Nobody said it would be easy. It takes a lot more than the "find my iPhone" app. It takes persistence, determination -- and a willingness to be quite disagreeable.
My son, age 13, dropped his iPhone during a dance at a bat mitzvah in Manhattan last Saturday. The GPS didn't pick it up on Saturday or on Sunday. Then on Monday, there it was, right there on the app's map. In Newark. We sounded the phone's alarm. We put a number in for the finder to call. We begged him/her to call.
Nothing. Then the signal went dead.
Find my iPhone worked, but only to a point.
Of course we called the mother who gave the party. She contacted the party venue and the event coordinator who hired the tummeler (although they don't call emcees that any more unless they're in the Catskills). No phone. Anywhere. But after a long snow day and a return to school on Tuesday my kid learned that one of his pals said he had found a phone and given it to the emcee on the night of the party. Which emcee had already said he did not have any phone.
But there was still that location in Newark. That had gone dead. I was interested to learn, however, that said emcee LIVES IN NEWARK and, since we're all connected, I was able to find him on Facebook. (Names are being withheld to protect the guilty -- or innocent.)
I was even more interested to see on said Facebook page that this very same emcee had written the following on January 31st, the actual night of the bat mitzvah:
"Greetings All. My phone is gone until Wensday and I'll by a new one." (His spelling, not mine.) Having found his page, I was able to email him and beg him to call me. And offer a reward. And beg. And beg again. Nothing.
Still, I figured we'd found our man. Hoping to appeal to his conscience, we texted that the kid was in serious trouble. We reminded him that he had picked out my son at the party.
"What's your name?" he'd rapped.
"Tyrone," my son jived, using his favorite alias.
Still, no reply.
I was told to report the missing phone and by some unlikely miracle found a sympathetic information officer in the Newark police. He listened to my tale of woe and said that although he couldn't help me with the report, he was getting off work in an hour or so and would stop by the last location of the phone to see what's what. And here, dear reader, I can't deny that the idea of a uniformed policeman making inquiries about a missing phone gave me the first pleasurable thrill I had through this entire ordeal. Believe me, Officer Gonzalez deserves a medal even though he didn't find the phone.
So, back to the events company whose president was at a loss, shall we say, to explain how this phone, handed to his emcee on Saturday night, and later located in Newark -- and to repeat myself, handed to the emcee who LIVES IN NEWARK -- had disappeared.
The events president then called a meeting with the emcee, who still maintained that he did not have the phone. Maybe the caterer has it, he offered helpfully.
"Go home with your wife," the events chief suggested, "and retrace your steps of Saturday night after the party and think about this."
An hour later, our emcee called to say he "just remembered" that he and his wife had stopped at a bar on the way home. They went to the bar (it is now Wednesday, in other words, Wensday) and asked if a phone had been found. Imagine. There it was.
Lucky me. I got to pick it up Saturday, a week after it was lost, when the emcee made his way from Newark to Manhattan to motivate another crowd at another party. He was very jovial as he handed it to me and said, with not a small amount of pride, "I found your phone."
And still there, on the phone, the number to call if found. I managed to say nothing.
If my son hadn't drowned a previous phone two weeks before, and if the phone weren't so new and expensive, and if I weren't completely furious, I would have given up long before.
So as I said: Persistence. Sheer determination. And yes, I was very disagreeable.