Where do I begin?
Yesterday we went to the zoo with Laura and her kids. While there, I left my phone sitting on the restroom counter. I realized it as soon as I walked out and turned around to head back. One other woman had gone in, and I passed her as she came out. She smiled at me and walked off.
When I went back in, my phone was gone. Not just that – I have a phone that holds all my credit cards, military ID, drivers license. Like – my whole life in cards was in it. I was sick, knowing what a mess this was going to be. And at myself – because I forget big things constantly since Kaden died. All.the.time. This happened to be the biggest forgetful thing so far.
I quickly searched my purse to make sure I hadn’t stuffed it in there by accident, and then ran after the lady to see if she’d found it. She’d disappeared in less than a minute – gone. It’s a small zoo with only one way out and an open walking plan, so I was incredibly surprised not to see her.
I checked with lost and found, then security. Nothing. Ran back to Laura who called it, and after two rings it was hung up on. Then again.
Security checked the cameras, and sure enough, the woman exited the zoo within a minute after leaving the restroom. She was with a group of adults from a school, so they tracked down the man supervising the trip and had me explain it to him. He was still at the zoo and as I told him the description of the woman and what had happened, he nodded and went with security to view the tape. A woman with him said quietly, “You know it’s her.” He responded, “We don’t know that for sure yet.”
That was super comforting.
They came back and told me she’d be in class the next day but until then there was nothing to be done. And honestly, no one could do anything. We couldn’t make her empty her purse or track her down. It was my word against hers.
I wanted to believe she’d just taken it and had forgotten to return it or something. But the longer this went on the more I knew that wasn’t the case.
I called Sam from Laura’s phone, crying. He told me he’d cancel the cards asap and to just come home, stop on the way to try to get a phone since mine had shattered the screen the day before anyway. I felt awful.
Laura had graciously watched Bella and her kids while all this was going on, and I’d ended our short visit with a mess. We left and I headed out to Verizon to tell them to shut off my phone and let me buy the cheapest one they had. I didn’t have the Find My Phone setting on so we couldn’t locate it (turn that on!).
Once I got there, I realized I had no way to pay for a phone. None. At this point it was 4:30pm, Bella hadn’t had a nap, we were exhausted. The man looked at both of us as I asked him about putting the phone on our next month’s bill, and said, “This one’s on me. Here’s an iPhone 4 and we’ll just cancel it out to $0 for you.”
I was blown away. As soon as that happened, one of the reps came over and said, “Someone called for you. They have your phone.”
I mean, there are like 20 Verizon stores in El Paso and no one knew I was here. It turned out to be Sam, taking a chance that I’d gone to the store we’d been at a year ago for his phone upgrade. He explained that Laura had continued to call my phone and a man eventually answered. He told her that he’d bring her the phone, and she met him at the mall. He gave her the phone and my cards, which the woman had already used before we canceled.
By this time my head was exploding off with how insane this day was, and how amazing Laura was for doing this.
I thanked the Verizon manager and told him we’d be back anyway since my phone screen was shattered, then headed home. Laura came over with my phone and told me the story. She said this guy had met her in the parking lot, and told her that “his girl” found it at the zoo, took it with her and then went to the 7-11 where she bought gas and other stuff with the cards.
She couldn’t believe he told her this, or that he brought back the phone and cards. We still don’t know why on earth he did any of that.
We had to still cancel everything in case they numbers had been written down. The charges are all pending but both companies are taking care of it. We (thank goodness) only have one credit card and the other is a debit and both of them are being monitored.
I was floored I got anything back. I mean, I fully expected it to be gone. I learned a really valuable lesson about paying attention and keeping my phone away, maybe not putting my entire life on one device either. Laura is a rockstar for doing what she did.
There was my Wednesday. Today I’m writing at Starbucks (paid in quarters) and keeping my phone close.