Friday, August 23, 2013

Life :: That One Time my Cell Phone Fell into the Toilet

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When my sister and I were younger, we really liked dolls -- specifically, Barbies. I'd cherish them like precious gold, keeping each one in her original clothing and accessories, and sometimes even storing them in the pretty packaging they came in. My little sis, bless her heart, enjoyed popping the limbs off of hers and adding makeup with markers and cutting their hair Sinead O'Connor-style until they were almost unrecognizable. (I think she had even more  fun when she did these things to mine.) We always said she'd either become a neurologist or a cosmetologist.

Of course, this has long been forgiven and forgotten, because as we got older we were introduced to more mature toys -- like phones, for instance. I've always been protective of mine in a near-OCD fashion, keeping the same phones for years on end, tucking them into secret compartments of my oversized purses and hiding them away from sticky drinks and snacks. I won't put my sister's cell phone experiences on blast, but I will  tell you that she received many more than I did, and not because she wanted to. She was also cooler, prettier, and more fun than I was as a teen, so, she wins anyway.

Then, yesterday, I went to the bathroom at work to take a pee. I pulled down my pants, popped a squat, and -- plop! -- the inevitable happened. I closed my eyes and prayed that I'd had a surprise poop or a miracle baby, but when I turned around and saw a light blinking helplessly through a pool of unsanitary water, I knew the truth.

No texts or tweets on the fly.
No Instagram or Foursquare.
No Snapchat or Voxer.
No alarm clock or GPS.
No music for the gym.
No. No. No!!!!

I immediately pulled the phone out, pulled it apart, and began drying it with paper towels while repeatedly muttering 'fuck' under my breath. I always keep my phone in my back pocket on the job and always  remember to take it out while going to the bathroom and this was the first time I'd forgotten and of course it fell right into the toilet. I was just wondering the other day how people ended up doing this ("how drunk were  they!?") and then here I was, dealing with the same damn thing. I'd never so much as scratched a phone in my life -- not once did I break or lose one -- and of course it had to die in the stupidest way, only 9 months after purchasing it.

After using paper towels, I moved on to the hand dryer. I probably should've googled before taking any action, though, because apparently this can actually push water droplets further into the phone. Oops. Fortunately, I tried turning my phone back on and it actually worked! The screen flickered then stayed, and it looked like it was back to normal -- but when the aunt I hadn't seen in a year called me, and I couldn't answer, I realized that the touch screen was actually not working even though it was visibly okay. Do you know how frustrating it is to see that people are calling and texting you and you can't read or respond!? I decided to keep it off after that.

Sidebar: A few hours after this incident, I was reading blogs on my laptop (because, duh, that's the only way I can communicate as of now) and saw this post about how a blogger had a baby on the pot. I'm taking it as a good sign that if a human can survive after being submerged in toilet water, my phone can too.

Anyway, the next step in my phone recovery process was to be patient. I was still busy at work, and I couldn't stop to try and fix it in the moment. I put the phone away and distracted myself by sharing my story with coworkers and cracking jokes. They gave me some suggestions and commiserated with me about the subject. Apparently, it's pretty common for shit to happen to phones. I'm a lucky gal.

I headed to the boyf's house after work and immediately found a bag of dry, uncooked rice (thanks to his roomie) and buried the parts of my phone in it. This is rumored to be the cure in this situation. I kept my phone this way overnight, but in the morning when I put it back together (about 10 hours later), I was still facing the same problem: the phone was on, it was charging, it looked fine, but when I touched the screen nothing happened. (At this point I had multiple missed calls and texts. I'm never  that popular.)

My next step was to finally google stuff. After discussing the situation with friends, we had pretty much concluded that going straight to the Sprint store was going to be my last resort. I know how customer service and sales works -- instead of trying to fix it or give me a break, they're going to try to get me to buy a new phone, because they probably work on commission. I needed to find a cell phone repair shop. And if you haven't figured it out at this point, no, I don't have insurance on it. Yes, I am an idiot.

To be continued.

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