Sunday, December 14, 2008

My umbilical cord was cut

So I was in Cleveland, Ohio last night (right now I am in Little Rock, Arkansas). My phone worked fine when I got there. After eating dinner I went down to the gym. The hotels I stay at are required to have work out facilities. The hotel we stay at in Cleveland is very nice and has an awesome gym (HDTV LCD's at EVERY treadmill!). When I went inside the gym I noticed I had no service on my phone. I assumed it was because of the walls and lack of signal in the gym. No biggie.

After working out I went back up to my room...still no signal. I was standing next to a floor-to-ceiling window (the entire wall is a window...wall to wall for to ceiling...very nice) and still had no signal. I rebooted the phone...nothing. Then I got an email on the phone. How in the hell am I getting email without service? Wi-fi was turned off. Thinking it was a fluke I used my laptop to send my phone and email.....arrived right away. WTF??!?! I tried making a service. Tried to service. Hmmm.

I called T-Mobile...via the hotel phone of course....and after 20 minutes was told my SIM card had gone "bad" and needed to be replaced! They could give no answer how it went "bad". Being in Cleveland at a hotel I was in a bad spot. I told them I would be in the Chicago O'Hare airport today followed by downtown Little Rock, Arkansas and if there were any T-mobile stores nearby. Negative. I would have to wait until Monday to get my phone fixed.

Being a geek I did not believe that my SIM card had spontaneously went bad. I tried resetting my phone to factory defaults. With the G1 from T-Mobile all contact information is stored online with my G-Mail account. By defaulting the phone I would only lose my text message history, installed programs and any settings I changed. Not a huge deal. After the default....same issue. Bummed I went to bed.

This morning..same problem. When I got in the hotel van one of the flight attendants told me his T-mobile phone also quit working last night and that it did the same thing last week when he was here. Hmmm...I now had hope my phone would start working again in Chicago.

Today was the hardest day of flying I have had in my career. .I worked my ass off with high winds, crippled airplanes, bad weather and high winds.....did I saw high winds? It was very very bumpy and turbulent all day.

When I got to Chicago..same problem. Little Rock. Same problem. Being cut off is very stressful for me. When I am on the road my phone is my life umbilical cord.

Calling Kelli was a multi-step process. I would send her a text message from with my hotel phone number and room number. I would back it up with an email sent to her phone. She would then call the hotel and then my room. Bleh.

Right before I went to dinner I wanted to give T-Mobile support one more shot. I called and got Jeff. Jeff was very nice and sounded like just the geek a geek needed in a time like this. I calmly explained my problem. He had my do the same troubleshooting steps and then said "hey wait an minute...I found the problem". I told him if he fixed my phone he would make my week (it's Sunday....nice way to start would be a fixed phone). Within a minute he had me fire up my phone...and I had BARS! It worked. Somehow T-Mobile deactivated my phone. I don't know how. He doesn't know how. I am glad it's working again.

Our G1's (Kelli has one too) have been very problematic. I am a power user. My phone will sometimes forget ring tone settings, lockup while getting multiple emails or refuse to go on the Internet...unless I reboot. Kelli is the opposite of me. She uses the phone and sends text messages with very little web access. Her phone will stop taking phone calls. Someone can call and the phone won't respond. No waking up. Nada. She has to reboot also. The problem is she doesn't know she has a problem unless I call her on the home phone and tell her I have been trying to call her cell phone. Hopefully T-mobile and Google will get everything fixed. My Windows Mobile phone (while slower and not as useful) wasn't this quirky.

I'm glad I have my lifeline back. I think I will have to start carrying one of my old T-Mobile phones as a backup.

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