Today was just like any other Saturday . . . with a list of 101 things to do on my ‘to do’ list. It was in the middle of achieving this list, while I was in K-mart that I reached in to my back pocket for my phone . . . Ahhh . . . my phone? Not in my back pocket? I quickly dropped my Coles bag (where I’d been previously) so both hands would be free to search . . . my other back pocket, my front pockets, my jacket pockets, my very small handbag . . . back to my back pockets . . . really, it’s not like a phone can get lost in your jeans pockets?
So then began the mad rush to retrace my steps . . . but in my panicked state of mind, I couldn’t remember where I had been . . . and so I was running here and there, dodging and darting between fellow shoppers this way and that, in the hopes of finding my phone still on the shelf where I must have put it down to look at something.
Think Helen! Think! What had I come to K-mart for? A lazy susan and a whiteboard . . . so I ran back to both of those places in the hope that I would find it there . . . but No!
I had made an exchange at customer service, so I ran back there and asked the store assistant if I’d left it on the counter? But No! I hadn’t done that either.
I asked if she could call my phone for me. And so she did . . . BUT NOT BEFORE she finished serving the customer she was already serving. I understand that’s not unreasonable for that customer, and that the store assistant owes me nothing, but from my perspective this was a moment to prioritise tasks as you would ‘desire’ if you were in the same situation. As I stood there watching her put those photos in to the envelope, chatting to her work colleague, I felt like she had no understanding at the urgency of the situation. This was a critical situation! A time critical situation! The difference between my phone still being on a shelf somewhere, and someone finding it and putting it in their pocket and walking away with it.
As she dialled my number . . . I wasn’t sure if I wanted someone to answer it or not. I had hoped someone would answer saying “Yes, it’s been handed in at . . . “ but no, no one answered the call.
I had two images running through my mind . . . one of my phone sitting on a shelf somewhere . . . if only I knew where that was . . . and another image of it in the hands of someone having just ‘received’ a brand new google Pixel phone.
I had no faith in the ‘goodness’ of someone to hand it in . . . I thought for sure it must be gone, and it’s just a matter of time before I will have to face the fact that I’m spending my afternoon sorting out a new phone, or at least reconnecting my former phone.
But just in case that’s not the case . . . I resumed my crazy lady rampage around the store . . . remembering that I had checked out some plastic containers . . . No! Not there?
“Please God!” I prayed, “not my phone. Please take me to my phone . . . remind me where I left it. Yes, it’s insured. But that’s beside the point.” Then I remembered . . . I’m on call for work for the weekend. I’m now uncontactable . . . and that was the link to a whole new level of stress. In my own moment of crisis, I was now uncontactable for any hospital emergency requiring surgery. Aghh!!!!!
Then I remembered an earlier ‘incident’ . . . I had sneezed unexpectedly . . . and with my current head cold . . . that was a tissue moment (sometimes life is messy) . . . so I had quickly ducked in to an aisle to give ‘the situation’ the attention it required. But yet again at this place of my ‘situation recovery’ my phone was not there either!
Then I remembered across the corridor is a Telstra Shop . . . and since I’m one of their valued customers . . . maybe they can help? So I approached the counter . . . and found a store assistant who was not busy with another customer . . . and she was immediately helpful. I typed in my gmail account on her phone . . . and there was the problem . . . my password . . . what is my password? This is the very reason, I have an app on my phone that stores all my passwords . . . I just never considered the situation of losing my phone.
First attempt = Incorrect password.
Second attempt = this password was changed 12 months ago (now that’s helpful – NOT!)
Third attempt = and the green circle is rolling . . . . and I’m in! The store assistant is just as excited as I am, and then does whatever she does to track my phone . . . . and it starts searching . . . . and . . . it’s located at Coles! And I’m running . . . as she’s telling me she’s set it to sound an alarm in 5 minutes . . . long enough for me to get there . . . (Im wondering . . . will I be tracking that sound to the shelf space where I left it? Or will I be confronted with a situation of having to recover my phone from someone whose pocket starts alarming?) . . . along the corridor . . . down the escalator “Excuse me!” and again “Excuse me!” (and remembering I’ve just left my shopping at Telstra) out the plaza doors . . . across the pedestrian crossing . . . through the plaza doors . . . and as I’m approaching Coles . . . I remembered using my phone after having been in Coles . . . so I knew it wasn’t there, unless it’s on the move . . . and I’m not hearing any alarms in the plaza yet . . . and that after Coles, I’d then gone to the $2 Supa Bargain store next door . . . where I’d been looking for plastic containers for a storage solution for my freezer . . . and so I had had my phone out looking at ‘notes’ while measuring different size containers and comparing them with the size of my freezer space that I needed them to fit in to . . . and as I raced to the counter of the $2 Supa Bargain Store . . . inconsiderate of the queue of customers waiting to be served . . . I blurted out to the store assistant in my out of breath, head cold voice “Has anyone handed in a phone? A google pixel phone?” . . . and there I saw it sitting on the counter . . . and she handed it over to me! I thanked her, and everyone in the queue . . . and I could tell by the smiles on their faces . . . that they understood my plight!
. . . very high accuracy I’d say!
I then returned to Telstra to retrieve my shopping, and to thank the store assistant that her part in the mission was successful. Meanwhile the search alarm had not yet gone off . . . so I disabled that, and went on my way to finish my ‘to do’ list, thanking God that He did indeed lead me to my phone . . . via Telstra and its location tracker.
I then resolved that in order to prevent this from happening again, some behaviour modification was required, and thus from here on, after using my phone, I shall endeavour to return it to some place on me, rather than putting it down on a shelf (or some such space) for it to be left behind.
And so the life lessons learned today are many:
- Don’t panic! It will all work out in the end . . . just that you don’t know that yet!
- People won’t necessarily understand or perceive the urgency of your crisis. They’ve got their own priorities and ‘stuff’ to deal with.
- Have faith in people to do the right thing. Such people are still out there.
- Always pray! Say a little prayer . . .
- Life can get messy . . . especially when we least expect it! Always have tissues on hand.
- There is always someone willing to help . . . just keep on asking til you find that someone.
- Show your appreciation. Remember where the help came from. Give thanks outward and upward!
- Behaviour modification: make a change so as not to repeat the same incident that results in the same crisis. A repeat event might not work out so well. So do what you can to prevent the event!