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Stranded in Vegas

May 27, 2011

This story is reprinted from our February 2007 newsletter, but I thought you may enjoy reading it again. Just remember, what happens in the Library, stays in the Library!

A grateful patron informed us of how the library’s reference desk helped him out of a difficult situation.

I was enjoying a wild time in Vegas with my girlfriend when everything fell apart.  I had deftly managed to avoid taking her to one of the drive-thru wedding chapels by promising to buy her a glittery “Welcome to Vegas” T-shirt that we saw in the window of the closed Monte Carlo gift shop at 2:00 a.m.  So, later that morning, on the way to the airport, we stopped at that gift shop to make good on my promise.  As I opened my wallet I was filled with angst!  My Visa was gone! Like a flash of lightning, I remember throwing my Visa in disgust at a bar tender who had overcharged me for our drinks just 10 hours prior.  I remember signing the receipt, but I didn’t remember retrieving the Visa.  “It’s at Treasure Island,” I gasped to my girlfriend.  “You go find the Visa and I’ll finish buying the souvenirs,” she smiled with patience and understanding.  I left her alone, unfortunately, to buy her own Vegas T-shirt.

I drove as fast as I could to Treasure Island, raced into the bar and inquired about the Visa.  No luck; it wasn’t at the bar and security had no record of it.  Rats!  It was 12:45 p.m. and our flight was scheduled to depart at 2 p.m! To make matters worse, we still had to get gas and return the rental car.  Still worrying about potential fraudulent charges on my Visa, I rushed back to my car only to be stuck in a traffic jam on The Strip.  “What a place to lose my Visa,” I lamented to myself. As the minutes ticked away and traffic slowed to an imperceptible crawl, I suddenly realized the cause of the traffic jam.  Police cars had surrounded the corner of the MGM Grand where some poor guy, who had apparently lost even more than I, was threatening to jump!  Oh, no!  Traffic was really backed up and I still had to pick up my girlfriend, get gas, drop off the blasted car, and make my flight!  Minutes were ticking away like the fast beat of my heart.

Luckily, my sweetheart was thinking. She called me with her cell phone and offered to walk over to The Strip and jump in my car in the middle of an intersection.  Got her… “Forget the gas,” she said. “We need to just rush to the airport!”  That we did.  The bad news is that the car rental shuttle dropped us off at the wrong airline adding 5 minutes to our belatedness, and when we checked in at the Northwest Desk only 47 minutes prior to departure time, the unfriendly agent informed us that we would not be allowed on the flight since we had failed to check in 60 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time. #%@!

I had lost my Visa and missed my flight; I felt like joining the guy on the MGM (I know, it’s a bad joke.)  I knew I had to cancel my Visa.  I looked at my other Visa card and dialed the 800 number on it.  No luck.  I tried the number on my girlfriend’s Visa card but that number connected me to Wells Fargo.  Rats!  What number should I call to cancel my Visa?  That’s when I remembered the friendly and knowledgeable staff back home at the Rochester Public Library reference desk.  I called 507- 285-8002 and some nice guy answered.  I explained that I had lost my Visa and asked if he could find a number for me to call to cancel it.  Within 60 seconds he provided me with 1-800-VISA-911.  Yippee!  I called the number and canceled the account. The good news is that there were no fraudulent charges on it.  The bad news is that we didn’t get out of Vegas until 1:00 a.m., but we still had a good time and even went to see another show while we were waiting for the next flight.

I apologize for not sharing with you my name, but as everyone knows, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”… and by the way, any information you request from the reference desk at the library is always strictly confidential, too!

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