Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Luck Really Sucks Sometimes

This past Tuesday evening I was in Nashville airport, getting ready to board my plane, and speaking on my cell phone to a friend. Suddenly my cell phone decided to give up the ghost. With its dying breath, it displayed three deep bands of color on the screen and a message that disappeared quickly: Image not found. That didn't sound good at all. No matter how many times I reset the phone, pulled out the battery (which still had a good charge on it), the phone would no longer come back to life. When I got home, I left the battery out all night and then tried it again Wednesday morning: same results. That was it - I needed my phone. I get a lot of client calls on it. I took it to the Sprint store, the one where I always end up waiting an hour in line. When it was finally my turn, I put the battery in, turned it around so that the tech could see it, and turned it on. The shock on his face at seeing nothing but three bands of color....never happened. The phone was working! It was really I who was in shock, but no matter, the phone was working. I told him about what had happened and he told me that if it happened again to come back.

So everything was fine until the phone acted a little strange and I reset it Friday morning. Oops - nothing but pretty colors again. I took my wife to lunch and then we headed to the Sprint store, where after an hour's wait in line, I showed the tech the problem. He told me that they would need to take the phone in the back and get it checked out to see if there was any water damage in the phone. If there was, that would void the warranty. I told him I was sure there wasn't and he told me to come back in an hour. When I went back and waited in line again, they told me the phone had no water damage and they gave me a brand new phone.

Jump to today. I went to the grocery store to pick up some dog food. When I got home, I gave my dog his food and then filled up his water bowl. When I placed it on the floor, my cell phone fell out of my shirt pocket...smack into the middle of the water bowl. No matter where you live in the world, you probably heard a distant liturgy of curses that would make a sailor blush. Water damage? Yah, you betcha, two days after I got the new phone! I knew what I had to do - take the battery out immediately and let it sit for a couple of days to dry out. And that's still no guarantee. The water managed to seal the battery cover well enough that it took me about 3 minutes to get it off. Who knows now if it's going to work again. I suspect not. And this time I'll be liable for the cost of a new phone. My phone costs $550 new. Just shoot me now and take me out of my misery, please.

The Day I Might Have Been Fired

When I was 19 years old, I worked at a small town Holiday Inn as night auditor and desk clerk. This was before computerized reservation systems and other technologies. I was the only one on duty all night.We had actual metal door keys and paper files.

Anyway, one night at about 3 a.m., a tired-looking guy walked in and asked for a room. I signed him in and gave him a room key. As mos people did, he walked back outside to drive his car around to the side door which was closer to his room.

After a minute or two it suddenly hit me: I had given him the key to a room that already had a guest in it! OH NO! I ran down the hallway toward the room to stop him. The hallway had a couple of 90 degree turns in it. Just as I turned the last turn, where I was now about 100 feet down from where the room was, I saw the guest insert his key into the room lock and turn it. Just as I was opening my mouth to stop him, I saw a man wearing only his underwear run out of the room screaming at the intruder, who quickly made a hasty exit out the side door through which he had come in.

I just knew that one or both guests would come to the front desk now and have me fired for my terrible mistake. I ventured back to the desk to take my lumps and gather my belongings so that I could make a clean exit when my boss came in four hours later. Then I waited...and waited...waited. Neither guest came to the desk. So I waited some more...were they playing with my mind? I waited...and nothing ever happened. Neither guest ever complained. The new guest never came back and I kept my job until I quit a few months later. Sometimes things do work out. Read my next blog entry for when things do NOT work out.