You would think after my last post, things would only get better. Unfortunately, they got worse…
I spent all day Thursday dealing with the bugs, and my mom agreed to come Saturday morning to help me out. In celebration of that and the fact that I was feeling a lot better, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to go to a high school mini-reunion happy hour, as long as I didn’t drink. Of course, once I got there, how could I turn down a Southampton White? I decided I could have one (or two) beers, as long as I didn’t go crazy. From there, I headed to Midtown to catch the tail end of a Cornell happy hour. On the way there, I got my first glimpse of my subway ads, and debated whether to just stand under it and play it cool, or admit that I was totally psyched and ask a stranger to take a pic for me. I opted for the latter, though the picture didn’t come out that great:
Arriving at the Cornell happy hour, things were wrapping up, so I didn’t drink but instead got ready to head out to dinner with a few people. We decided to go to Vynl, a disco diner in Midtown West that was walking distance from my apartment – score one for not having to take a cab home. The food was decent, and while we were waiting for the bill, my cell phone was buzzing with friends seeing what I was up to that night. I set it down on the booth seat next to me, and promptly forgot it. We got up to leave, and I was about 10 steps outside the restaurant door when I reached for my phone and realized I had left it inside. I immediately headed back in and went for my corner booth in the back of the restaurant – the phone wasn’t on the seat. My waiter was just walking by, and asked if I was missing anything, so I told him that I was missing my cell phone. He said that the busboy had just cleared the table only a moment before, and that he probably found it. But the busboy said he hadn’t seen it! We tried calling my cell, and it went straight to voicemail – so it was turned off. Strange! I knew it had been on just a few minutes before, because I was getting text messages, so the only way it could now be turned off would be if someone switched it off (!) or if I had dropped it and it hit hard enough to fall apart and knock the battery out (! again).
The waiter and busboy helped me look for a while, even getting out a flashlight to shine on the (black leather) seats to see if we could spot my phone – no dice. The waiter also pulled me outside and told me that he had worked with the busboy for over a year and really didn’t think he would steal it. I’m not a very suspicious person, so I hadn’t really been thinking that was the case anyway, but I was glad to hear that. So, after leaving my name/e-mail with the waiter, I headed out, hoping that some good Samaritan had picked it up and was going to get in touch in the morning to return it.
As soon as I got home, I tried to sign onto my Mobile Defense account, even though I knew it wouldn’t work if the phone was turned off. However, I found out that while I had gotten in on the Beta test of the service, they had discontinued the Beta without telling me, so I didn’t have an account at all! That sucks. I’ve never had a phone lost/stolen before, so I thought the protection was kind of unnecessary, but now the one time I need it, the service doesn’t work! Frustrating. Instead, I sent a text using Verizon’s Vtext site, and noted that while the message status was showing as “received by network,” it was not yet “received on handset.” So if I kept checking the status, I’d see if/when the phone was turned on. My message was begging the person who found it to return it safely by calling my mom, and I tried to elicit some sympathy by mentioning that the pictures from my brother’s wedding were all on there.
The next morning, I woke up sicker than ever (darn beers!) and sadly phoneless – that was a disappointing thing to wake up to. The first thing I did was check the vtext site, where I saw that my phone had apparently been turned on at 2:09am and the text received. Broken, my foot! I also noted that the restaurant closed at 2:00am, and now regretted not being more suspicious of the busboy/waiter. I was now pretty willing to bet that the busboy had snagged it, and the waiter was in cahoots with him to play along. My new plan was going to the restaurant to get the manager to check the camera tapes and prove my theory, but I was too weak to walk there, so I was going to have to wait till my mom arrived to help.
My mom dropped me an e-mail when she was leaving home, but took a wrong turn along the way and arrived several hours after she was supposed to… with me totally clueless because I had no phone for her to get in touch and keep me updated. Luckily, with her car we were able to go to the restaurant where I had lost the phone, and the manager agreed to check the cameras and let me know if he turned up anything (yeah, fat chance, I know).
From there, we grabbed a quick bite of food at Hampton Chutney Co, where I opted for a different sandwich than I normally get it – and it was nowhere near as good. The tomato chutney was SUPER spicy, and I was choking for about 5 minutes before I could have enough water to relax. Yuck! I was super disappointed – this is normally one of my favorite restaurants, and the chutney is always the best part of the meal :(
But finally, it was time for a long stop at Verizon to get the phone situation sorted out before returning home to deal with the buggies. I quickly zeroed in on the HTC Incredible as my new phone of choice… but the retail price (with no contract, because I had already signed a two year contract back in November) was $600! Ouch. However, my mom pointed out something I didn’t know: apparently my dad has been spending a ton on cell phone bills, and was interested in joining our family plan (for $10/month). This worked out perfectly: we added him to the plan, which allowed me to get the promotional price of $249 for the phone, and then he would take my old dumbphone (my word for a pre-smartphone device) since all he needed was basic calling capabilities. The only downside is that the phone wasn’t in stock, so I have to live with my dumbphone until next week, when they can ship it to my hotel in Chicago. I tried to look on the bright side: at least I was only dropping $300 (after taxes) instead of $650, and I would get a cool new phone.
My positive outlook soured, however, when we got out of Verizon and realized we had a parking ticket because my mom hadn’t properly displayed the MuniMeter ticket (which we had paid for!) on her dashboard. Grr! Hoping we can fight that one, but with the stringency of NYC traffic courts, I doubt it. There goes the money I saved on the phone…
We spent the rest of the weekend lying around (mostly me) and cleaning like fiends (mostly my mom). You can now basically eat off the floor in my bedroom, as long as you don’t put your food close to the baseboards and molding (where despite our best efforts, the buggies like to hide). My building is sending an exterminator on Thursday while I’m away, so we pulled all the furniture out from the walls to assist. Let’s hope I arrive home with a phone and a clean apartment! I could really use a turnaround in my luck…