This evening I came back to my office from brushing my teeth and I reached into my briefcase to find my lipstick. Alas, there was no lipstick and more importantly, no purse inside of my briefcase where the lipstick is kept. I have always kept my purse inside my briefcase, inside the closet in my office.  It was not in view from the door to my office.

Gone were: my driver’s license, my ID for the dream job, my ID for the weekend research job, my health insurance card, my dental insurance card, my auto insurance card, my credit card, my ATM card, my CostCo card, my REI card, my grocery story loyalty card, my movie card, my total beverage loyalty card, and $100 that I’d gotten from the ATM over the weekend. Also gone was my beautiful BlackBerry Curve.  I carry too much stuff. I will not make this mistake in the future.

On the upside, I carry my keys, always, so did not lose my car today.

I can narrow the window of when my purse was stolen to a 1 hour time period from when I knew I had it to when I was certain it was taken. I was gone for 3 minutes. Twice. Once to microwave some soup. Once to brush my teeth. There was a trusted person in the office next to mine that saw no one unusual go in or out of my office during this one hour window.

I called the police and began the slow process of canceling everything. Two nice police men responded. Thank you Denver Police Department. First call, bank card. Luckily, it had not been used and was quickly deactivated. Second call, credit card. It had already been used, up the road a few blocks. Third call, ATT wireless. Phone deactivated. The only thing the thief can use it for is to call 911. Is it bad karma to hope that s/he will need that function? Unfortunately, unlike the nice credit card and bank people, I’m stuck with my two-year service & there is no discount on the replacement. Ouch. That’s going to hurt.

On the hopeful side, our building and our elevators are under 24/7 surveillance. The store where my credit card was used was also likely monitored. If I push the detectives who are assigned to my case, we might just find the person(s). I worry that it is a student or colleague. My purse was small, easy to tuck into a backpack or larger bag. But truly this is a case of matching. Who rode our elevators between the critical window and then hastily shopped at a store just up the road?

My winter gloves went missing from my office last week. I decided that they must have fallen out of my bag on one of my journeys. Now my thoughts grow much more sinister. I was certain that I had placed them in a certain location in my office. Now I think that a fine thief knows my habits and is watching for that trip to the ladies room, to the kitchen. If it was the same person, twice, it is even more likely to be a student or colleague. Day 35 of Dream Job.

I feel violated. No I was not mugged. I was not physically harmed in this theft. But my feeling of joy in my new office, my new job, has been damaged. My feeling of hope and sanctuary has taken a major hit. I will be keeping my door locked, even for that short trip to refill my water bottle, and looking at each person I encounter with suspicion.