IT pilot fish is walking past a fellow IT worker's cube when he spots a bag filled with a cell phone and power cables, obviously from an employee. "Since I wasn't expecting any being returned by anyone, I was surprised to see it," says fish.
"So I took the cell phone, determined its phone number and called to listen to the voice-mail greeting to try and figure out whose phone it was."

The recording begins: "Hi, this is Lucy and I no longer work for \[fish's company], so please contact Desi at..."

Now fish is even more surprised. Normally he knows in advance when someone is leaving, but this is news to him.

And he's not alone. "I tracked down various people, and no one seemed to know anything about it," he says. "I checked her e-mail box and it was completely empty, which is highly unusual, since normally everyone in our company has hundreds of megabytes of e-mail.

"Finally, I found the team leader of the group Lucy worked for. She told me that she did know Lucy was no longer employed at the company, but that it was still confidential and not to tell anyone. She also said an announcement would be made next week.

"Apparently Lucy didn't care if everyone knew.

"And though I may have gotten her cell phone back, so far there is no sign of her laptop and no word of when it might be returned."