27 Jan iLost my iPhone! Goodwill team answers the call
The 37-year-old former Eagle Scout told employees at the Goodwill store on Indian Lake Blvd. in Hendersonville, Tenn., that he was going to reward them for finding and returning his lost cell phone. He also told them he was going to alert Goodwill’s chief executive to their good deed.
They promptly forgot about it.
“To be honest, I didn’t believe it,” said Jeane, a supervisor in training at the store who helped return Davis’ iPhone 6 Plus. “Nothing against him — it’s just that people say that sort of thing a lot, and it usually doesn’t mean anything.”
So when Davis showed back up at the store on Jan. 7 with a tall stack of pizzas for employees, Jeane and cashiers Jessica and Kelsey were more than a little impressed. A few minutes later, Matthew Bourlakas, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, walked in to join the celebration.
“I never guessed it would be this big procession,” Kelsey said.
Davis, his wife and their two young children were shopping in the store on Dec. 27 when he lost his phone. He was shopping for a purple shirt to wear to the Music City Bowl, where his wife’s beloved purple-and-gold Louisiana State University Tigers were to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
He realized his phone was missing when he got to the car, but the kids were buckled in, so they decided to drive the five minutes to their home and check there first.
Meanwhile, Jessica, who is 18, had spotted the fancy new iPhone. It was on the floor near the empty shopping carts at the front of the store. She picked it up and, unsure what to do with it, took it to her co-worker and friend Kelsey, who is 21. Then it started ringing.
“Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.” The phone played George Thorogood’s classic rock riff. “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.”
“I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to answer it, so we decided to take it to Jeane,” Kelsey said.
A few minutes later, the phone rang again. On the other end of the line, a clearly worried Davis asked, “Who’s got my phone?”
Jeane explained that she was a member of management and would take care of it until he returned.
“I was very relieved,” Davis recalled, “because it was someone of authority. I could hear the calmness in her voice.”
He drove back to the store immediately to claim his phone, but Jeane didn’t give it to him immediately. First, she asked him what color it was and what number he had called her from to make sure the phone was his. When he passed the test, man and phone were reunited.
Later at the pizza party, Davis again expressed his gratitude to Jeane, Jessica and Kelsey.
“This is just the smallest token of appreciation for saving me from all the trouble I could have gone through over something like losing my phone,” he told them. “A lot of us do our jobs, but there is a way to go above and beyond, and you did that.”
Bourlakas also thanked the employees and gave them each a gift card for a local grocery store.
“What you all did is what you would hope someone else would do for you,” he said. “Empathy is one of the greatest virtues you could have. You did the right thing, and that means more to me than I could possibly tell.”
Jeane later said she was grateful for what Davis and Bourlakas did and proud of the way her young co-workers had handled the phone situation. But to her, it was all in a day’s work.
In fact, another customer left her phone in the store a few days later. It was returned — following protocol, of course.
“Honesty is my No. 1 policy,” Jeane said. “Whether it’s a lost wallet or a lost phone, I just like to think we are using common sense. We’re just doing our jobs.”