Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Incredible Phone Debacle

This is a true story...

We had just gotten back from a vacation to the east coast to visit our family and friends. It was a great trip, but it was nice to be home. I wasn't really incredibly excited to go back to work at Old Navy (I mean is anyone really excited to go back to work after a two week vacation?) I decided to dress up a little bit to give me a little extra confidence and a bounce in my step. Since it wasn't a shipment day, I decided to wear a denim skirt with a cute top.  It worked. The day was going really well, which gave me a huge boost about being back at work after two weeks. I went to lunch, came back in the building and used the bathroom before I went back on the floor.

I put my name tag on and reached for my phone which lived in my back pocket and it wasn't there. I freaked out on the inside (mostly because this isn't the first time I've lost my phone in the past year.) "It's got to be here somewhere" I think to myself. So, I started retracing my steps. I began in the break room and headed down to the floor. I looked in the bathroom, and even asked the person coming out if they saw a phone in there. Of course not. I went back outside to the spot I was sitting in the park looking all along the sidewalk as I went. Nothing. Nothing was turned in at the store. No one had seen anything. Damn.

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With my head bowed, I called Stephen. "You're going to kill me, but (deep breath) I can't find my phone."

Now let me take just a moment here so that you understand. Like I said before, this is not the first time I've lost my phone in the past year. The first time was on the day of my Old Navy interview and I left it in a Nordstrom bathroom by accident. It wasn't two minutes later I was in there looking for it and it was gone. Someone had stolen it. A very similar story to this one actually.

Stephen had been giving me a hard time about it since it happened (as he should). But I knew I couldn't let anything happen to this phone and I did. I felt terrible and defeated when I called Stephen from one of my co-workers phones.

Let me just say, I have the best husband ever. He knew I was serious as soon as the words escaped my mouth. However, not once did he say anything mean or joke about my perpetual stolen phone scenario. He just went into action.

"Did you check in your bag and coat?"
"Did you check where you had been this afternoon?"
"Even on the sidewalk?"
"Did you ask to see if someone turned a phone in?"

He began tracking my phone online. I love that feature. We determined it had for sure come back to Old Navy with me so as I thought, it fell out of my skirt in the bathroom, I simply didn't notice. We also determined that someone had it because it was walking down 3rd Ave and I was still standing in Old Navy on 5th.

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At this point I let my managers know what was going on. One manager offered to go with me and see if we could get it back. I stayed on the phone with Stephen (a huge thanks to my co-worker who lent me her phone.) We walked and Stephen set the ringer to go off as loud as it could for five minutes at a time. We looked and listened and found nothing. I was so sad and defeated when Stephen told me the person got on a bus because it was now 5 blocks south. We went back to Old Navy and I hung up with Stephen. I took a deep breath and then found the most monotonous task I could find and just kept working.

We had bricked my phone, meaning that no one could do anything with it. It had an elaborate password set to it so it couldn't even be opened. On top of that, Stephen wrote a message on the front screen that read (in capital letters) "THIS PHONE IS STOLEN, PLEASE RETURN TO OWNER." He added a link to his phone number, though that didn't do much good because we disabled the sim card so that no data or signal to get to the phone. When we did that, it was last tracked in West Seattle, which is a good 10 miles away.

Now don't get me wrong, I know that it was just a phone. It was a thing, something that could be replaced. I was upset, not distraught over this occurance. Mostly I was just annoyed, especially with myself for allowing it to happen (again) in the first place.

Anyone who has a smart phone that they use on a regular basis will understand this... not having that phone SUCKS! It is my alarm clock, my music player, my way to communicate (through phone and text), my entertainment, my link to the world through Facebook and news apps, and my way to get around town (with google maps and the bus schedule app). It has everything that I do and use on a daily basis in that one device. It was so much harder without it, so frustrating!

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I woke up the next day mad at the world. I was cursing before I even got in the shower. Frankly, I'm surprised I got up at all using a different alarm. But I did. I got dressed and I went to work and I endured the day. It was a hard day.

That evening I get a message from a co-worker on Facebook... "Hey Amanda! Your phone is at work!"


My phone is at work? That can't be! It was stolen, gone forever. Now it's at work? It can't be mine. But another co-worker (the one whose phone I borrowed) called Stephen to let us know as well and promised that it was mine.

I went to bed that night with a glimmer of hope. I didn't want to get my hopes up. Nonetheless, I hadn't been that excited to go to work in a long while. I got there and found my phone in the office on a charger! My Old Navy people are the most amazing in the world! Not only did they find it to give it back, they even charged it for me. [insert cheesy grin here]

I was on cloud nine all day because I got my phone back. I couldn't believe it!

Turns out, the person who stole it came back to Old Navy and put the phone back in the bathroom. One of the Old Navy associates found it in the bathroom and was like, "This is Amanda's phone." So I still have no idea who took it or what they hoped to gain from it, but honestly, I don't really care. I'm just so glad to have my phone back.

It's just as good as new too. It wasn't tampered with at all. It was still locked and not even damaged physically. Stephen (as the primary on the plan) got it recoverd and back on the network with a new sim card and now it works perfectly as if nothing happened at all. I am so lucky.

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Who ever it was that stole it, shame on you, but thank you for doing the right thing in the end and returning it, even anonymously. It saves me a lot of headache, frustration and money to get a new one.

At the end of those couple days, I felt like I was in a book or sitcom. I mean you can't write stuff this good. In fact, don't be surprised if a similar story comes up in my fiction in the future, I mean, I have to use this!

This instance also got me thinking. It is an interesting thing, my faith and contempt for humanity. I mean, there is so much violence and distruction it is hard to believe in the good of this world. But there are also so many instances where people help each other out just because it was needed at the time.

When my phone was stolen, I was furious with this unknown person for being so selfish and cruel. However, when it came back, even anonymously, I realized that everyone is going through their own struggles and we all walk a balance of self gain and self sacrifice.

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It gives me hope that this person did the right thing in the end and returned the phone, even if it was after realizing there was nothing to gain from the situation. Still, he or she could have been flippant or lazy and just toss it. Instead he or she made the trek back into the city to leave it where he or she stole it from. There is hope and good in this world. Sometimes, we just need to look a little harder for it and have faith that others will make the right decisions. In the meantime, we need to make the right decisions and realize that our actions and attitudes affect those around us.


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