TfL Lost Property Office


It seems as if everyone is in a rush, I mean
it doesn’t matter if you’re a cleaner, a high profile business man, or just someone
going to the gym, you know anyone and everyone is capable of leaving their things behind. When
I first applied for this job I honestly thought I’d be, like, the lost property guy standing
at Baker Street station in a little cubicle and like people would hand in the odd umbrella.
That doesn’t happen; I go through all the bags that get lost on black cabs, buses and
rail. The hardest part is, really, you have to be very precise in when you list items.
You know I’m getting quite familiar with like objects that I never would you know encounter
in my daily life and just finding the names for them and what kinds of categories they
fit under. I think the strangest one I had was the suitcase,
you know work business outfits one side and then the other side there was like hardware
tools and mouse traps. I’ve been working here for just under eight
years; on average we receive about one thousand to one and a half thousand properties every
single day. Whether we receive a scarf, a glove, or a laptop, a tablet we have to treat
it the same way because it’s not about what’s valuable to us but it is about what is valuable
to the customer. Occasionally we can think about what might have happened, the circumstances
that might have lead to them actually losing the item, especially when you receive something
that is quite unusual. We did receive a suitcase full of false teeth, and so you would wonder
what happened for this person to actually lose it Quite a few items have turned up since
I’ve been here, the one that really kind of blew my mind was a bag containing about £13,000
which was lost by a Chinese student and that was handed in at Barbican station and the
student came along and collected it and it was a nice moment to actually see them gain
back their money, they couldn’t believe it. The one thing that stands out for me is how
honest Londoners are, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment really, a fulfilment should
I say, it’s always great to see the excitement and the kind of appreciation on peoples faces
when they come and collect it and funny enough the most comments people make is this restored
my faith in humankind, and that’s what it’s all about really making people happy, and
when I go home my kids ask me what do you do daddy? I say I make people happy.

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