I both lost and found my iPhone the first weekend I was in New York. It’s a story worth telling because realistically, I should not have my iPhone right now. Realistically, my iPhone should be in between the seats in the back of a yellow taxi, carting businessmen and other Manhattanites around the city.
My iPhone was lost on a Saturday night. I was distraught because my parents have been warning me about the potential of losing my iPhone in New York for months now. They were convinced someone would steal it right out of my hands, or I would leave my purse unzipped and open, like I usually do, and someone with quick fingers would snatch it without me ever knowing better.
When my parents would start trying to convince me that I didn’t take good enough care of my iPhone and I was just asking for it to be stolen, I would scoff at them. I paid for my iPhone and I continue to pay my phone bill every month. Of course, I would take care of it. Don’t they realize I’m an adult who has never lost something as expensive as an iPhone?
Well, there is a first time for everything, and when I realized that I had been separated from my iPhone, I kicked myself. What would my parents think? I have been out here for a day and I have already lost the most important tool at my disposal. Without it, I could not route my way home, I could not call my parents to tell them I was without my iPhone and I couldn’t even call Sprint or Apple to ask them what I should do.
I was in no shape to start the hunt for my iPhone until Sunday afternoon. I woke up at 3 p.m. panicked. I logged onto the “Find my iPhone” website with low hopes because my iPhone was almost dead, like always, when I lost it. Like I suspected, it couldn’t be found, so I Googled the closest Sprint store and hopped on a bus. I’m pretty sure it was the wrong bus, but miraculously I spotted a Sprint store and got off the bus.
I didn’t even know which part of Queens I was in. The rest of this story seems totally unbelievable, but I assure you, I am just as confused as you probably are. As soon as I approached the salesperson, I broke down. I hadn’t yet cried about my missing iPhone, but I also think I was letting out any anxiety from being in an entirely new city completely alone.
The salesperson made me sit down, she got me a bottle of water and she gave me her own iPhone to call my mom. Then she had me log onto “Find my iPhone.” I was kind of annoyed that she wanted to check it again because I just knew it wouldn’t show up. Lo and behold, my phone was 40 percent charged and hanging out somewhere around 24th Street in Manhattan. I think I went into shock.
What does one do in this situation? I could see the exact intersection where my beloved iPhone was sitting. I wanted to hop onto the train immediately and track down where it was. But that would be stupid.
So we called my number over and over, hoping that whomever had my iPhone didn’t have nefarious plans. My salesperson (I really should have gotten her name) asked me if I remembered what my taxi driver looked like. All I could remember was that he was wearing a turban. I thought that was an odd question, but I rolled with it. Since whomever had my iPhone wasn’t picking up, we decided to call the police. So the NYPD showed up. I felt like the dumbest person, crying about my lost iPhone to these two cops. I’m positive they rolled their eyes at me. I would have rolled my eyes at myself, too.
While the police were asking me questions about how I lost it, someone called the store. The salesperson answered and immediately started speaking a foreign language. She was Indian, but I know that India has many official languages, so I can’t be sure which one she was using. It seemed like she was on the phone forever, but when she finally hung up, she told me that the guy who had my iPhone was the taxi driver and he would bring it to me.
The cops left, and I had a million questions for her. Was he coming tonight? No, she told me. He was working and couldn’t just drive all the way out to the eastern side of Queens. He was also charging me $45 to bring it out to the Sprint store. This is the sketchiest thing I have ever gone along with, but at that point, $45 seemed trivial.
I was told to come back Monday evening with cash and I was sent on my way. As my bus brought me back to my apartment, I began to question what just happened. How do I even know that the guy with my iPhone actually had it? What if it was a scam? I made myself sick thinking about all the possibilities.
The next day, as soon as my class was over, I dragged my roommate to the bus stop. I ran from the bus to the Sprint store, convinced the salesperson wouldn’t be there and I would still be phoneless. But it was there, leopard case and all. I cried, again. I am still convinced something fishy went down with the whole situation, but I try not to think about it. I was shooed from the store with a stern lecture to not lose my phone again because next time won’t be as easy.
Foreboding as that sounds, I am still eternally grateful to that salesperson who helped me when no one else could. And hey, mom and dad? I get it now. You were right. I’ll be more careful.
Amanda White is a junior majoring in journalism. She appreciates good books, good style, and good conversation.