There was a time when a nice man robbing you at gunpoint would have at least given you a choice: “Your money or your life.” Funny thing is, you’d have a hard time spending your money if you were dead. As decisions go, it’s sort of a no-brainer.
Having never been in that situation, I can’t tell you if the inevitable adrenaline rush would make me do something stupid, or if I would have the presence of mind to calmly hand over my wallet and say, “Please don’t shoot me. Have a nice day.”
I’m sure we’d all like to think we’d make the right choice without hesitation. But what if that happened today? What if the crook asked for your smartphone? Or your laptop? Would you hesitate? Would you take a few moments to mull over the probability of the guy actually pulling the trigger?
Seems like a ludicrous question but maybe not. Millennials say their smartphone is the most important thing in their lives – more important than their car, deodorant, even their toothbrush. And nearly half of adults surveyed said they couldn’t last more than a day without their mobile phone.
Personally, I doubt if I could force myself to leave the house without brushing my teeth and I’m pretty sure I can survive at least a few days without my iPhone but my MacBook Air, now that’s a different story. An improbable series of events over the weekend proved without a doubt that my priorities are not what I thought they were.
Friday morning I woke up to no Internet service. Hard to believe, I know, but living in the mountains has its challenges, even in Silicon Valley. Anyway, the network was down. Then it was up. Then it was down. So I contacted the service provider and started working as best I could, given the frustrating circumstances.
The timing couldn’t have been worse. I had a mid-afternoon appointment to bring my MacBook Air into the Apple Store for much-needed repairs, so I had a lot of work to do in a short day ahead of the weekend. Still, I got it done and only felt a little lost to leave my blessed computer for the quoted 48 to 72 hours.
I woke up Saturday morning feeling achy with a painful lump on my neck. I’m prone to sinus infections but hadn’t felt that crappy in ages. The next day was worse so I paged the doctor and he prescribed some antibiotics. He also said there was a drug-resistant Staph infection around and to call pronto if I wasn’t feeling better in a couple of days.
With that weighing heavily on my mind I went down to the pharmacy only to have Blue Shield reject the prescriptions. They told the Walgreens clerk that my medical insurance policy had lapsed and that I should call them. Wait, what? I’ve never gone a day without insurance in my life. What the hell?
So I paid cash and left feeling even more disturbed than when I’d arrived. In the space of 48 hours I now had no medical coverage, a lump on my neck, no computer and virtually unusable Internet service. That night I figured screw the infection and drank heavily.
By Monday morning I was ready to jump out of my skin, so I called the Apple Store and prayed for good news. Incidentally, if you want to get a live person immediately just tell the automated attendant: “I’d like to order a pizza.” Works every time.
When I heard the words, “You’re MacBook Air is ready to be picked up,” I felt a profound lightness of being. I thanked the disembodied voice profusely, floated to my car and drove straight to the Apple Store. I don’t even remember the drive.
By the time I got home the Internet was back to normal. By Tuesday the antibiotics had kicked in and a call to Blue Shield resolved the mystery insurance lapse. I’m still not out of the woods, but as long as I’ve got this miracle of titanium, silicon and glass on my lap, everything seems right with the world.
Image credit Kroejsanka Mediteranka via Flickr
A version of this post first appeared at foxbusiness.com