Standing at the break room sink, Rachel washed her coffee cup. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Tina sitting in the corner, hunched over her phone that was laying on top of the table. Turning off the faucet, Rachel reached for a paper towel. She looked over at Jim who was reading the out-of-date sports magazine that had been in the break room forever.
She nodded in Tina’s direction, whispering, “What’s up with her?”
Jim leaned towards Rachel. “She got a new smart phone.”
Rachel sat down next to him, drying her coffee cup. “Why is that a problem? Usually a new electronic toy makes people happy.”
He leaned in conspiratorially. “The new phone isn’t exactly the problem. Turns out there was something wrong with her backup file. It got corrupted and it won’t restore to her new phone. She lost her contact list. Well, other things too, but mostly her contact list.”
“All of it?” Rachel heard how silly that sounded as soon as she said it, wondering if anyone could lose just part of their contact list. “That really stinks. But she can get some of that info directly from people, right? I mean, post on Facebook, get them to call or email you.”
“Yes, and she did that.” Jim closed the magazine.
They both looked over at Tina. She was using her finger to move her phone a few inches one way, then over some more, as if she were hoping for a message from an Ouija board.
Jim set the magazine on the table. ““Remember when we were young? BSM?”
“BSM?” Rachel asked.
“Before Smart Phones. We knew everyone’s phone number and address. These days we barely know our own. This is one of the signs of a decaying civilization.”
Rachel decided not to engage in that particular argument.
Jim continued, “It’s her brother. She doesn’t know his phone number and he’s not on Facebook. But you know Tina, she doesn’t let small things stop her. She planned to drive up to see him next weekend, surprising him, laugh about her new phone story, spend the weekend, and come back with her contact list updated.”
“I’m guessing something else happened.”
“Yes, it gets worse. Her brother had recently moved to north Dallas. She’d visited him once so she had his address in her car’s navigation system. Then Monday her car’s battery died and she got it replaced. POOF! No more nav system data. All gone, just like her phone’s contact list. Now she has no phone number, no address.”
Tina sighed, deeply and slowly. She put her head down on the top of her phone, turning her face to the wall.
Jim shook his head. “All she can do now is wait for her brother to call.”
Looking at Tina with pity, Rachel considered buying an old fashioned hard copy address book. She’d check on Amazon.com after she got home. And maybe even call her sister, you know, just to say hello.
~~~ The End ~~~