I lost my right arm.

I mean, I didn’t ACTUALLY lose my right arm.  But I did lose my phone and that’s basically the same thing, right?

Most of us have put our phone down somewhere, started an activity, and then forgotten exactly where we put our phone.  This usually happens at home when you’re trying to cook dinner, wash clothes, feed the dog, and prevent your kids from killing each other all at the same time.  Typically once things have calmed down you find your phone hiding in plain sight or maybe stuck in your back pocket. Worst case, you borrow your husband’s or child’s phone and call your phone.  And as long as the ringer is turned on that will work.

I lost my phone at dinner.  At a restaurant. That was basically empty.  

That seems illogical, I know, but that’s exactly what happened.  I picked up the phone when I exited my car and I’m pretty sure I put it in my jacket pocket.  For once, I didn’t even touch it during dinner because we were talking (and trying to keep the boy from having a meltdown but that’s a whole other ball of wax).  I didn’t think about my phone again until I was in my car a half block away and thought “Oh, I need to put my phone on the charger while I drive home.” And I couldn’t find it.

Like any responsible person I made an immediate right turn and when straight back to the restaurant.  Total time away from the building was less than 5 minutes. I sat in the parking lot and did a quick search of my person and my purse.  No phone. I did a cursory search of my center console and the floor of my vehicle. No phone. So I go back inside the restaurant expecting to find it on the table.

The table is empty.  Shocking, I know, but they had already cleaned the table.  I spot the server right away and ask if she picked up a phone while cleaning.  “No, I didn’t see a phone.” I look under the table, under the bench, behind the seat cushion.  Nothing. I was at a loss. Maybe I was mistaken. Maybe my husband saw me leave it and picked it up without telling me.  Only one way to find out. I thanked the server, hopped back in my car, and headed home.

I pull in the driveway to find my husband standing outside with his phone in his hand.  “Did you find your phone?’ “No. You didn’t pick it up?” “No.” Well that’s not good. So we decide to check and see where GPS shows my phone.  Google maps shows it back at the restaurant 15 minutes ago but for some reason can’t find the signal now. That’s not good either.

We both searched my purse.  We both searched my vehicle.  We called the phone while searching my vehicle.  No phone.

So back to the restaurant we go.  Total time away now 30 minutes. When we walk in we find the table we were sitting at is now occupied again.  Why? The whole place is empty except for 4 other tables. Why did you have to put another party at this one table?  Were the other 30 tables not good enough?

I politely explained my situation to the current occupant and asked if they would allow me to, again, search the area.  Of course, no problem. Still no phone. This time the manager notices we are interrupting the new guests and comes to see what’s going on.  We explain the situation to him, he shines a flashlight under the table, but still no phone. He asks the server but she still hasn’t seen the phone.  When we tell him the last GPS location is his restaurant he smiles and says “Yeah, that happened another time but I think it showed up somewhere else.”  Stop smiling! This is not funny!

We left our name and hubby’s phone number in the hopes that my phone might miraculously show up when they were doing their cleaning at closing time.  I even called back the next morning to ask if a phone had been found. Sadly the answer was no.

It was bad enough that I was without my universal communicator but at work the next morning I discovered I was also without my authentication tool.  All my sites and applications that require dual authentication or verification are tied to my phone. I’ll admit it. I whined a little (ok, alot) when I discovered this.  My co-workers found this amusing. So very glad I could make someone laugh today.

This story does have a happy ending.  The good news is my phone was insured.  It cost more than I wanted to pay but I was able to get a new phone in about 24 hours.  I guess the “instant gratification economy” has its advantages.


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