You Know It's Wrong. But You Do It Anyway. (a note from Val)
This is a true story.
My husband Mark travels a LOT. He's a million mile guy with United, and loves the friendly skies. His favorite meal (over my cooking) is their Asian Chicken Salad. And I think the flight attendants are nicer to him than I am.
Mark is a PC / Blackberry guy. He doesn't know the joys of a Mac. So we got him an iPad for Father's Day. He loves that iPad more than anything else we own. He carries it everywhere, even to places where it's not appropriate (friends' parties.) He uses the nav like a TV while driving - as I chastise him - scared for my life in the passenger seat. On vacation we sat in the parking lot of the hotel for 15 minutes to key in the closest Starbucks instead of just driving down the street to find one. Suffice it to say he never lets the iPad out of his sight.
Then it happened. Last week he left his iPad on a plane. It was a redeye from L.A., no sleep, he ran off the plane to an early morning meeting... (claims he helped an old lady with her bag) and left the coveted gadget behind in the seat pocket. Maybe you just did the same thing. Everyone does... But not my Mark.
He discovered it missing later that morning. He called the airline. They didn't have it. He freaks.
Ironically, one week earlier his buddy lost his iPad. He proudly explained to Mark how he'd signed up for MobileMe, Apple's safeguard to locate a missing gadget. He found his iPad in the client's conference room, exactly where the MM map said it was. Mark signed up that day.
And like a miracle, it worked. Mark pulled up his MobileMe account, and there right before his eyes the map showed (the friendly blue dot) - his iPad - in a house on the west side. I looked into Mark's eyes with that look that only a wife or girlfriend can do - the "you are NOT going there to handle this yourself" look. He actually was considering it. I've always questioned MobileMe: yes, it's cool that you can locate your gadget. But how are you supposed to go get it? Mark was able to type a message to his iPad that said, "Thank you for finding my iPad. Reward for its safe return." No response. Next Mark called the airline. United says they take this issue very seriously and they offered to help. And they delivered.
Here's how it went down (that's police talk). First, Mark called our local police station. They suggested that Mark contact the police station in the (thief's) hood. He made the call, then made a quick getaway (read: snuck out), calling me when he was halfway to the west side. He knew damned well I wouldn't have let him out of the house to go there. When he arrived at the station, out came an Angie Dickinson lookalike - the officer put on the case. They drove to said house, with an anticlimatic result: the thief wasn't home. Foiled again... All the while I'm thinking, of course he's not home, he got your reward text and sold your iPad hours ago on the black market. Give it up, Mark.
The next morning, United Airlines called. They located the iPad, had it in their possession, and invited Mark to meet them at the airport to return said gadget. I won't share every detail, so as to protect the innocent, er, guilty... But the system worked. Yay Apple. Yay United. Yay for Mark.
But not the end of my thought...
So do you steal just because you can? Because everyone else does? Because maybe you won't get caught? Fast forward to the music industry. Do you steal digital music because you have a source that's easy, and because your kids show you how?
I say stop that. Musicians work tirelessly, travel extensively, late night gigs, they give you their soul - and don't make much money. They do it out of passion - and they want to share their music and lyrics with you. A piece of themselves. For many, it's all they have. They want their music to better your life. And your thanks is to just take it? No. Don't do that.
When you buy a song on iTunes or buy their CD at a concert, you have no idea how much you're giving back. Come on, give it back.
Val Haller (Owner/Founder Valslist.com)