Monday, December 18, 2006

Just had my phone stolen

by Suw on December 18, 2006

I think I'm going to give up on mobile phones. My shiny new Nokia E61, which I purchased a mere 19 days ago, just got stolen. I was chatting to a friend on my way to Waitrose, and when I got there I put the phone in my coat pocket and picked up a basket. A few minutes later, I thought 'I had better put my phone in my bag, in case it gets stolen', but too late.
I didn't feel anyone reach into my pocket. I wasn't aware of anyone coming too close, or watching me or bumping into me. Whoever it was was a very, very good pickpocket, and I'm sure they'll enjoy the phone for the next 24 hours until the bar kicks in, and after that I'm sure they'll sell it on Ebay for hundred quid or so.
Meantime, I await with bated breath to find out if the insurance got sorted out in time, otherwise I'm fucked. Plus the Treo is seriously buggered now and I can't even make calls on it, so I'm doubly fucked.
Merry fucking Christmas.
UPDATE, 19 Dec: Rang the police back this morning with my IMEI number. Never heard of an IMEI number? No, me neither. Apparently it's very important if you get your phone nicked, though, so find out what it is now, and make a note somewhere safe – you'll find it on the box that your phone came in, or maybe behind the phone's battery. If you lose or have your phone stolen, they'll need this number.
I also got my case number, and rang up Carphone Warehouse's insurance department. They've opened a claim for me, and I should find out by Friday if I can go and get another phone, or if I am going to remain phoneless.
Emotionally, I feel a bit of a wreck. On the one hand, I feel stupid for putting my phone in my coat pocket and not putting it away immediately like I usually do. I feel frustrated because I am normally so careful with my gadgets, but this one time I slip, this 1% of unawareness, and pooofft, my phone is gone. I feel guilty for feeling upset, because really it's all pretty tame, I wasn't mugged like Kevin was – he ended up with three stitches last year after three little yobs jumped him near Television Centre in White City and tried unsuccessfully to steal his laptop, only to find out that he may be wiry but he's very powerful. I wasn't thrown to the ground like the girl whose mugging I witnessed last year. I just had my personal space violated an an expensive gadget taken.
I feel extremely pissed off that some little fucker who probably hasn't earnt a penny his (or her) whole life is gonna profit from the sale of my phone.
I feel upset because London didn't used to be like this. I lived here for five years in the mid-90s, and in that time I personally knew just two people who'd been mugged. I've been back in London just over a year, and the catalogue of crime that has happened to people I know is:
– Kevin got mugged
– I witnessed a mugging
– I got my phone stolen
– our friend Vicki has had two phones stolen
– Karina, her phone and her purse
– the cleaner at Kevin's old house had her phone stolen
– I've been spat on (not a crime, I suppose, but not very nice)
– Kev and I were threatened with a stabbing (no knife in evidence)
– Kev witness a security guard being harassed by yobs on bikes
I don't like London anymore. I don't want to live here. But unfortunately, for the stuff that Kevin and I do, it's the only place we can be right now.
But, to cap it all, I was just starting to really love that phone. 19 days is just enough to start to get used to the way a new OS and a new phone works. I liked the shortcuts that made using the phone simple, I liked the Symbian OS which allows you to run more than one process at a time (in stark contrast to Palm, which has to fake it), I liked the form of the E61, it's QWERTY keyboard and its nice, bright screen. More than anything, I loved having Google Maps on it, and Google Mail. I adored the web browser which made surfing the net on a phone actually doable. I was totally in love with the wifi.
Does this make me a materialistic, spoilt brat? I hope not. This phone came as close as I have ever been to a decent mobile internet solution which, given how much I travel, actually was threatening to turn into a valuable business tool. I still had to find a good AIM client (the built in chat client doesn't like AIM), and a better way of dealing with RSS, but I was really pleased with the way that I could set it up to sync with my Macbook without too much trouble.
If that evil little swine had swiped my Treo, I would have laughed, barred the account and not been all that bothered. But they took my E61, and I bet they don't even bloody appreciate what they stole.
I am grateful that I wasn't hurt, and that they didn't steal, say, my Macbook (I carry my Macbook in a Crumpler rucksack, so pretty hard to steal, I hope). But still. Bastards.

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