I received a call from a friend a few days ago, who reminded me about an incident in my life several years ago. At the time I was a military account manager for a large pharmaceutical company. If you've ever visited a military base of any sort, you know that there are certain procedures and regulations that you must follow while on site. These include signing in at the gate, wearing you identification badge, and keeping your gear with you at all times.
As it so happens, I was calling on Womack, the large hospital on Fort Bragg, NC. That day, Merle, my boss at the time, decided to ride along with me. I welcomed the company and only asked that Merle carry my large red duffel bag containing various pharma giveaways (pens, pads, etc.).
About mid-afternoon an alarm went off in the hospital and the entire west wing was evacuated. There was apparently a bomb threat which had been reported in the area we were working. After 20 minutes of standing in the hot sun, the doors of the empty clinic opened and someone in a full fire-suit and face shield emerged. On the end of a set of 6 foot tongs, was a large red bag. Merle, having used a payphone earlier in the day, had inadvertently left the bag by the phones. One of the medical staff asked, "Hey Green, isn't that your bag?". Merle then turned to me and said he had a conference call to get on, got in his car and left. For the next 2 hours I spent explaining the situation to the military police. It was a moment, in which I was quite literally left holding the bag.
Merle retired 6 months later.