The Case of the Missing Phone

You never really know what it is to suffer until you drunkenly accidentally leave your cell phone in the back of an Uber. (First world problems.)

That was to be my unfortunate fate on Friday night after hanging out with a girlfriend and getting a tad bit inebriated. I woke up Saturday morning to a missing phone that I surmised I must’ve left behind in the Uber I took home.

I have a program I can use to track my phone (thank you, Lookout Security!), but it was going straight to voicemail at this point when people tried calling it so obviously the battery was dead. I proceeded to try to track it anyway, but as expected, the site was having problems picking up a signal.

Trying to resolve this issue with Uber was like pulling teeth because it can only be done via email and while customer service is fairly quick to respond, it was a hefty delay in them being able to get in contact with the driver, which became frustrating. I was 95% sure my phone was left in the Uber because I would’ve needed it at least up until the time I ordered the Uber to go home in the first place.  There was a 5% chance I may have left it at the bar, but I didn’t think so.

The problem was that Uber was giving me the runaround about being able to reach the driver to actually confirm whether it was in fact in his car or not. I guess he wasn’t working at the time. Meanwhile, I can’t really be sure if I in fact DID leave it in the Uber, although I’m quite sure I did, or sure that even if I did leave it there, that it wasn’t kidnapped by a subsequent rider.

Lookout actually got a signal from it and sent me an email around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday to tell me they had it “near” a certain address in a town about 20 minutes away. My first thought was maybe that’s the Uber driver’s residence or something, but when I looked up the homeowners on Facebook  – an innocuous looking married couple  (I am an expert stalker, thanks) – the husband was definitely not the driver. So then I thought maybe they had taken the same Uber after me and picked my phone up for safe keeping or something?? I don’t know, but I was desparate. I relayed this information to Uber and asked if by chance they could tell me if the driver lived in the town in question at least, but they didn’t answer. I mean, I guess that makes senses in terms of the driver’s privacy, but I didn’t really care about that at the moment.

So what do I do? I drive to the house, of course. I ring the bell and the wife answers the door and I apologize for bothering her and the odd circumstance, but does she know if anyone in her house has a random cell phone? She looked at me like I had 3 heads and answered in the negative. I smiled and thanked her and did a prompt about-face. My bad.

So clearly the Lookout GPS is not exactly accurate, but it did give an error margin of 20 meters or so and unfortunately this happened to be a community of townhouses. So while my phone was not actually at the poor little hassled housewife’s address proper, it was probably in fact somewhere in that neighborhood. I briefly toyed with the idea of knocking on a cluster of doors, but I wasn’t quite ready to stoop to that level of obnoxiousness.

So alas, I returned home still phoneless and frustrated, starting to resign myself to the fact that I’ll just have to have my phone company replace my phone through my insurance plan, which would cost me a deductible but still be cheaper than buying a new one. I wasn’t particularly worried about pictures because I back them up constantly through Dropbox and thus rarely even keep pictures on the phone itself as I can just access them through the Dropbox app, but I knew there was some stuff that was stored on the phone itself and thus would be irretrievably lost and a pain to reproduce. Like my calendar information, to-do lists, etc.

Oh well. No one’s fault but my own.

I woke up Sunday morning to Lookout advising me that they had tracked my phone around 10:30 p.m. the night before to ANOTHER town about 35 minutes away from me this time. So my phone was on the move, it seemed. But getting farther away. Not good. I was still holding out hope that it was actually in the Uber itself and that some random person had not found it and taken it. I emailed Uber my findings and concerns in an exasperated tone, explaining how the chances of recovery fade for as long as they cannot get in touch with their own employee and he possibly starts driving and accepting more rides which exposes my phone to people that might be tempted to pilfer it if they find it in lieu of him.

Lo and behold, I was able to breathe a sign of relief when they wrote back a little while later and told me the driver had in fact recovered my phone. They asked where I lived; I gave them my address but added in that  I’d be willing to meet him wherever. They wrote back that he had my address, but also gave me a contact number for him to make arrangements. At this point it was later in the day and pouring rain and I was relieved at least that I knew where it was so I figured I’d just wait until the next day to call him somehow and make arrangements to get my phone back. I’d already gone over 40 hours without it, I could survive another half a day.

How pleased was I when, 2 hours later, my doorbell rings, and it’s the driver with my phone. My precious baby! He insisted it wasn’t necessary, but I gave him 20 bucks. He came all the way back to my house to return my phone in rather nasty weather. It would’ve cost me more than 20 bucks plus a fair amount of time, effort, and inconvenience to replace my phone, so it was more than worth it to me.

CRISIS AVERTED.

I am glad I got my phone back, of course, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world being out of touch. I wasn’t dare going to try to attempt any outings without a cell phone, so I stayed close to home all weekend and got the chance to partake in an interesting series on Netflix – Slasher. Rather gruesome, but intriguing and spooky and a storyline that seems all over the place at some points but ends up making sense in the end. I liked it.

In other news, this morning I ran in a Memorial Day 5K. I allegedly ran 3.1  miles in 25-something minutes, which I have to doubt the validity of being as running is not at all my forte. But I’ll take it. It was all for a good cause. Elliot ran in it too. I don’t think I’ve seen him in person since St. Patty’s Day. We’ve texted here and there since all our near-drama or whatever to call it, but his response rate is still severely lacking. Even still, we were able to have friendly conversation in the midst of other people, which is the way it should be.

Aaaaaaaaand, I reset my Tinder account. Starting fresh. I had accumulated upwards of 710 matches yet obviously I’d not gotten anywhere substantial with any one of them, so what’s the point? Reed and I were still matched on there. Unfortunately, I felt the need to wistfully peruse our 9-month old conversation and that made me reluctant to even reset my account for some reason – like I wanted to remain connected to him somehow. For what, I don’t know. I highly doubt he’s even active on there, being as of a few months ago it appeared he was back with his homely red-headed Marine ex-girlfriend. He probably deleted the app from his phone but doesn’t realize that you have to actually delete your account BEFORE you delete the app, otherwise your profile will still show up even if you don’t have the app on your phone.

But I managed. I reset it. Goodbye, Reed. We haven’t spoken since November, so, I had nothing to look forward to there anyway. Just memories of a hopeful era that has long-since been incinerated to ashes. I did take screenshots though. UGH.

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