Professor Joe Goldblatt
I wanted to show my friend a photo of my adorable grandsons and whilst searching for my ubiquitious iPhone I discovered that it had vanished. Poof! One minute it was sleeping snugly in my coat pocket and the next minute it was missing in action. I quickly recalled my last use of this precious tool and remembered that I had been looking up an address in the taxi that I had hired to visit my friend.
My mobile phone leather cover has many labels announcing my email and my land line so that in the case that it went missing others could help it find its way home. Suddenly, I recalled that one other time when I temporarily was seperated from my mobile phone I rang the the phone and a taxi driver promptly answered and offered to return it as soon as possible. WIthin one hour we were reunited and the driver received a nice cash reward.
Therefore, I decided to repeat this action and ring my phone and to my delight a friendly Scottish voice answered and I apologised for my numptiness and the voice on the other end asked where I stayed. I told him and then he said “Can you call me back in five minutes?”
Ten minutes later I rang my phone and there was my voice recording and this was repeated dozens of times as I continued to ring my telephone with the foolish hope that the good hearted driver or thief would come to my rescue. Soon, rightly or wrongly, I assumed my phone had in fact been stolen!
The next morning, bright and early, I returned to the shop where I had purchased my now previous phone and realised that the cost of an identical replacement mobile phone, only one year later, was twenty – five precent higher than the original price. I parted with my dosh and the technician showed me how to turn it on (something I had failed to learn the last time) and then told me to go for a stroll to my internet povider a few doors away to report my lost phone so that the thief would not have access to my phone plan.
The staff at the internet provider immediately asked me for my identification and fortunately I had brought my UK Passport so they could verify that I was the actual owner of the phone. They quickly produced a new SIM card. I asked the friendly mobile phone provider what the term SIM actually does and means and she replied that a SIM card is an integrated circuit (IC) intended to securely store an international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key information. I still have no idea what it does.
Next, I visited what I can only describe as the place of purgatory for technophobes such as myself … the local Apple Store emporium. Just inside the front entrance was a tall young man with perfectly coiffed hair who performed a surgical triage for desperate folk like me who were bringing their troubles, tragedies, and perhaps curiosities into his potential haven of technology hospitality. My goal was to meet a genuine genius, other wise known as an arc angel, who worked just above where I was now standing but appeared to be as impossible to reach as heaven itself.
The jolly blonde giant looked down at me and said “I can have a genius help you in fifteen minutes if that is OK?” I almost melted with glee and was shown to the lift in the rear of the shop and soon I made my ascent to meet one of Apple’s heavenly hosts who are otherwise known as geniuses. I noted that the only seating available at the large oak tables was a stool and I told the man who admitted me to Apple’s paradise that I preferred a chair with a back. Within seconds, the man whom I came to affectionately refer to as ‘St Peter’ rolled out a large black leather executive style desk chair and I was comfortably seated.
Five minutes later, a young lassie named Sky (an appropriate name for my heavenly host) asked me what she could do to make me happy. I told her I was in search of restoring my past, present, and future life that was now somewhere in the cloud above me. She asked me a few key questions and then frowned. “I am not finding you in the cloud, are you sure you have the right email address?” I then joined her in frowning as I have used the same email for many years, however, somehow Apple was using an older email and almost as though a chorus of angels appeared singing aloud I announced my previous email and heaven’s treasures including my diary, my photos, my notes, and much more began to shower me with glee from heaven above.
Sky informed me that it would take a few minutes, however, that all of my previous information that was stored in the cloud would soon magically appear within my new mobile friend. She kept her word and by evening I was giddy with joy from being reunited with what I can only describe as my best and worst past, present, and future life.
Finally, I notified Police Scotland of my theft and they told me that until 48 hours has transpired they could only list my adventure as a missing or lost mobile phone. However, if the phone did not reappear in another twenty – four hours I should phone them again and they would change the record to alert local police substations that my phone had been stolen and therefore they could check more carefully when mobile phones are turned in to them.
I asked the kindly constable, half jokingly, if there was a way to send 50 million volts of electricity through the stolen mobile phone to the perpetrator of my theft so that when he or she or they held the phone to their temple it might actually blow their brains out? The serious constable who finished taking my information then replied in a sotto voice in all seriousness “I do not think so sir.”
As a result of this unseemly experience I have a new method for keeping my mobile phone nearby at all times. I now have a retractible strong fishing line that is attached to my phone and my jacket. This way the slippery instrument is never further than twenty – four inches from my person.
If this does not work, the amazing Sky actually offered me something even more secure by introducing me and my wife to the Apple app entitleld Find My. This allows me to locate my phone and also for my wife of forty – six years to constantly keep tab on my diary, movements and locations, and according to the button, I selected, she now has permanent access to me whereabouts for the rest of my life and who knows, maybe even beyond.
Finally, after 48 hours of misery, angst, and semi – madness, I have been reunited with the world of mobile communications and I am relieved that thanks to the mobile phone salesman, my internet provider, the Apple triage giant, the Apple St Peter, the Apple amazing Sky woman, and Police Scotland … I have rejoined the mobile world.
However, if this misfortune ever happens again, that’s it. I shall somehow let folk know that if they really need to reach me … send me a post, send up a smoke signal, fire the One O’Clock Gun, dial my land line, or come see me in person! I have been to both heaven and hell in the past 48 hours and neither location is where I plan to rest my weary ahead again anytime soon.
Professor Joe Goldblatt is Emeritus Professor of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University. His opinions are his own. To learn more about his views visit www.joegoldblatt.scot