Lost in snow: white phone

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If you are looking for an insightful post on IT strategy, please click another link on this blog. I just couldn’t resist posting my iPhone’s adventure of the day, since I did tempt fate twice recently by posting blogs on giving up my phone for Lent and being sure I couldn’t lose it.

At about noon today, I was two hours into a fantastic ski lesson at Breckenridge. I was carving down the hill, thinking about the moguls I’d just conquered, when I realized I had lost my group, which I was told later had disappeared into the trees for a little side excursion. I went to the bottom of the lift where we had agreed to rendezvous, but they were nowhere to be found. After a while, I asked in the ski school line if Ken’s group had gone up recently and the coordinator said he thought so. So I hopped on the lift, hoping to catch them at the top. As soon as I got on the lift, I started thinking how strange it was that they left me, especially my girlfriend who knows better than to leave me without supervision. Inspiration struck and I reached into my pocket to call her. Uh oh. The pocket was unzipped and there was no phone. I’d been having so much fun, I hadn’t checked my phone in a couple of hours, so it could have been anywhere on the five runs we’d done. After letting this little $600 mistake settle in, I began to strategize. How does one cope with a crisis without a phone? I stayed calm, knowing that people less than a decade prior knew how to handle such things.

I hopped off at the top and wasn’t too surprised to see my group wasn’t there. I considered heading back through the last run of moguls to see if I could find my phone, but soon concluded that finding the phone was unlikely, and I’d have a much better chance finding my group by going back down to the bottom. Besides, there might be an internet connection there where I could log into my contacts and find my friend’s number. So I flew down under the lifts and was happy to hear some people from the lifts screaming my name and telling me to come to the top. I skied as fast as I could to the bottom, where I practically crashed into my teary eyed friend Jen, who, after 25 minutes of increasing panic, had very logically come to the conclusion that I must be unconscious and awaiting an air lift out since I hadn’t made it to the bottom and hadn’t answered her seven phone calls or tried to call her. We hopped on the lift as fast as we could to catch the group and strategized on the phone loss.

After I spent a few minutes memorizing her phone number in case I lost her again, we discussed the loss of the phone. Jen sympathized about the expense but expressed greater concern about the hassle I’d have to go through in trying to rebuild lost data. That’s when I realized that while it was an expensive wardrobe malfunction, absolutely everything was backed up to MobileMe and after a few minutes tomorrow at the Apple store and some new frequent flyer miles, I’d be up and running like nothing ever happened. Strangely, I felt better, albeit poorer.

Once we caught up with our group, we briefly considered taking a break to check the lost and found, but our lesson was heading up the T-bar to ski the bowls and we didn’t want to miss any of the fun. Besides, if the phone was at the lost and found, it wasn’t going anywhere. If it wasn’t there, I wasn’t going to find it on the mountain. I couldn’t do anything about it now, and now that I’d imprinted Jen’s number into my brain, I didn’t really need it. I felt free.

So we skied the rest of the day, with big cliffs and bumps to keep me almost completely distracted from my loss. After our lesson was over, we headed straight to guest services. I convinced Jen to do an iPhone dance with me outside the window (this was kind of like a rain-dance, but less coordinated and more impassioned) while we asked if any phones had turned up. The nice elderly man smiled at us knowingly and happily and answered “what color?”

What I learned today at ski school:

  1. I’m lucky. It was face down (white side up) in the powder when someone spotted it. Apparently it is waterproof, too.
  2. White phones should sport a black case while skiing, and my phone will soon have a new decorative “who to call if lost” label.
  3. It is pretty cool that if I were to really lose my phone, all it would cost is money – the apps and data are completely replicated outside the phone so that you can make a seamless transition if something goes awry.

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