Found: another incredible story about recovering something that was lost.

I grabbed dinner and a couple of drinks last Friday night and…yadda yadda yadda…ended up taking a cab.  Great right?  Except around 5am Saturday morning I realized I don’t have my phone.  Crap.  I must have left it in the cab.  No worries – I’ll track it.  The Find My iPhone app says my iPhone is on, and in Greenfield.  Crap.  The cab driver must be at home, snuggled in his bed, unaware of my wayward iPhone in his backseat.  I’d have to deal with this later, because I had to be at a work event at 6:30am on Saturday — and wouldn’t leave until about 7:00pm that evening.

Throughout the day, I called, it rang and rang, went to voicemail.  I sent the recovery messages that the Find My iPhone app offers – and received confirmation that they were displayed.  But by 3pm on Saturday, my iPhone was officially dead – all contact had been lost.  Seriously, cabbie?  Wake up.

By 7:30pm, home now and filthier than I’ve ever been, covered scalp to ankle with dirt and dust, with a fresh film of sweat and trash on my hands, I decide that I can’t wait one more minute for the taxi company to call me or the cab driver to wake up and report to work for the night.  I needed to drive out to Greenfield and get my phone.  Thirty minutes later, my husband (aka my bodyguard) and I pulled up to the house indicated by Google maps as the location where my phone emitted its last GPS signal.  I expected to see a cab parked in the driveway.  No such luck.  I did see someone go into the garage and, smart or not, I decided to park my car along the street and walk in after him.

He was not alone.  He, a young-ish blonde guy about 25 years old, was joining 4 grizzly old red-necks seated in the garage drinking and smoking and reliving their fishing trip that day.  As soon as one of them slurred, “Can I help you?!”, I thought, oh no I’m in big trouble.   But, I explained myself: “This is going to sound really weird, but…I lost my phone in Broad Ripple last night…” – waiting for a glint of recognition in their eyes, a memory of picking up a stray iPhone off the street last night, but nothing.  So I continued: “…and I thought I had left it in the cab that I took, but I tracked my iPhone and it said that it was at this house…”

“This house, here?”

By his retort I could tell that he was the conspiracy-theorist sort, and very concerned about his privacy, so I tried to reassure him by saying, “Well, in this general area – it’s approximate; it could be your neighbor’s house, or the one across the street…”

So, the older gentleman regaled me with how he hasn’t been to Broad Ripple in YEARS, and how he doesn’t associate with a few of his neighbors [for reasons I won’t linger on], but that his daughter is friends with the girl that lives across the street.  Ashley.  I happened to remember meeting an Ashley the previous night – she was with a girl named Amber.

“Amber?” – finally a smidge of recognition from this guy – “She have dark hair? Short?”

Yeah…

“That’s my daughter.”

Oh, thank god. Right?  A woman from behind me offered to go in the house and call Amber and find out where the phone is/if she had it.  An uncomfortably large amount of time passed before the woman came back out with news about the phone (during which time I had to use every bit of knowledge about carp, bluegill, and flat-bottom fishing boats that I know – which is not very much, as you probably guessed).  Good news, though.  Amber has my phone, and she is in town and will meet me at Steak-n-Shake.

Okay.

I found a truck in the back of the Steak-n-Shake parking lot in Greenfield, with a girl in it, who looked like she was waiting on someone.  So I parked next to her.  She got out, all 5-feet-10 and 240 pounds of her — this was NOT the Amber I met the previous night.  But, she did have my phone…interesting.  She said, “I found it in the bathroom at Peppers; it’s been dead so I haven’t been able to reach anyone…”

I was just elated to have my phone back, so I took it from her, and thanked her (so much), and practically ran back to my car.  Yeah, I guess to be honest I was afraid she might try to fight me…though I’m not sure why.  She just looked the type.

But, as my phone charged in my car, her comments and the events of the previous 24-hours just didn’t gel.  I didn’t go to the bathroom at Peppers.  And, dammit, my phone was fully charged until about 3pm that day – why didn’t she see my texts and lost-phone alerts??  Or answer the calls?!  And the girl that got out of the truck was not the petite dark-haired Amber I had met the night before…

Finally charged enough to turn on, my phone lit up and I unlocked it – only to find that it had been wiped.  All my info; all my pictures; all my contacts; all the photos I’d taken in Florida and the work I’d done for my blog on The Limited; not to mention hundreds of notes about work, family, friends, to-do lists, etc. – TOTALLY GONE.  I was so pissed, and couldn’t understand how that could happen – not by just losing it and it going dead.  Frustrated, but not panicked, I opened my Settings app to download all my synced info from the iCloud.  But what do I find?  That Amber Munden has set up the phone in HER name – her email address, her iTunes info – as though she was just going to use my phone, my NUMBER, as though it were just as transferable and hand-me-down as a pair of jeans from the thrift store!

Pissed, I stopped at the Verizon store 3 minutes before they closed and they were sure they couldn’t help me.  Jerks.  So the only think I could do was re-set my phone back to factory settings; then, re-enter my information and sync with iCloud.  But the latest info iCloud had for me was January 2012.

Now I’m obsessively syncing with iCloud every day.  And wondering how I got so lucky to get my phone back in the first place…

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