Today, I learnt a number of things:
First, of these things were: If you jump over my wall, try to break open my garage and threaten to smash my front door, my dear darling neighbour-lady, whom I’ve entrusted with my keys, will hand them over and let you into my house. (Today, it saved me from having to repair a smashed front door, I don’t know what will happen next time.)
The second realisation was that without a mobile phone, I feel very, very lost. It feels like I have lost a limb, I am that disconnected from society. This is most perturbing indeed!
Thirdly, and perhaps the most scary was that I am seemingly much more of an unstable person than I realised seeing as people couldn’t get hold of me for three hours and most of them decided that I had done something terrible to myself. (Or maybe I am just that reliable a worker that when I failed to show up for work, everyone assumed the worst? I like version two – let’s go with that).
Lastly, no matter what else my life may be, it is never dull. No problem in my life, ever just has a quick and easy solution. NOT. EVER.
So why would I not show up for work you ask? (It is very much unlike me).
Because last night I had my phone stolen. I had my phone in my jacket pocket while my kids and I were wizzing through the supermarket to get some things. I got home, and there was no phone in my pocket. So I got back in the car and drove back to the store, thinking maybe I had dropped the phone somewhere and someone might pick it up and like a good citizen return it.
On the way, we stopped at the ex-husband’s house, because I do actually have an extra phone, WITH a SIM card, but for some reason I can’t get the damn thing to work. And I have never bothered with it, because it just hasn’t been needed. So the phone isn’t set up at all and can’t make calls. But, as ex-husbands go, they are never around when you need them, are they?
I have absolutely no way of getting in touch with anyone. A mere 15 years ago, not having a device semi-permanently attached to my hand with which I can call for help, navigate, check my emails etc, would not have been an issue. But not in 2018! I am not good at handling stressful situations. Never have been, and at the ripe old age of almost 40, I have realised that I just never will be. So, I panic! And what happens when one panics, friends? For some reason, the very organ you need most, stops working. Completely.
I am in tears because let’s face it, this is just the latest in a long, long line of shit things that have happened to me in the last 18 months and my tolerance at this stage is at an all-time low. My children are in tears because who likes it when their mother cries?
We get to the shop and I ask them to review the security footage but no. Nothing can be seen and when we try to call the phone, it is already switched off. A sure sign that whomever found it has no intention of giving it back! Somewhere in that shop, someone had stuck their grubby hands in my pocket and stole my phone right out of it! The reason this is so extra creepy is because one of the two said children were at each of my sides throughout this shopping trip.
We now dash off to the cellular shop where they can hopefully set up the phone that I have, so that at least I have some way of being in touch with the world! Again, no, this is me we’re talking about and for some reason only the cell-phone-shop-people will understand, they can’t do a SIM-swop after 6pm. And because I don’t have the box of the phone, they can’t black-list it, so I will have to come back in the morning. Some more tears and mass hysteria (most of the mass belonging to yours truly) later, we have to accept that nothing can be done until morning.
But I am not completely stupid. I have a computer and I am still connected to Facebook. So I send my boss a message on FB (as I sit here and write, it suddenly strikes me that perhaps an email may have been better, but there you go, there is that vital organ that stops working in a panic!) because who else is going to be looking for me? I have let the boss know that I will be a little late because I have to go and do this phone-thing quickly in the morning.
Everyone calms down to a mild panic and we make it through the night. I drop the kids at school and toddle into the phone shop. Here I am greeted with some more issues that would only ever strike me. They can’t find my number. Then they can’t find my phone on the system. And so it goes…and as always, there are glitches. Because I haven’t had the phone for more than 6 months, the excess is half the cost of the phone. I have put some money away to take the kids on holiday. That washes down the drain in a hurry.What was supposed to have taken 10 minutes, has now been an hour.
But all I need to do now, is go to the police station and get a case number and come back, by which time they will have the new phone ready for me, as I had asked them to insure it when I got the damn thing, less than three weeks ago. But right, we won’t dwell: which police station? Oh any one they say. But they can’t explain to me how to get to it and the phone I have with me, is unable to navigate. (or make calls at this point, so I STILL have no way of letting anyone know where I am, but this will be real quick, right?) NO. I drive up and down looking for something that is supposed to be easy to find. I eventually do find the police station only to be informed that it’s the wrong one and I need to go to another one. This one is easier to find, but busy. It takes a while, but I have my affidavit and a case number. Now just back to the phone shop real quick and I can phone everyone and tell them I’m on my way! (But it shouldn’t be an issue right, because I sent that message?)
Get back to the shop and after sitting around for another hour for some reason, the insurance wasn’t activated so can I please come back tomorrow? They can activate the insurance now, but we can’t put the claim in on the same day. But we can do it the next day. With an affidavit from the day before. That makes absolutely no sense to me and by now I am in full-blown panic mode again and logic has gone right out the door. I still can’t get hold of anyone and no-one can get hold of me. But at least the office isn’t far. I cry and drive and cry and wipe snot because it’s all just too damn much!
I stumble into the office all snot-smeared and puffy-eyed and things proceed to get worse. Apparently, that FB message hadn’t arrived at it’s intended destination. Everyone would like to know where the fuck I have been and what the fuck I have been up to. I try to explain that I didn’t have a phone and no-one could get hold of me but the boss misconstrues it as me saying no-one cared about me. I get told how she and my other colleagues tried to break into my house and how the kind lady next door had opened up for them to check that I wasn’t dead on the floor somewhere and all my friends are worried sick. They had called them all and no-one could get hold of me. They had even called my psychiatrist to find out if I had been to see her! It was all a big bloody circus!
Tomorrow I will hopefully get reinstated on the mobile networks of the world, but this whole palawa has made me realise how ridiculously dependent we have become on stupid little cell phones. I don’t like it one little bit!