You know that moment? The one where you realise you’ve left your mobile phone somewhere.
It happened to me recently in New York. I was on the train to JFK airport, heading to Los Angeles, when that sinking feeling was accompanied by a vivid memory of my iPhone recharging in the hotel in midtown Manhattan.
I’d been staying at the Pod Hotel in New York while attending Jeff Pulver’s remarkable and diverse 140 Conference: Exploring the State of Now. The hotel staff had been very helpful and friendly during my stay, and the location in midtown was convenient for both the conference and socialising.
But the day of my departure was an early start (I’m not really a morning person) and it was a rush to get to the airport in time for the flight to Los Angeles.
As I sank into a seat on the AirTrain and reached for my phone the horrible feeling hit me. I realised it was too late to go back and retrieve the phone. The only thing to do was press on and get to the airport. But without a mobile phone there was a dilemma – how to contact the hotel to secure my phone?
Upon arrival at JFK airport it was a delight to discover that JetBlue has free wifi and thus it was possible to use my iPad and Twitter to make contact with the hotel.
Luckily the Pod Hotel is on Twitter @ThePodHotel and they responded to my desperate tweet and follow up email immediately. The staff at the Pod Hotel retrieved my phone and promised to hold onto it until I could arrange for its collection.
Another tweet to an Aussie entrepreneur in New York – Josh Anstey – secured his assistance in rescuing the phone from the hotel. He kindly retrieved it and handed it on to a buddy of his who was flying back to Australia the following week. It arrived yesterday. And was handed over to Josh’s dad (another Aussie entreprenuer) – John Anstey – who’s dropping it off in Sydney on Monday.
Operation iPhone Rescue is almost over. This could have been a complete disaster, but there are a number of elements that make this a happy ending:
- the excellent customer service from the folks at the Pod Hotel in New York (it’s great to see them monitoring their social media channels like that)
- the remarkable kindness of people like Josh, his mate and John
- the amazing fact that, without a mobile phone, I was able to organise and coordinate the entire thing via Twitter while I continued my travels
Everyone who helped to get my phone home has my sincere gratitude. And more than anything they’ve reinforced my belief in human kindness. Best of all the photos of my new nephew are not lost thanks to the efforts of everyone involved in Operation iPhone Rescue.