The other morning, I found a phone. It was laying cracked and completely out of place on the morning grass. It has only just started to rain, a welcome relief actually from the last few days and holding it in my hands, through a kaleidoscope of broken glass it read:
12:08 am. Let me know when ur home x
1:43am. Did you get home ok?? x
I felt my heart sink a little but as I slipped the phone into my pocket, I began hoping that this person had both returned safely, but had also let this particular person know they had returned home safely. I tried to push this thought towards the back of my mind and headed off to work. I was already running late, so I figured I would drop it off at the cop station on my way home and hopefully the phone would be returned to it’s owner.
If the situation was reversed, I would really hope that someone would have done the same for me. My phone is basically the epicentre of the way I conduct my business. Phone interviews, internet content, relentlessly tweeting the triple J staff. All very important things. It’s also the way I choose to stay connected to the people around me. I don’t usually like to make phone calls, unless it’s for work. Texting is instantaneous and quite frankly, a lot more time effective. And as a writer, I believe that words still hold a tremendous amount of weight. I suddenly began to fret that I had misplaced my own lifeline. No wait… pocket check says no. We’re good. I think there is a lot of judgement placed upon the way we use our phones. Don’t get me wrong, the guy who was checking his Instagram story last night at the Nick Cave gig blew my mind and I did not understand why or how or where he thought he was and I wondered if THE Nick Cave being two metres away from him was an inconvenience. But I do understand wanting to maintain connection to not only the world around you, but the people you care about.
I was driving home from work that afternoon, all hot and sweaty and covered in juice. Working at Boost this is a normal occurrence and I love that I get to spend two days a week here with some wonderful people, who are further supporting me to do what I love the most. Anyway, a beeping noise rang through my car, for a moment I thought finally my car was broken and I could use the excuse to say goodbye to it forever. But no, it was the found phone in my glovebox. See, the find my iPhone app is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't explain why the person is carting your phone from Wickam to Glendale to Newcastle, it just looks like your phone is going on a huge joy ride, without you. Or worse still, some idiot has stolen your phone. Thankfully technology was on my side as I called the number back - turns out, the number lead me to the Stag and Hunter Hotel, and to my favourite type of person, a bartender. Thankfully I was able to explain that as much as Oceans 11 is the greatest movie of all time, I could not actually pull of a heist and was on my way to hopefully attempt to find the phone’s owner. He was very grateful, and I felt wonderful, and his phone was soon safely behind the bar at the Lass O’Gowrie.
People are beginning to lose faith in the niceties of the world. I mean Trump is now President which some people are actually taking as an excuse to actively spread hate throughout the world which is ridiculous and honestly quite sad. But… I know that if I lost my phone, I’d probably cry a lot and realise that I would ever ever ever see it again, and all of those pictures of my bird would be gone forever. Because maybe I have lost a little bit of faith in the world, particularly when it comes to the kindness of strangers. Because see… I was sitting having coffee the other day at a major shopping centre, when a mans booming voice left me shook, and not in the “hey I just heard the new song by Big Sean and I’m shook” kind of way. But in a way that left me startled and annoyed that my zen state of mind that is shared between my morning coffee and I, was now ruined. “You with the mop clean that up”. He clicked his fingers and pointed first at the ground and then to the unsuspecting and very hard working cleaner. This man was not a boss, another cleaning colleague or was he even a staff member at the centre. This was apparently a normal, every day, individual. I felt sick. Although thankfully my Mum decided to stop me before I approached the 6ft tall (arrogant) man and had words. I felt like asking what he did for a living, and also apologising that he assumes that this is the way we talk to anyone.
Our profession does not define us as a person, it does not mean that we are entitled to speak to someone as though we are above them just because of their job description. This is not your right. I feel like each and every one of us has the responsibility to display some sort of basic respect. It takes zero effort, to be a nice and decent human being. Get to know the locals around you, Newcastle is a small town. A ridiculously small, small town. Because if we all just put in the tiniest bit of effort… Then maybe, just maybe our lost phones of the future will all be returned too.