One evening back when I was home from college for the Summer, a friend and I were playing disc golf. By the time we were approaching the 18th hole it had gotten dark (my friend fell afoul of a water hazard and we wasted some time retrieving his disc). We finished the course, and as we were walking back to the parking lot, something on the ground caught my eye.
It was an iPhone.
At this time iPhones were still fairly new; this was probably an iPhone 2 or thereabouts. It had a passcode, so my friend and I were trying to figure out if there was a way to determine who the owner was when…it rang.
I was unsure of the protocol, but I figured that answering the phone could be the first step in figuring out whose phone this was. I answered, and led with a standard “Hello?”
The person on the other end replied “hello.” Then nothing.
Standard protocol is for the caller to state why they’re calling, but this was a very nonstandard situation. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I decided to just plow ahead. “Uh, this is actually a phone I found on the ground, and I was wondering….”
“Yeah, it’s mine.”
“Well, ok then. We’re right by the 18th hole, so we’re going to head back to the parking lot now.”
“We’re at the parking lot.”
“Well alright…I guess we’ll meet you there then.”
I’m not sure how I expected the call to go, but this certainly wasn’t it. As we walked back to the parking lot, my friend and I discussed the rudeness and general uncouthness of this person. But it’s not like we’re really having to go out of our way, and what else was I going to do, sell it on the black market?
As we approached the parking lot, two young guys about our age walked up. One of them said, “You got the iPhone?”
“Yeah, here you go.”
Then he walked off.
I was less than impressed by him, but on the other hand he was about my age with a phone worth several hundred dollars that he’d lost, so he probably wasn’t in the best headspace. I’m just glad I happened to spot his phone and was able to return it to him with a minimum of fuss.