On Monday I came home from FinCon (I’ll regale you with tales of that some other time). I got up super early and hopped on a shuttle to the Denver airport with Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful, Sarah from Mi Common Cents, and JD Roth (I didn’t have to stalk him this year, but that’s also another story for another day). Oh, and a bunch of random guys who were wasted at 6 AM and smelled like a liquor store. Fun times.
We got to the airport, grabbed our bags, and hauled ass into the airport to make it through security before our respective flights. I reached for my phone to check in and it wasn’t in my pocket. Or my purse. Or my other pocket. I threw up a little in my mouth.
What to Do When Your Phone is Missing
1. Try to remember the last time you had it. I knew I had my phone in the shuttle because I tried (and failed) to take a picture of Denver’s demon horse statue on the way to the airport. Odds were good that it fell out of my pocket when I was sliding across the van’s bench seat to get out.
2. Don’t automatically assume it’s gone forever. I was 1100 miles from home in a large city and my phone was on a random van. My first thought was, Well, I guess it’s time to get another phone. It honestly didn’t occur to me that I might be able to find it until JD Roth suggested I try to go back outside and catch the shuttle before it left.
3. Feel free to be angry when people say dumb things. So I’m chasing the moving shuttle and yelling to the driver that my phone is in the back seat. His reply? “Just call 1-800-BLUE-VAN!” Really? With WHAT? I won’t offend any of you with my expletive-filled response, but I’ll just say I didn’t censor myself. Sometimes people are completely unhelpful when you’re in a crisis situation.
4. Make good use of other technology. When I finally got to my gate, I pulled out my laptop and used the Find my iPhone feature to see my phone moving down 15th Street in Denver. (I also could have wiped my info from it remotely, but luckily I didn’t have to.) I also used iMessage (thanks Apple) to text my mom from the computer and give her all the info so she could call the shuttle company.
5. Remember that all hope is probably not lost. If I hadn’t been able to find my phone, I wouldn’t have lost anything except the device itself. All my pictures sync to my computers and iPad instantly through Photostream (thanks again, Apple). I could download my apps again. My email is web-based and available on any computer, phone, or tablet I choose. So it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, though no one could have told me that at the time.
6. Be prepared to do what it takes to get the phone back. When I arrived in Atlanta, I got the update from Mom – the phone was found, but obviously they couldn’t get it to the airport in time. So I had to authorize a hefty charge on my credit card for the shuttle company to FedEx it to my house. While that sucks, it’s not as expensive as buying another phone so I won’t complain.
A Happy Ending?
My phone was delivered yesterday. I spent the last 24 hours prior to its arrival managing my withdrawal symptoms and feeling completely disconnected from the outside world.
When my dad picked me up from the airport, I became acutely aware of how hard it is to survive without a phone. I wanted to go to a certain restaurant, but I couldn’t look up the address. I wanted to call my son and tell him I was almost home but I had no way to call. Multiple times on the drive home, I reached for my phone to look at a picture, send a text message, or check my email and had the realization, Oh, that’s right. I live in the stone age now.
Am I being dramatic? Maybe a little. After all, it’s not like my dad doesn’t have a phone that’s capable of getting directions or making phone calls. But it’s very disorienting to lose the device I depend on to wake me up in the morning, keep up with my work schedule, and enable me to run my business.
I’d love to say that this experience taught me how to be less dependent on technology, but that really didn’t happen. If nothing else, it reinforced the need for it (yes, I said need) in a society that is increasingly mobile/paperless/connected. I realized how often I really do use my phone for things like checking my bank balance, talking to friends and family, keeping up with my boarding passes for flights (yeah, that was fun), and knowing what I’m supposed to be doing every day.
How Would You Handle It?
Have you ever lost your phone? If so, how did you deal? And if not, what would you do in that situation? Does your phone manufacturer provide you with options like cloud backups, restoration of apps, GPS tracking, etc. in the event your phone is lost or stolen?
This post has been sponsored by the online lenders at Same Day Loans. Definitely an option if you lose your phone like I did!