Lost in translation or transportation. Take your pick.

Dear Ms. Dziekan

Until today, the SBB Lost Property Service could not find your lost article. We shall inform you no sooner we have found it.

Yours sincerely,

SBB Lost Property Service

Dear SBB,

After receiving your reply and querying family and friends on Facebook, the consensus appears to be my cellphone will not be recovered. I, however, am an optimist and prefer to cling to the hope you offered in your first sentence. Furthermore, I have decided there is a significant possibility that you have in fact found my cell phone and your reply to me was a victim of a Google mistranslation. As this has happened to me several times recently, I do know this possibility exists.

Due to the mistranslation possibility, I believe I might be of service to the SBB. Given the opportunity, I may be able to reunite grieving owners with their lost articles. I am volunteering my services to read all claim forms (written in English) and draft a response (written in English) in an attempt to assist in this process. Perhaps we can look at it like an extension of the Red Cross which was a laudable Swiss idea (though I was saddened when I learned Mr. Dunant, who put forth the idea of the Red Cross and subsequently received the first Nobel Peace prize in 1863, died penniless and forgotten in a Swiss hospital, his Peace Prize money untouched). Incidentally, I do have plans to visit the Red Cross Museum upon the completion of its refurbishment in 2013. Perhaps you could assist in planning an itinerary?

I sincerely hope you will take me up on my offer as I cannot yet thank you for the return of my lost cell phone.

I look forward to your reply no sooner than yesterday.


Ms. Dziekan (please, call me Jen)

P. S. The phone actually belongs to my son. And without it, I no longer have the ability to nag in absentia, which I found very useful.

* While I wish I could say no grammatical rules were harmed or ignored in either my response or the response I received from the SBB, I suspect this is not true.

Where is Mr. Adamo when I need him? My sixth grade language arts teacher, he would certainly have crafted a superior reply. Parsed and snipped, his reply would have encouraged the SBB to allow me to take my pick of all cell phones in their possession. We all feared him. Though that fear has turned to a deep admiration primarily due to the passing of more than 30 years since sixth grade.

The only other memory  of sixth grade involves my biology teacher. He and Mr. Adamo were fond of using their middle initial; j.a. adamo (something about lower case use and poetic license like e.e.cummings) and 'R.J.G- that's me' aka Mr. Bioty. One other memory is of Matt Vertefeuile snapping my bra strap.

Good times.

** The SBB is the transit authority.


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