How Trying to Replace My Phone Got Me Stranded in a Parking Lot…Again


When I’m getting ready to go out, and I’m straightening my hair and putting on deodorant– the goal is to be looked at in a certain way. It’s not that I want to get romantic attention, I’ve just noticed that people don’t look at you negatively when you add some color to your cheeks and you don’t look like you’ve spent the whole day sleeping, hooked up to an IV.

At least, that’s the goal when I’m getting ready.

But I have to tell you, after several hours spent standing in the Apple store, then the Sprint store trying to get my phone fixed– I would have totally appreciated a giant, blinking, Vegas-esque marquee above my head with a ticking clock and the words “MINUTES UNTIL I PASS OUT.”

Anyways, I thought I knew what I was doing this afternoon when I was in front of my mirror. I thought: half an hour to drive to the mall, may not get a handicapped spot, short walk across the parking garage, short trek from Macy’s to the Genius Bar, maybe a half hour of waiting, can probably find a stool to sit on, half an hour to swap my phone out, another short walk across the mall, across the parking garage, half an hour to drive home.

I pulled my shirt on over my head and thought, if I still have energy I’ll stop at Señor Burritos and pick up some Mexican Chicken Soup (extra avocado.)

But that was not how it went down.

I’m still really having trouble with my stomach, so I was trying to take it easy with food. I had some dry cereal this morning, but skipped lunch and thought I could wait until dinner to eat a proper meal. I didn’t calculate how having an empty stomach would affect my energy, so by the time I got an employee at the Genius Bar to help me figure out my replacement, I was already pretty winded.


But it was okay. I still had enough energy to make it back to the car and home. And if I got some bread, I might even be able to rest in my car until I had enough reserves to pick up soup.

Except there was a problem. My Sprint account was locked and after spending over an hour trying to rectify the problem between Apple and Sprint, I just had to wait. So I took a seat outside the store for a few minutes, then I thought I’d dash off to the bathroom at Macy’s before going back in for another try.

Got halfway through Macy’s when I got the text that the problem should be solved, so I made a U-turn and went back to the store. Forty-five minutes (standing) and several calls later–we realized the problem was not solved, and the only way to solve it was for me to go the Sprint store.

The clock was almost out for me by that point. I wavered. It was probably smarter to go home and deal with this tomorrow. Except that I really needed my phone, and when I had gone to do the swap at the store, we’d taken off my battery-case and the glass screen (which had broken, which is why I was going for my upgrade) splintered almost completely. I didn’t really want to walk around with a crumbling phone with no battery (returned the case before I got the new phone.) So I had basically really stepped in it.

I tried to think of ways I could salvage the situation. If I stopped by the food court and got something to eat I might be able to get back on my feet for another hour–but I also ran the risk of upsetting my stomach and dehydrating myself even more. I didn’t want to take the risk, so I walked back to my car.

When I got to the parking lot at Sprint, again, there was no handicap spaces (welcome to South Florida) which on most days would not have made a big difference (not a huge lot) but today it seemed like extra bad luck.

To make matters worse, the Sprint store was packed. PACKED. On a Wednesday. At like three in the afternoon. Why? Really–WHY?

I signed in and then went to have a seat on a bench. At this point I realized that mistakes had been made. The room was spinning. I was starving. I was feeling really light-headed. I had at least three more people in line in front of me– my time had run out.


I was so frustrated. Here I thought I had planned this out so perfectly. I knew exactly how much time I’d have and the plan just imploded. There must have been twenty people in the store who were all running the same errand that I was–but no one here was going to cause a scene because they couldn’t make it across the room.

They called my name and I dragged myself to the counter, the room swam around me. In one breath I explained what I needed, “PhoneShattered.DueforUpgrade.iPhoneSix16GB.Gold.Please.”

Then I was being told that I could only get the phone if I signed up to their leasing plan and I wanted to pay in full, but there was going to be some kind of monthly charge extra if I did that. Which didn’t make any sense and I kept saying “I don’t understand,” and she flipped the screen around and started pointing at some random numbers and I just kept saying, “I don’t understand. That doesn’t make any sense” and I think I did that for a few minutes, totally not seeing what was on the screen before I was like, “Okay. I’m done. Thanks. Bye.”

It was like English...but not really.

It was like English…but not really.

And I took my shattered phone and my totally defeated body back to my car and began hysterically crying.

My phone still worked on speaker so I managed to call my mom and had one of those hysterically crying, I don’t know what to do, I can’t feel my legs conversation–and then she was picking me up and I was leaving my car in the store parking lot to pick up later. Bright side? She drove me to pick up Mexican Chicken Soup before taking me home.

R.J and our friend, Juan, went and picked up my car later on. Two bags of saline, soup and Propel and I’m still feeling pretty awful. This really wasn’t the day I’d had in mind when I woke up this morning. But then, I probably would never have put a bra on and got out of bed if this was the day I knew I was about to have. It was kind of like that time I almost passed out from a kidney infection in a discount grocery store. Or that time I got stranded in a Publix parking lot. 

Don’t drive dizzy, kids. When drunk, stoned, or simply out of spoons: always call for backup.



What’s your “I’ve miscalculated and can’t get it together” story?