Where is my bl**dy phone!?

As most of you know, I have had fixed views on the use of cell phones. However, finally, 30 years after everyone else, I have one and it has become indispensable. Mostly because it has access to my work emails rather than as a phoning, texting, or gaming tool.

I guess we all have our pat down mannerisms when we get up and leave somewhere. You will see (mostly men because they are a bit less organised than women), doing the pat down. Slapping their pockets to reassure themselves that they have their wallet, keys and… phone!

Twice now, I have stood at an airport, slapping my pockets feverishly, like some mad person, only to find that my phone is missing! Could be something to do with airports, or perhaps with Wellington, where it occurred twice. 

The first time was when I had been dropped off by a client at the airport. I walked into the terminal quite a way and then did my mad slapping as I was picking up my boarding pass, only to discover… no phone.

All alone am I, with no means to communicate with my phone, wherever it is sitting. I’m guessing it’s in my client’s car. Fortunately, I know this client’s phone number almost off by heart and I have it written in my notebook for my day plan. Nothing like back up planning, hey?

I figure the phone is gone, but I will catch up with him when he gets back to Auckland, so long as I tell him to recover it from the car quickly as it is a business car used to support his operations in Wellington, i.e., driven by others. 

Now to find a pay phone, old fashioned I know, and guess what there are no pay phones in Wellington Airport! Worse, the plane is boarding! So, I make my way to the Air New Zealand help desk and convince them to let me call it.

It rings and my caring and bemused client answers. I am a bit slow and I say to him, “I left my phone in your car, can you bring it back to Auckland with you when you come back later in the week.” Obviously, he knows that because he answered the phone. He says to me “I am waiting for you in the boarding area, I saw that you left it immediately, I parked and then came looking for you. Where are you? You’re going to miss your plane!” Mad rush from the Air NZ counter to the boarding gate where my phone and I were reunited, thanks Raman!

Lessons learnt:

  1. If you are going to give yourself a pat down, do it immediately.
  2. If you call your phone, whoever answers it, has found it.
  3. Stop talking and listen to what they are doing to help you.
  4. In a crowded airport, everyone who has done the pat down in an orderly fashion is carrying a cell phone, much faster just to ask a stranger.

Then on my very next visit to Wellington, having part-learnt lesson one, I get out of the Uber as it is driving away and do my pat down immediately. I find, fuck me, the phone is missing again! What is it with Wellington? This time I am in a group of fellow directors.

One offers to call it for me, (I guess he has me on speed dial). What the hell, no answer? Can’t the idiot Uber driver hear a cell phone ringing? My fellow director who booked the Uber calls their help desk and miraculously gets through to the driver, who then drives back and reunites the phone to me. This is a time when a cash tip seems more than appropriate for my stupidity.

I ask him why he couldn’t hear the phone ringing, he said all he heard was seagulls as he was driving along the waterfront and Lyall Bay.

Ahh, I think to myself, I had better change that ring tone! That’s exactly what my ring tone is set to – the sound of seagulls!

  • Don’t forget lesson one, should have done it before I closed the Uber door
  • Be careful with your ring tone, go for something that sounds like a phone!

To retain one’s sense of nostalgia and display both my age and my poor literary sense, lets finish on a limerick that can be sung to Abba’s song ‘Ring Ring’.

Ring ring, where is my bl**dy phone?
Ring ring, I am so alone,
Pat pat
Ohhhoa, drat,
Ring ring, I damn well left it at home!

Watch him sing it in our foyer!

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