So I Left My iPhone On The Train!

MY VIEWS | | July 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Bye-bye phone!

How is your afternoon going? Well it could not have been worse than mine.  Mine started out uneventful – a little bit ho-hum as I woke up at 4am to take a Greyhound bus. I had never taken one in the USA (back in South Africa they are pretty top notch with movies and serving you food etc) and really expected the worse for the measly $15 I paid. Anyway let’s fast forward and just say they did not disappoint because they had WIFI!! Yes people that may seem like a minute factor to you but WIFI is the bane of my existence so they will get full marks on that score.

So I headed to New York City to see John Legend (yeah I am not saying more on that – you have to just keep up with my blog to get the skinny scoop on that – but trust me it is worth it) and then I decided to relax and take a train back. Since I already brought my MAC along (did I tell you I got a MAC Pro? – I love my hubby for it) I figured I would take the Acela back and surprise my kids back. I get to the station and by time I locate the Amtrak section (Penn station is anything but easy to navigate) it is 3:50pm and am told I will never make the 4pm train. So I decide to let it be and just relax until 5pm.

It closes on 5pm and no track gets announced. Running late but all is good they claim. So we finally board. I am eager to eat the sandwich I purchased but feel yuck with sweat so decide to freshen up a bit in the bathroom since it is 15 minutes and train has not left. So I leave my stuff with a trusty lady and just take my iPhone along to the bathroom. I come back all fresh and begin to eat my sandwich. 20 minutes later they suggest if we want to take a regional train we can. I think no way since I want the internet access. Now it is 5:50and they suggest we take another Acela express but few of us stir. The thought of going back into that sea of people upstairs to change the ticket is as appealing as well, getting bitten by fleas (what’s that you say? exaggeration? ever stood sweating in a crowded train station that feels like a zoo with poor air circulation and water running your back? I thought so). So we sat.

It was not at all promising when they kept reminding us that they had no idea how long the repairs would take. When they finally said we could take our ticket stub directly to the 6pm Acela Express track everyone rushed like bees to get off. Of course there was pressure to get there fast since we knew that the regular 6pm ticket holders would have taken most seats anyway. I move with the crowd up and down the stairs and feel excited that I finally got a good seat. I relax.

I get all my stuff out of my bag and feel for my iPhone. Nothing. I feel around my messy bag praying to find my iPhone – and nothing. I could swear that I did not leave it on the table of the previous train – even I would not be that stupid. The train is about to go and I am now in full blown panic mode. I ask another guy in the train to quickly call my number. He does. I hear nothing. I realize that I need to get off the train and find that phone. In my mind’s eye I see my iPhone as clear as daylight in the bathroom where I left it. There is no way I will leave New York with my phone stuck there. I know that the 6pm train is about to leave, but I don’t care. I mean I do but I cannot, would not, leave my phone. In my panic I forgot where the first train track was. I rush to get help. Now I am lost. I run aimlessly around the station and am ready to cry.

I finally find the customer service and rattle off my dilemma to them. They claim the 5pm train would have left. My heart skips a beat. I scoff at that idea and ask them to check. They look confused that I didn’t know the track it was on and I feel irritated that they should know that too but I bite my tongue. Now is the time to beg to get help. They locate the track of the train and the despair in my face must have been clear because the lady from customer service suggests she will escort  me. I am relieved. Somewhat. She tells me to leave my bag at the counter with them and I panic and do. As I run scatterbrained behind her I wonder if this is some ploy to steal from my bag. I wonder if I did another stupid thing by leaving my bag there, I mean that had my wallet. I am sure the $20 sitting in there would not be much but without a credit card and identification I may never get home. I kick myself for not insisting to carry it along. I thought I was smarter than that. So by now we arrive at the train and find the train empty and doors locked.

This was the end of my tether and I am about pry those doors open with my fingers knowing full well all these things are electronic and probably won’t budge. Then I see someone who offers to open it. I wait while peeking inside. I see a train conductor waving to me telling me train is closed. I keep motioning and act out and try to motion a “phone” to her. Finally she gets what I am trying to say and opens the door. She asks if I lost an iPhone. I am about ready to kiss her. I say yes. She asks if it had a purple cover (snazzy right?) and I feel a small sense of relief as I say yes. At this point I am half expecting her to now turn around and get it for me but she doesn’t. Instead she tells me she gave it to the conductor on the 6pm train for me. Yup the same train I got off because I did not want my iPhone left in the Lost and found (if I was lucky at that) in New York. They were trying to help. So my phone was already on its way to Boston. Without me!

Would you want to weep? Yeah, me too! Now I realize I might have to pay to get on the 7pm train. I need a train with internet so I can keep in touch. I feel naked without a phone. I get back to customer service and get my bag back (yeah paranoia will kill me one day) and they make some calls and say I can use my boarding pass and take the next train. So I go back to wait. I wait for my gate announcement and in the meantime it looks like everyone and their granny has a phone. I hear phones ring all over and realize I have total phone envy.

So I stare at the departure notice board and try to believe the promises that “your phone will get there before you” and “don’t worry” but you know me – I need to see, touch and smell my phone. I am that kinda girl. I write this post as I head to Boston wondering what my fate will be at 11pm when I arrive.  Hubby just emailed to tell me lost & found closed at 8pm. Le-sigh!

UPDATE: I arrived to find the Lost and Found closed but called them the next day to find it there. I was pretty happy to find my iPhone all good and in-tact.

10 Comments

  1. 1
    Annie says:

    I *KNOW* you’re going to get it back. I just know it. Karma happens to good people too.

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    Wow and to think you were almost in touch with your iphone again. Don’t worry, you’ll get it back!

  3. 3

    Niri, you should write a mystery novel! You had me on the edge of my seat with this story -seriously! Fingers crossed that your phone makes its way back to you (I’m definitely impressed by Amtrak’s initiative in trying to get it to you), and please keep us posted!

  4. 4
    Vanita Cyril says:

    you really, really have bad luck with trains when leaving nyc. i’m so sorry. it’s 11:13pm now, I hope they handed you your phone when you hit the platform. and also? it stinks that i was in the city today too and we didn’t get to meet up.

  5. 5

    Hoping that by now your phone is in your hand you are checking all your missed texts, emails, and tweets!

    Have a glass of wine or some hot coco and get a good night’s rest.

    (John Legend, swoons!)

  6. 6

    Oh goodness. Hope you get your phone back. *cross fingers*

  7. 7

    what a whirlwind! Did you get it back this morning?

    So great to see you yesterday!

  8. 8
    DH says:

    Apple has free service that will allow you to make your iPhone beep until you find it.

    If you don’t find it, or don’t want people to see what is on it; you can ‘lock’ the phone remotely.

    Finally, if you want it to, it will erase everything, including OS software, I believe. Leaving the thief with nicely styled “brick.”

    Not as good as getting your phone back, but can keep a bad day from turning to a really, really, really bad day

  9. 9
    LaTonya says:

    I could feel your panic in your writing! I think I would have done the same. Glad you were able to get it back

  10. 10
    MangoChutney says:

    Oh wow! I know I would die if I lost my iphone! Good thing i was found. It happens to the best of us.

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