Jay Lenkersdorfer

In May I turned 60 and as his gift to me, my son John gave me TILE tags for my phone, my car keys, and my wallet. The subtleness of the gift wasn’t overlooked, especially since in the previous few months I had several instances where one of those three things went missing.

I am a huge fan of practical gifts but was slightly put out when it was suggested that I needed to put these TILE tags on the things that most often get misplaced. If you haven’t heard about them, the TILE tags hook onto the one thing (s) that often go missing. The one for my wallet is about the size of a credit card but is as thick as two credit cards put together.

Modern vehicles use a key fob that electronically tie your keys to a specific vehicle. This is brilliant technology provided you set your keys down where you can find them. One of my vehicles is a Ford-F-150 pickup that came with two key fobs. Within a year the first key fob disintegrated, leaving me with just one working key. This wasn’t a big deal, or so I thought, because I ‘never’ lose my keys.

Then, because I was so dumb and arrogant about never losing my keys, they came up lost. How embarrassing, I thought to myself, and how unfortunate that with only one working key to my truck it was essentially out of commission until such time that the keys were found.

It’s a terrible feeling to have because it was anyone’s guess as to where the keys might be. I started checking in the normal places – pant pockets, jacket pockets, the change bottle, my nightstand and even in the truck which can be opened without the key if you have the right password for the keypad on the driver’s side of the truck. No luck. Slightly panicked and wishing I had replaced the broken key fob when it fell apart, I kept looking.

At times like this I find solace in offering a sincere prayer hoping that it would make the search profitable. And then, almost as an answer to my petition to God, I found them. I know that there was more than just a little help from above because in a thousand years I would have never found these keys from my own efforts alone. They were found in the back yard sitting atop a 4x4 fence post. How they got there is still a mystery to me, but I must have had them in my hand right before I stooped over to hook up the garden hose.

With the crisis averted I went right back to my thinking that I am fine with one set of keys because I would never lose them two times in a row, would I? Right about this time is when I got the TILE tags for my birthday, so I now have that additional level of protection.

Just this last week I had a similar experience with keys, but it appeared to be much worse. Somehow, between the post office and my office I misplaced the set of keys that open the doors at the Weekly Mailer as well as our post office box and our filing cabinet. My wife, who is also our bookkeeper, had asked me to pick up the mail on my way into work, which I had done, but the keys were nowhere to be found.

I don’t want to paint my wife as impatient but everything she needed to do at work required that set of keys. We looked everywhere, on my desk, all my pockets, my truck and a hundred places in between. I even drove to the post office to see if I had dropped them inside or even outside as I was getting into my vehicle. The last thing I wanted to do was to go back into the office without these keys in my hand.

With my tail between my legs, I returned to the office where we had run out of options. We do have a separate set of keys as a back-up but that doesn’t solve the issue of someone else potentially having the keys to our offices. As I entrusted the extra set of keys to my wife I suggested that she guard them well as there were no more backup keys. As she searched her purse for a safe place to store the office keys she happened upon the original set of keys. They had been in her purse the entire time.

I don’t know if I had handed them to her as she first walked into the office that day or maybe I had left them on her desk and she was simply storing them for later. Either way, this set of lost keys were never really lost. With her birthday soon approaching I have decided to buy her a set of TILE tags for her important possessions, thus keeping me out of dutch finding something that was never lost.

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