I'd be remiss to let this year's BlogHer experience (which was amazingly fabulously awesome) go by without some sort of acknowledgment, mostly because it's actually the second year I had something stolen.
In 2008, the hotel staff took a couple of items out of ridiculous boxes of swag I had packaged to ship.
And this year, somebody swiped my wallet in the Expo Hall.
When I first discovered that my wallet was missing on Friday afternoon, I thought I had lost it. I searched everywhere, sent out my requests to Twitter, and hoped that it was my extremely fried brain.
I mean, who steals wallets at BlogHer? And from someone who always had her bag on her shoulder or sitting right next to me?
Besides, just last week I tore the house apart looking for a check that had actually not yet arrived. So it wasn't too farfetched for me to think that I had somehow bent over in a such a way that my gigantic wallet would have fallen out and I wouldn't have noticed.
But then on Saturday morning, after going to Twitter yet again, a few people tweeted that their wallets had been stolen and that they had been found in the trash.
And then I found out that a bunch of BlogHer volunteers had their wallets stolen on Thursday night but were also found in the trash by a vigilant housekeeper.
It wasn't until a few more people had their wallets stolen on Saturday that it seemed like any action was taken. Security seemed confused, like they hadn't heard that about 10 + people had their wallets stolen.
And no one from BlogHer had any idea at all.
On the bright side, it was clear that the thief was only looking for cash (which I had very little of, if any in my wallet) and was tossing the wallets in the trash. And I was at a conference with generous friends and a slew of sponsors who were more than willing to help.
But on the down side, a simple announcement on Friday morning at the opening keynote, along with individual announcements in the sessions might have saved about 15 to 20 people from heartache.
How about an announcement in the Expo Hall itself?
I'm appreciative that in this case it was completely an inconvenience, especially for someone who has an out of state license and needs to go through a rigamarole just to get a new one here in Georgia (or take the written test again, which I really don't want to do).
And aside from the ridiculous questions I was asked by TSA to get on the plane, I'm happy that my entire bag wasn't taken.
But here are the lessons I have learned:
1. Report it right away! I'm guessing that someone would have been able to scour the trash and find it had I just said something to security rather than contact lost and found.
2. On that note, if you have a wallet stolen, report it - not just to security but to the conference organizers so that they can take appropriate action.
3. Separate your ID/Credit Cards out, leaving some in your hotel safe and then some with you. Fortunately, when I travel, I bring the bare minimum with me, so my wallet only had my ID and a few credit cards that were easy to stop.
4. For all the times to use social media, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN IT. Why weren't people tweeting this out? We're so quick to jump on the backs of brands, hashtag whatever freaking Twitter party, but when a bunch of people at a blogging conference have their wallets stolen, nobody says a word.
5. Don't just assume it's you. I think that this is the most frustrating part of it all - that I spent the better part of Friday thinking that it was dumb old me who had lost my wallet. I do like to see the positive in people, but if it's something like a wallet, I'd say assume the worst and then apologize later.
The best of part of all this is that it happened at BlogHer, so while I had no credit cards and no ID, I could still gorge myself on gigantic unicorn cakes, shake my ass like there's no tomorrow, and spend time with some of my most favorite people ever.