Losing your keys is always frustrating: it’s worse for an older person. It’s another humiliation, another chink in the carefully constructed armor of creating a life where you try to put everything in the same place when you come home, write post-it notes all over the house and choose easy-to-recall passwords only to be told you have to change them – add a capital or a number or some other memory-confounding combination.

Last week I lost my keys on a Saturday. Luckily someone was home to let me in, so I didn’t realize it until Sunday. I called the movie theatre where I had been and the restaurant where I had had lunch. They didn’t have them. I figured I had dropped them when several of us were scrambling in the L station to add money to our cards in machines that were out of order. Why would I have my keys out? Don’t ask me.

What made it worse was that I couldn’t remember for sure what keys I had on the chain, and I also had a friend’s house keys on it. I decided to wait until Tuesday to tackle the problem of getting duplicates. 

Monday morning I got a call from an out-of-town area code: Rhode Island, I later learned. I didn’t answer, figuring it was a robocall. Since they called twice and left a message the second time, I listened to it. The woman said she was calling from CVS corporate, but gave me a different number to call her back. Naturally, I didn’t have time to write down the number, and naturally, I can’t figure out how to get my iPhone to play messages more than once (the beat goes on.)

So I called CVS corporate and they connected me to the woman who had called me. She told me that someone had found my keys with my CVS card on them. By tracing my code, they had identified me. I could pick up my keys at my CVS store. Wow! Zowie!

When I called CVS they didn’t know what I was talking about. They had some keys, but they weren’t mine. Huh?

So I called again and they said the person who had found them was a local merchant by the name of PIERITZ. I had completely forgotten that my last stop on Saturday had been at Pieritz to pick up a folder – you know, those folks who will sell you one folder instead of the whole box. I had chatted with Debbie awhile and then left (she likes my blogs.) At least I had an excuse to have my keys out in Pieritz – because I was almost home.

I called Pieritz and John told me he had decided to call CVS corporate and give them my code so they could trace me. CVS would not tell him who owned the keys, but they called me.

Talk about customer service. Talk about the extra mile. I am grateful to Pieritz and CVS. Sometimes you need a someone to help you steady yourself when you’re on the short-term-memory “down escalator.”

Join the discussion on social media!

Mary Kay O'Grady

Mary Kay O'Grady is a former high school English teacher and later owned her own public relations business, The O'Grady Group. She has lived in Oak Park for almost fifteen years. She is currently the chairperson...