calls that really aren’t emergencies per se, we end up bringing along a lot of belongings at the patients’ request – purses, keys, jackets, canes, mobile phones, hats, shoes, etc. For some reason, people have a hard time keeping track of all their stuff, and for some reason, our offices get a lot of phone calls ranging from polite inquiries about whether or not we have their belongings to direct accusations of theft.
Now, once in a great long while, we actually have a patient who has nice things. Otherwise, the belongings we come across are kind of gross, to put it mildly. It’s delusional for someone to think we’d actually want to steal their things. Besides, I personally have absolutely no use for people’s crap, and I want nothing to do with their crap so their crap gets dumped, usually in their bed, with them at the hospital. I don’t want to remember anything, if I can help it.
Even so, someone is always asking, “Where are my keys?”
“I don’t know.”
“You lost my keys!”
“No, sir, you lost your keys. I’m not your mother.”
Nobody ever blames the cabdriver when things are left behind in the cab. Yo-Yo Ma was gracious enough to be sheepish after he left his expensive cello in a New York taxi. I’m not sure why “ambulance drivers” are all thieves when people leave their grubby, disgusting things behind in the ambulance.