For the lack of a nail, a kingdom was lost (Social media and the chaos theory).

Ok, in a bizarre series of events, I lost my phone. For three days, I went without my phone. As a smart-phone junkie, it was like breaking any other addiction. Painful at first, but also refreshing and enlightening.  I’m deciding I might need  to try it more  often.

The story kind of embarrasses me, but it’s the chaos theory in action. The smallest things sometimes have the biggest impact. I was picking up a social-media consultant at the airport to work on a project. I arrived, early, went in the airport to wait. Of course, once I sat down to wait, I pulled out my phone. There was something weird on my screen. The parking ticket from the airport parking garage fit perfectly on my smart phone screen, making me think for a second it actually was my screen. Once I realized what it was, I took off the ticket and stuck it in my pocket.

The consultant arrived, we went to the car, went to leave the parking lot, and…I didn’t have my parking ticket.  Must’ve missed my pocket when I went to shove it back in. Of course, they wanted 18 dollars because I didn’t have my ticket. It was 10 in the morning.  Yea, I was really irritated. I told the attendant so, in not-so-nice language. I backed up to look for my ticket, got out of the car to look for my ticket, stood up, took the phone out of my pocket, put it on top of the car…you can guess the rest. Distracted, trying not to disrupt the day, being on a timeline, I forgot my phone. When we got back to work, I realized what had happened, retraced my driving path, but to no avail, the phone was gone. Phoneless.

Phoneless.  How many apps do I have? Not sure, but I know this, ever since I got the first Blackberry Storm, I’ve been an addict. Then, I went I-phone, and there was no going back (I’ve since counted, I’ve loaded 47 apps that didn’t come with the phone, I probably use half of them on a regular basis).

I went to the Verizon store. Good news, I have insurance, so the financial damage is minimal. Bad news, Verizon can’t do anything for me, I have to file a claim and get a phone next-day mailed to me.  So, I filed the claim, and waited.

It was late in the day, so the claim didn’t process until the next day. I live in an apartment, so I put in the address for the phone to be delivered to the office, because it had to be signed for.  Apparently, the UPS guy didn’t get the message because my phone didn’t get delivered, and when I checked the status, it said “undeliverable, apartment number not provided.” Which of course, infuriated me, because it said “office” on the address.

So I went on the UPS site, and engaged in a chat with a customer service rep, (because, uh, I don’t have a phone) only to be told that I couldn’t pick it up myself that night. When I asked why, I was told “it’s an agreement with the service provider”, which didn’t make a damn bit of sense to me. I chatted “I’m the customer, the receiver!” The chat response was “What’s your phone number?”

I got to the UPS pick up at 8:30 in the morning, desperate to get my phone. The chat-guy said, and I verified, that their office opened at eight. They had my phone, the lady said, but it wasn’t there right now, it would be awhile. Yea, I kind of lost it. “What do you mean, the chat-guy said I could pick it up at 8, it’s a 20-minute drive to my house, why don’t you have it?”

“Well, sir, it will be here in a little bit, if you could, you know, maybe just get a sausage biscuit and come back in a little bit..?”

“What?” I yelled, “I’ve been without my phone for 2 ½ days, UPS apparently can’t deliver a package, and apparently can’t even make it available for me to pick up, and you want me to GO GET A SAUSAGE BISCUIT….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

I stormed out….and went a got a sausage biscuit. Actually, not a bad idea. I calmed down, went back in twenty minutes, the lady saw me, nervously bolted behind the desk, and brought out a package. “Hey sir, I’ve got your phone”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry I yelled at you, shouldn’t have lost my temper, I was just frustrated.”

“Why thank you, I appreciate that, not everyone apologizes when they lose their temper!” Which made me feel better, and raised a lot of questions. Gotta love East Tenessee.

So, now I’ve got my I-phone back, and order is restored. However, I had about a half a day, well, maybe even a whole day, when I said to myself, yea, this ain’t bad. No phone. I’ve actually got some time to think. Relax. I can live without my phone…but you know, now that I have it back, let’s check some things.

So, then I’m off to a conference, tweeting, texting, facebooking, blah, blah.  I keep thinking about doing without my phone. It used to be, we didn’t have them,  weren’t hooked in and linked up all the time. Actually took time to think things through.

Ok, gotta, go, I think my I-pad just beeped, or was that my phone?

Next week, I’m taking a week’s vacation and visiting my brother in Alaska. I think I’ll get off the grid for a week.


About whatshupp

I'm a project manager engaged with social media, technology, energy efficiency. A retired member of the United States Air Force, I've become a bit of a distance runner.
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1 Response to For the lack of a nail, a kingdom was lost (Social media and the chaos theory).

  1. fmlinardo says:

    I’ve found there are very few problems that can’t be solved with a sausage biscuit.

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