Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lessons from a Phone Theft

A couple of weeks ago, my phone was stolen. I was out at a bar, a music venue, to be entertained by some friends. I put my phone down on a table and put my purse on top of it. A woman celebrating her 40th birthday invited me to partake of the taco bar in the next room. Picking up my purse, I went into the room and quickly loaded my plate and returned. I was gone less than 5 minutes.

After eating, I started looking for my phone. I thought it had to be in my purse. It wasn't. I went back out to the car to see if I had left it in there. Nope. Returned to the previous place where friends were playing music. Not there either. I recalled that when leaving the first place, I considered putting the phone on the roof of the car. By this time I was frantic. I must have done something. The phone must be somewhere close.

Of course, since it was my responsibility, no matter what happened to it, I was blaming myself. I felt horrible ~ the phone was only a couple of months old.

Once home, I reported the stolen phone to the phone provider. I found out the next day that since it was on a family data plan, it could be tracked. I also decided to let go of the self-blame. This was certainly a first-world problem. More than that, no matter what happened to it or why, it wasn't worth my health and stress.

With the help of my significant other, we began tracking it. It showed up miles away from home, miles away from either music venue. It stayed in that place for nearly a full day. As we were driving to put up reward posters in the neighborhood, I checked again for the phone's location. It was miles away from where it had been. We chose to play amateur sleuths and followed the tracking. It led to a restaurant. When we asked the people in the restaurant if they'd be willing to keep one of our posters and let us know if they saw it, they agreed. After telling all their staff about it, someone asked how we knew it was there. The manager replied that we had tracked it there. Shortly afterward the signal went dead.

The next day, I reconnected my old phone to our service. That night, prior to closing, a tech from our phone carrier called me to let me know that a phone connected to my cell number had been turned in by someone who had been asked by the thief to hack it. I could come in the next day to pick it up.... which I gladly did!

I learned several things through all this ~ besides making sure my phone is with me at all times and that there are ways to track missing phones. I learned that blaming myself didn't change anything. As a matter of fact, if I hadn't been winding my stress level up, I may have realized sooner that it had been stolen ~ and checked around more closely. I'm fortunate enough to afford a cell phone. Counting my blessings was far more helpful to my stress level! Follow the fun ~ that's what playing amateur sleuths with my significant other became ~ fun. Finally, once I relaxed, the Universe could flow through me in a more fluid fashion. I was fortunate to get my phone back with only the SIM card gone. By the time it did, three and a half days after being stolen, the thing that was my phone went back to being just a thing.

Have you ever had something stolen or lost? How did you respond? Did you blame yourself? or someone else? How long did it take to replace or return? What do you feel now, thinking back on that situation?

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