Monday, March 03, 2008

Lost Tales of 3AM, Part II: Phone Home

The Midwest Express Boeing 717 was on its way down the tarmac, lining up for takeoff. I had already placed my stewardess in her original upright and locked position, and my carry-on luggage was safely placed under the seat in front of me.

As we lifted off out of KCI (MCI for those pilots out there), I went through the process of turning off and stowing all my portable electronic devices. That's when it hit me: I still need to turn off my phone. But where is my phone? Not in my shirt pocket. Not in my pants pocket. Not in any of the pockets of my coat.

Panic sets it. I left it at the boarding gate at the airport. Crap. I specifically remember using it to check messaging just before the final boarding call came. I must have set it down on the seat next to me while I packed up my Toshiba Tecra POS craptop that I'd been using for some last-minute emailing/porn surfing.

I flag down the flight attendant to see if there’s any chance of getting a message back to the gate. Unfortunately, we’re in the air and “out of range” so I’ll just have to wait until we land in New York.

So I’ve got two and a half hours to fret about my phone.

Now, you have to understand that I have a kick-ass phone. It’s wafer thin but still has a 2MB camera and enough processor power to allow me to watch TV, get Gmail, Google calendar and read all your blogs while waiting in line at the Korean massage parlor.

But still, what worries me most is the loss of all of the data and contacts I’ve collected over the past six years. If I have to get a new phone, it would be a pain in the ass to input the numbers to all of my business contacts, family, friends and lawyer/bondsman/bookie.

My first stop when I get to La Guardia is at Midwest gate. I explain the situation to the gate agent who looks at me like I just asked him to donate a kidney. With a great deal of effort, he somehow manages to pick up the phone and dial the Midwest gate in KC.

With a great deal of additional effort, he explains my situation to the party on the other end of the phone and then sets about the task of waiting on hold. I could tell by his increasingly labored breathing that he was having a difficult time staying on hold, and he finally hands me the receiver, allowing me to take over.

After a minute or two a voice answers from KC.

“I’m sorry but I haven’t been able to reach the gate agent that was working when you left. Can you give me a number to call in case your phone turns up?”

Defeated, I give her my Supermodel Wife’s cell phone number. At this point I know that I’ll probably never see the phone again.

I arrive at my hotel on Times Square. From my room I dial up the SMW to let her know that she might get a call from Midwest.

“Hey,” she says when she answers. “I just got a call from Midwest saying that they have your phone.”When I finish my happy dance, I ask my SMW to get me the number for my business associate, Angelina Jolie, who is scheduled to join me in NYC for a conference the next day.

“Hey Angelina Jolie, it’s Emawkc…”

“Hey Emawkc! Guess what… I have your phone!”
It turns out that while I was reading about Harry Potter’s wand (ewe) in SkyMall, one of my NYC business associates, Brad Pitt, had called my phone. The Midwest gate agent had answered and told Brad Pitt that my phone had been left at the gate mere minutes earlier.

This news set off an avalanche of email within my company which eventually ended in the in-box of Angelina Jolie, who was at KCI early enough to stop by the Lost And Found desk near baggage claim and pick up my phone for me.

So after all of the fretting, phone calling and emailing, all that was left for me to do was head up to the hotel lounge and sip Glenlivet while watching the activity on Times Square and waiting for my phone to arrive a few hours later.

I love it when things work out.

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  1. I'm sure I've seen that shaggy dog story at the movies, Lassie Phone Home was it?

  2. You better be saying Hail Marys & Our Fathers on the flight back because you just used up all your karma points.

  3. ATT phone never gets lost. You just have to feed it.

  4. Wow. That's some luck there! Good for you!


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