You gave me a real scare yesterday. When I took you into the Apple repair shop, I figured some teenage tech wizard would wave a wand and fix the weird glitch you’ve had with your ringer these past few months. I’d been putting off having you repaired because I knew I’d have to leave you at the shop, and there was never a good time for us to be apart.
But when your speakerphone started having the same weird glitch as the ringer, I knew what had to be done. The symptoms were getting worse. So, I hesitantly handed you over to the guy behind the counter, hoping he had experience with cases like this. I described your ailments in detail.
Phone doc: “Well, we’re going to run some diagnostic tests to see what’s going on.”
Me: “Tests? How long do you think that will take?”
Phone doc: “At least an hour or two. You can come back by later today to see what the status is.”
Me: “If it’s a bad speaker, can you just put in a new one while it’s here?”
Phone doc: “The bad news is that we don’t have that part in stock. If it’s a speaker problem, we’ll have to ship it to Apple so they can change out the speaker.
Me (starting to sweat): “But if you have to send it away, how long would it take to get it back?”
Phone doc: “They get pretty busy, so it could be up to five business days.”
Me (swallowing hard): “Um, okay. I’ll come back later to get the test results.”
Then I wandered out of there, already feeling a hollowed-out sense of absence. My mind raced. Tests? Possible speaker transplant? FIVE WHOLE DAYS?
I tried to talk myself down as a rising tide of panic welled inside me. It’s okay. It’s fine. It’s not like I can’t go a few days without my phone. I mean, my phone didn’t even exist when I was in high school, and I managed to make it through that. I can do this. Probably. Maybe?
Normally I’d go home and wait by the phone for important test results, but there was no phone. You were gone. Splayed out on a table somewhere while they poked and prodded your pieces and parts.
I’d like to tell you I was cool and composed during that two-hour wait. But the truth is I was almost vibrating with nervous energy – cleaning imaginary spots off the kitchen counter, running errands just to stay in motion, and habitually reaching into my pocket or purse for a phone that wasn’t there.
I even asked my 15-year-old daughter if I could borrow her phone to check the weather forecast. But I didn’t need to know if it was going to rain. I just needed that familiar weight in my hand the same way a baby needs her binky.
Finally, it was time to go back to the shop and get the verdict.
Me (bracing myself): “So, how bad is it?”
Phone doc: “We ran the diagnostic tests, but everything was negative. We couldn’t get the phone to replicate the problem you said it was having. So, we just did a software reset and hopefully that will take care of the issue.”
Me: “You’re saying nothing is wrong with it?”
Phone doc: “Not as far as we can tell. You can take it home.”
Normally I’m frustrated when a machine (like a phone or a car or a major appliance) pretends it’s perfectly fine in the presence of a repair person. It makes me look like an idiot who’s imagining things.
But this time I didn’t even care. Relief washed over me as I scooped you up and skipped right out of there, happy to be going home with my little technological buddy. It was touch and go there for a minute. I thought I might lose you.
But you’re going to make it. We’re going to be fine. Mama has her binky back, safe and sound.
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.