The case of the missing 8 GB usb

3 1/2 weeks ago I left my 8 GB usb at my local internet cafe in Kwadaso district. I had been rushing around trying to get documents printed off for the idiots at Kumasi immigration office who had seized my passport. Why would they do such a thing? Well, to put pressure on me to pay a 100 Ghana cedi bribe (55 Euros). I refused to pay so they wanted an official letter for the withdrawal of my visa extension request. So my excuse for leaving the usb behind was that I was stressed out and trying to meet a deadline. Thankfully, the staff at Kwadaso know me well as I have been frequenting there for months.

One of the staff members removed it from the staff machine, put it in her purse, and brought it home with her. That is, she was safekeeping it for me to collect whenever I came again when she was on shift. But then I came to collect it, and after the 8th time without success, I became a little unnerved whether I would ever see it or her again. 3 days ago I went to the cafe and met her. She laughed when I asked her whether she had a surprise for me. "Oh, I lost it, it's missing, she said."

"Huh? I replied"

"Yes, I gave it to a client to use and then I forgot about it. I remembered the next day when I came to work but the usb was gone."

Imagine it - she's about 25 years old, pretty, and as she tells the story she is smirking all the time, with no hint of an apology coming to her lips.

Yes, I made the first mistake. I left my property behind and so it will be pot luck or thanks to the honesty of another that I retrieve it. But the fact that she took it home, that I couldn't get it back from her for 3 1/2 weeks, and now that she is causally telling me she lent it to a complete stranger and then forgot to get it back from him has really pissed me off.
Even if I detected an inkling of regret, I think I would have caved in and put it down to my initial error. But the attitude I detect is one of 'I really don't give a fuck where your usb is nor what I did with it, there is nothing you can do about it and you're white so why not just go to your usb tree and pluck another one from it', all drive me to ask the question - "where is your manager?"

After talking to both of us the manager states that she has made a serous error in not giving it back earlier and by lending it out to one of their clients. He asks what course of action I deem fair to resolve the issue. I say that I would like an 8GB usb, whether it is the same brand or not doesn't matter. Observing her clothes and mobile phone I feel it's safe to presume she's not on the breadline. He agrees, she agrees and 3 days later I collect an 8GB usb.

So why did she not even put on an act that she was somehow sorry. Is it because she did not feel anyway responsible for it going missing? Was she hoping that I might just understand? Why do I feel somewhat guilty now for pursuing a replacement? Was I justified in seeking a replacement?


varus said…
I guess she just reckoned it would be nothing to you and you wouldn't persue the matter.
Damien Moran said…
Very true. She hasn't spoken to my girlfriend or I since even though we regularly use the cafe. Not surprising I guess.
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