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Time to forget my laptop

Forget your laptop

So here I was, early for my flight, as it turns out, at Toronto Pearson Airport, e-ticket in hand. You know the drill (well, if you’ve left Toronto by plane then you do):

  • Use one of the little electronic kiosks to check in and get your boarding pass;
  • Stand in line to get your luggage tagged if you have something to check;
  • Stand at a little pod desk and fill in your US Customs form;
  • Stand in line to go through US Immigration;
  • Drop off your luggage on a conveyor belt;
  • Stand in line to go through security…

And then… I realized that I was a bag short. My laptop bag had mysteriously gone missing! I felt naked, exposed, that moment of panic when you realize it’s not a bad dream but you actually left your bag standing in an airport somewhere and it’s probably been taken by now.

I go up to a cluster of Peel Regional Police people, and one of them kindly offers to take me all the way back along my track to see if it’s still there. I am certain I left it at the pod desk where I filled out my forms – it’s not there. I trace my steps back to the luggage tagging counter – it’s not there. Then, I see something green out of the corner of my eye… my bag! It’s still standing where I left it: at the electronic check-in kiosk.

I say to the Peel Policeman, “I guess this proves that Toronto is really a safe city. Or I’m just lucky.” He goes, “I’d go with option B on that one.”

He tells me that they’ve done ‘tests’ with phone books in laptop bags in this airport, and apparently people regularly just steal them. One woman walked all the way out of the terminal: past security, past police, into the parking garage. They nabbed her just as she threw the stolen ‘laptop’ into the backseat of her car. Her excuse? “I was going to turn it into the police when I got home!”

So… I hope this isn’t an omen for how this week will go. One week in Seattle filled with various Microsoft conferences. But I’m staying at a great hotel and the weather’s much warmer there than in Toronto :)

At the gate, I glance into the distance and see the billboard above. Treo seems to be encouraging this laptop-forgetting business :)

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