Mark Richards


Wednesday, June 18, 2003

The NEXTEL Disaster

For those of you not in the Atlanta area, on Friday afternoon we had terrible weather. It rained heavily for hours and seemed to come down the hardest at the exact moment that I wanted to leave. I got to the front door and evaluated the situation. As luck may have it, I drove to lunch earlier in the day and parked my car far away. I still felt confident that I could make it to my car without drowning. I began to prepare myself. I put my personal cell phone in my left pocket, my work cell phone (my NEXTEL phone) clipped inside my right pocket, and had my keys in my hand ready to open the door as quickly as possible. Then, the countdown began. 3.....2.....1.....Go! The sprint for dryness began!

I was getting soaked. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. My pants had gotten so wet that was now stepping on the legs. I was barely moving. I thought it was all over. My life was flashing before my eyes. Then everything changed. I realized that I didn't want this to be the end and thought of all my loved ones. That's when I got my second wind. I lifted my pant legs and pushed on the last few feet. Woohoo! I made it!

I sat in my car a few seconds to recover and reflect about this amazing experience. I began removing my possessions from my pockets. First my personal cell phone. Then my wallet. And finally my NEXTEL phone....or not. It was gone! Did I leave it upstairs at my desk? Did I drop it? I knew that I couldn't leave a fallen friend out in the battlefield. I had to go back to check. I got back out of my car and began running toward the building. I could see my fallen NEXTEL on the ground by the door at about the same spot where I began lifting my pant legs. But I was worried. The NEXTEL looked injured. When I got to the phone, I picked it up and examined the situation. Not only had the phone been dropped and sitting in the water for a few minutes, but it appeared to have been run over by a pickup truck! I saw the culprit right next to the phone and wanted to get my revenge, but thought it was neither the time nor the place for revenge.

I ran back over to my car with the phone and attempted to get a better assessment of the damages incurred. The screen was broken, the volume control was getting stuck, the signal was poor, and, generally, looked pretty banged up. I thought it was all over. I shut down the phone in order to let it rest and recover. A day later, I went back to check on the status of the phone. The screen looked worse, but could be repaired. Everything else seemed to be working well. Mostly cosmetic damage had occurred, not much appeared to be permanent. Nothing a little time and love couldn't heal.

I would like to wish my valued friend, NEXTEL, a quick and speedy recovery. I apologize for all the pain you're going through.

...I hope my boss doesn't make me pay for the damages...?!


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