I was on my way into work one morning earlier this week, responding to email on my laptop, when the light-rail train pulled up to Pioneer Courthouse Square, right in the heart of the city. I looked up, realized I was one stop past my usual one, and quickly packed up and got off. That’s when I realized I might have left something on board: my iPhone.
I checked my shoulder bag. My pockets. My cloth lunch sack. Nope. Nope. And nope.
I turned around just in time to see the passenger doors closing. There it was, still perched on a narrow rubber strip next to the window where I’d been sitting. I tapped on the glass and caught a young woman’s attention. I pointed to the iPhone, grateful that she saw it. As the train began moving, I gestured to her that I’d try to get it at the next stop.
Those trains cover a lot of distance in no time at all, I’m telling you. This one left me behind in just a few seconds but just as quickly, it began slowing down for the next stop. I ran three short city blocks and managed to catch up. The young lady had already gotten off and was striding toward me with my iPhone in hand. Whew!
In the heat of the moment, I realized how lucky I was. Lucky that there was anyone at all sitting on the same side of the train, just one seat behind the one I’d vacated. Lucky that that person understood what I was trying to convey with my window-tapping and finger-pointing. Lucky that the next train stop was relatively close. Had this occurred at night or in a suburban location, there’s no way this would have had a happy ending.
After the moment passed, I asked myself if I’d overreacted. Just how important was it to retrieve my iPhone? Was this a first-world problem? After all, it’s a thing. A possession, not a person or a pet.
It would have been inconvenient, for sure, to lose it with so much data on it. Way more than just a phone or a camera, it held both work and personal contacts, work and personal email accounts, and hundreds of photos documenting precious memories over a period of years.
But it’s not like it’s irreplaceable.
What about you, friends? Have you ever lost your iPhone or Samsung or other mobile device? How big a loss was it? If you’ve never misplaced it but found it missing in a public place, how far would you go to try to get it back? I don’t mean literally, as in running after a train. I mean how much effort would you put into it?