Unclaimed currency

Everyone “Googles,” right? Everyone participates in the act of entering your name into the Google search engine and seeing what comes up? Then, once you’ve picked up the bug, you begin Googling your friends, your family, people you meet on the street, and the lawyer on the back of the phone book. It’s like crack, except more harmful.

The idea in Googling your own name is to see what the rest of the world has on you. It’s a great way to see what items are attributed to your name, especially if you have a last name like “Vilhauer,” a name that has few first names attached to it and, therefore, will be easy to sort through. It’s a trip through the cached history of your internet life. You’ll find everything you’ve ever done that’s been saved, in some form or another, on the internet.

If you look hard enough, you might things you never knew existed.

Last night at work, I Googled my name. Again. For the 37th time this month, if my calculations are correct. I do this often, especially now that I have an often updated web log of my life and Pacer fandom. I came up with the usual stuff: three pages worth of Black Marks on Wood Pulp links, a couple of comments on Google Sightseeing, an expired link from the website I set up for the Earth Action Coalition at St. Cloud State.

Then I had an idea: Why don’t I Google my name backwards? This way I’ll catch any entry where my name is “Vilhauer, Corey“. In my three year relationship with Google.com I’d never thought of this.

Imagine my surprise when I find this:

Part one...

My name, and my old address, on a Minnesota Department of Commerce Unclaimed Property list.

I scrolled over to find:

...of two

Gamestop? I have unclaimed currency from Gamestop?

For those who haven’t read my story about Chad, the manager from hell, I offer some explanation. I worked at a FuncoLand in St. Cloud – on two separate occasions, actually – and shortly after I left it changed its name to Gamestop. I moved out of state in 2002 (November, actually) and so if there was any sort of end of year bonus check, or retro pay on my paycheck, I would have moved and not known anything about it.

That’s my guess, though. I think the cool thing about claiming this is that I have no idea what it is. It could be my last Gamestop paycheck, $234 of unclaimed retribution. Or it could be a $13 check of negligible value.

Either way, it’s an adventure.

Now, if only I could find someone to notarize this…

This was lovingly handwritten on May 27th, 2005