Claimed currency

It’s been exactly a month since I discovered my name on an unclaimed property list for the state of Minnesota, and I had been wondering if they were ever going to get back to me. I was curious what I had left behind in the Land of 10,000 Lakes – was it a simple retro-paycheck from some unpaid hours at FuncoLand? Or was it something more significant; a forty-dollar goof that somehow landed back at my old store and was not forwarded on to me.

Today, my wait was over. I received what looked like a rebate check from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and realized that I had finally received something that apparently was already mine. I opened it up, expecting a check for fifteen dollars at the most.

The check was much larger.

I somehow had left $300.76 in Minnesota.

How could this have happened? How did I manage to find, on total chance, my name on a Minnesota Department of Commerce website for a paycheck that I never picked up from a job that I hadn’t worked at for at least eight months before I left the state? There are so many reasons that this never should have happened:

1. I gave my forwarding address to FuncoLand (which had just changed into GameStop). In fact, on my last day of work I gave my address (to send my final check) and then when I left the state I gave them my new Sioux Falls address. Why, then, was this still listed as my college apartment – an apartment I didn’t even live in when I worked at FuncoLand the second time?

2. Why was my forwarding address not followed from that apartment building through all of the apartments until we moved? I know I gave a forwarding address to every apartment I’ve lived in since my first, so there shouldn’t be too much trouble. This one is easy: I’m pretty sure that the Minnesota Department of Commerce doesn’t really put too much work into finding owners for lost money. It probably just gets funneled into some sort of huge pool of money, which the DOC then uses for their Christmas parties and Fourth of July picnics.

3. Here’s the big one. How the hell did I manage to completely forget that I had another paycheck coming? How did I not realize that I was missing $300.00 in my checking account?

I may sound mad. I’m not. I’m a little confused, but incredibly happy. This was like finding a dollar in a coat from the past winter – except about three-hundred times cooler. I just don’t get how I could have lost this in the first place.

Regardless, it’s mine now. Forty hours of unpaid work have been returned to me. It really just goes to show how important keeping track of your money can be.

Who wants lunch? It’s on me.

This was lovingly handwritten on June 27th, 2005