Cell phone woes: From drowning one to losing another

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And a plea for its return

By Phyllis McLaughlin

OK. It’s true. I’m not really all that enamored by cell phones.
These “smart” phones have more features than I even know how to use, and personally, I don’t care to know. I just want to use them to make calls, store phone numbers and – yeah – play Ms. Pac Man.
My problem is they are small. I either leave them at home, leave them at the office or forget to charge them. Nine times out of 10, people are forced to leave me a voicemail or call my home phone, because the cell is either dead, I’ve turned off the ringer or I’ve left it in another room and can’t hear the ring tone.
I’ve dropped them several times. And, once, just three months after I got the much-lauded EnV (my first really cool phone), I ended up dropping it in a bucket of water.
No, it wasn’t insured.
So, it came as no surprise to me last Thursday, when I looked all over the office and searched my truck three times and couldn’t find it. This time, I KNEW I had it with me, because I had used it that afternoon.
When I couldn’t find it at home – using the tried-and-true method of calling it from our home phone (which, of course, only works when the phone is on AND charged) – I started getting a really bad feeling.
An hour or so later, that bad feeling was confirmed. My co-worker, Carla Kidwell, called our house phone to ask me an odd question: “Do you have your phone?”
At first, I really didn’t know what she meant. Then, I realized she meant my cell.
“Noooooo – I seem to have misplaced it,” I replied.
Apparently, I’d either dropped it outside The Banner office or left it in the Trimble County High School library.
To my dismay, whoever found it decided not to turn it in to someone, or to call my contacts to figure out who the phone belonged to. Nope.
Instead, they started prank-calling my list of contacts – apparently starting with Principal Buddy Sampson, who I found out later had received an odd call that evening from my phone.
The pranksters only got to the C’s, though, because after talking with Carla, I went online and had the service shut off.
So, to the person or persons who decided to keep my phone – which, technically, is stealing – I would love if you would find it in your heart to return it to me.
No questions asked.
You can bring it here to the office, drop it off at the principal’s office at the high school or even drop it off at the Sheriff’s Office.
Apparently, the only way law enforcement can get a phone company to locate a cellphone is if it’s a life-or-death situation. Jokingly, I told Chief Deputy Rich Knighten that it could be life or death, if I were to come across the person who used my phone to make crank calls.
He just laughed and said that wouldn’t count.
Well, I’m not one who is prone to violence anyway; thankfully Knighten already seems to know that. But I am really disappointed. Because, obviously, the person who ended up in possession of my cell phone doesn’t seem to have a good sense of right and wrong, nor does he or she have respect for things that don’t belong to them.
That said, it would boost my opinion of them by leaps and bounds, were they to find it in their hearts to do the right thing and turn it in. Maybe my opinion of them doesn’t mean anything to them. But, the funny thing about doing the right thing is that it makes that person feel better about himself or herself, too.
It’s something to think about.

Phyllis McLaughlin, editor of The Trimble Banner, lives in Milton.