611

February 08, 2007

Yesterday, on my way into the grocery store, I discovered a cell phone laying on the ground just inside the outer doors. There was no one nearby, so I picked it up. After failing to find any identifying information in the phone about who the owner might be I tried calling several numbers from the contact list, hoping that their caller id would identify the owner. If that ploy had worked I was going to have them contact the owner and tell them where they could get their phone back. Only none of the contacts I tried answered the phone. I got one voice mailbox after another.

Eventually it occurred to me to call 611, the universal cellular phone service number. Once I got the T-Mobile customer service representative on the line I explained that I needed him to contact the phone's owner and tell them that their phone could be picked up at the grocery store service desk. The woman at the desk said, "Well, aren't you swell" when I explained about the phone and asked her to hold it until the owner came to claim it.

It felt good to play the good Samaritan and even better to figure how to notify the phone's owner. My phone has my contact information in it, including my home phone, but even then I'm not sure some one finding it on the ground would know to call me and not one of the entries in the list. I suppose that once you realized you'd lost your phone you could start calling it hoping the finder would answer.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.