My GO-JEK story: What being robbed reminded me about the value of things

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Credit: GO-JEK Archives

A couple of weeks ago, I was riding a GO-JEK ride in central Jakarta when a stranger on a motorcycle drove pass by and grabbed my iPhone X out of my hands. Unfortunately, I didn’t managed to get my iPhone back. Fortunately, I am safe. And although the experience left me deeply rattled — it taught me one thing or two important life values.

It was around 9 o’clock at night, and I was coming home from work. I thought of beating the traffic my favorite way so I decided to order GO-JEK ride. I was “lost in my phone,” still caught-up with work chatting to a colleague. The road was still fairly busy — so I had no sense of danger whatsoever and didn’t stay alert to my surroundings.

When the thief snatched my phone out of my hands, I didn’t consciously do anything. I froze and it took us 3 seconds before we went full on speed chasing the thief. My GO-JEK driver, scream his lungs out few times hoping others who are ahead of us would notice; yet we’re left behind and I can sense that we’ll never be able to catch up. So I asked my GO-JEK driver to pull aside as quickly as possible. Shaking and upset, I pulled out my laptop to activate lost mode through the Find my iPhone service as if I hadn’t had enough stolen from me on the street.

At that point, I thought of about a million reasons why my life sucked now that I no longer had my beloved phone — especially when I use it almost at least 15 hours everyday. One thing I haven’t yet realized then though, is that it was just a phone. And they were justthings.

Kudos to Apple for Find my iPhone service, but let me tell you this; tracking a phone is one thing, doing something with the information is another. My GO-JEK driver deliberately drove me to the police station miles away from my original destination, then I explained to the officer on duty about the incident and insist that we would be able to track where my phone is. Officer later told me that the possibility for me to get it back — even with the phone being tracked is less than 5% so I knew that I just have to give up. And it’s not like I’m going to chase them down FBI-style only to get my phone back.

“I’m sorry.” — That’s what my GO-JEK driver said to me at least 10 times that evening; something that he didn’t even need to express because it’s clearly not his fault. He did ask how much the phone cost and was shocked when I (maybe I should’ve lied) answer as is. I remember that he said that the phone would be able to finance his two daughter for a better education and give them a better chance in life. It just hit me, hard. I instantly knew that he already went beyond of his duties and for sure it takes some form of sacrifice from his end, to do all the nice things to help me get through the incident. Let’s just say that I really needed to believe there are kind, decent people out there, and he’s just that.

Thank you for driving me off route and spend your gasoline not only to chase the thief — but also drove me to the police station, mobile provider office, and home later that night. Thank you for buying me a bottle of water in attempt to calm me down. Thank you for making sure that I’m okay. I’m okay.

As I replay the events of that evening, I become more convinced of one thing: The solution to this (or any sort of) problem doesn’t lie in technology, at least not right now. It rests with People. Conscious people who watch their surroundings. Kind people who genuinely help others. Driven people who learn from the mistakes, making sure others didn’t have to experience it. Honest people who, even in the worst circumstances, can be trusted. And most importantly, people who are doing the best they can to make sure they uplift others, not just because they have the power to, but also because it’s what they hold on dearly as their value. It’s their DNA.

After all of that — I realized, I may lose my valuable possession. But realizing the value of encountering people like my GO-JEK driver is really immeasurable.

Originally published at Brata Santoso’s LinkedIn Pulse (VP GO-FOOD Festival)(March 1, 2018)