As a part-time stay at home Dad due to some unemployment and slow times, I have been cruising around www.craigslist.com looking for odd jobs, sales positions, a new rug and perhaps an exotic pet. Last Thursday was one of those days.
Even after being on C.L. dozens of times I started taking notice of just how big the site actually is and all it had to offer. I poured some more coffee and for some reason decided to check out the lost and found section. I hadn’t lost anything with the exception of my pride and Gerber Multi-Tool which I know is around here somewhere, just mis-placed. That said, I hadn’t found anything either including Christmas spirit. Bah..
Anyway, WOW…..people lose a lot of stuff and some of it extremely valuable like engagement rings, wedding bands, pets, grandma’s broach, Dad’s class ring from Holy Cross in 49 and on and on.
As you might expect, the “lost” out-weighs the “found” but among the founds a site kept surfacing called www.theringfinders.com which after some collegiate like research I found has an incredible find rate on a global scale.
Remember those old guys on the beach with the metal-detectors you would see when you were a kid and your Dad would make fun of them and bury a beer can in the sand so he could watch them dig it up and laugh? Well, these guys have evolved into a force of finders for us idiots that shake our rings off of our towels or go into water so cold our fingers shrink and rings fall into the sandy abyss of Cape Cod’s shore-line.
Mixed in with the more seasoned older guys are younger guys, women, and even some kids. It’s no surprise with the price of precious metals skyrocketing lately that metal detector sales are heading North. These people are out there and those from www.theringfinders.com are there to help reunite lost objects with their owners as opposed to running to the nearest “We Buy Gold!” shops.
While the web-site shows all members, a few including founder Chris Turner of Vancouver, B.C. have tons of videos uploaded to www.youtube.com. Chris is amazing in that he is relentless in his persuit, working primarily on a reward basis and only if the people he is finding for can afford to give him anything. Sometimes it’s just a hug, tears of joy and a smile. The site even features a “book of smiles” profiling those that have re-gained what was lost.
The working for rewards credo is common for the ringfinders. Some may charge a nominal fee for gas if they have to drive a long distance but all are more passionate about finding your replica Super Bowl ring than the cash. It should be noted the rewards allow these folks to keep their services going and many including Chris Turner donate a portion of any reward to charity, in his case, 15% to Childrens Hospital. Bottom line, if you ever need’em, give’em their due and in your own way, you are paying it forward for those less fortunate and in a similar position of losing something dear. (soapbox alert)
“It’s a game of inches” says Turner, but he insists that if you can put him in the general area, recount approximately what you were doing at the time like flicking suds off your hands from a traumatic backyard de-skunking of your dog, or throwing a snowball at your neighbor’s new S.U.V, he will find your ring. You rarely hear Turner say let’s try and find your item…..instead he is always saying “O.K. you gotta have that back, I’m gonna find it!”
In typical fashion for me, once I latch on to something interesting, I totally immerse myself in it and now want a metal detector, become a ring finder, and bring joy to the masses. I have now watched about 400 videos of ringfinders going on searches, some 5 hours long, some less than 5 minutes and finding rings, phones, keys, necklaces, dogtags, pins, earrings and anything else metal that is valuable and sentimental to some poor slob who lost it.
I am most amazed at the number of girls who in a fit of rage at their fiancee decide to huck their 5k ring into the yard and then cant find it again. The guys trying to to play volleyball at the beach all greased up with sunscrean and minus a wedding band are funny to watch too. The endings are usually happy ones so I don’t feel too bad laughing at some these folks for a little while.
So this is my hyper-focus for the week. As an aside, I reccommended www.theringfinders.com to a guy named Rob on Craigslist who lost his Dad’s class ring in a state park here in Mass. He was going to call them but instead went out and rented a metal detector himself and after the ring had been there for a month, he found it after a 3 hour search! He e-mailed me back and thanked me for at least some sort of suggestion. As another aside, I found my Gerber Multi-Tool in the basement next to a half full beer from Saturday afternoon so I actually lost 2 things……but now they are found. Threw the beer away and cried. (notice the beer was half-full….ever the optimist…)