My recent admission of nomophobia came about because I jumped out of a taxi a little too hastefully one Sunday evening. The carelessness was all mine admittedly but I'm still pointing a finger at the taxi driver's direction. This was one obnoxious puppy by all standards who seemed to confuse my deep frown for avid interest in his stories of daring do. Never have tales so apoplectically mundane been told with such maleficent language. The taxi approached my apartment block just as my inner Popeye boiled over.
With that, I gave an insistent "Stop here", threw the cash towards the front seat and jumped from the cab. A couple of minutes later I was home in my flat. Emptying my pockets as usual onto the hall table, a niggling feeling jumped at me. The first round of emptying didn't surface a phone. I went through all my pockets again. The sudden realisation: NO PHONE! Quickly followed by the memory that the power was down to 1% last time I looked getting into the taxi. "NNNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... one moment [breath]... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!"
What could I have done differently to avoid all this? Well, here's some ideas.
Remember the taxi driver's details
Simple one really: remember the cabbie's details so you can contact him.
When you're getting into the the cab or listening to mind-bogglingly boring stories, play a little memory game by trying to remember the cab license number, which legally should be displayed prominently on both the dashboard (if, god help you, you're up front) or on the back of the front seats (if you've done the clever thing by getting in the back). Heck, if you're brave, use the driver's name to have a chat with him. If you've a short-term memory like mine, then this might help you remember a little more.
There's a catch though: if you've had a little bit to drink, the chances of remembering a taxi licence number will ehh, doubtful.
I'm tempted to say "Take a photo of the taxi driver's ID with your mobile" but then that would be stupid... (Mind you, it would be good fun to do this anyways... it'd be fun to see the driver freaking out a little when you take a photo of his ID!)
Don't keep your phone in your hand
"Ehh, what now?" - I hear you ask
It's a simple one. If you keep your phone in your hand, like I did, then when it comes time to pay the fare, you end up juggling your wallet or purse and your phone.
And humans being creatures of habits, when you leave the cab with just your wallet or purse in your hand then your brain's muscle memory just assumes it's your phone.
I've done this about 3 times now: leave the cab with something in my hand which my subconscious assumes is my phone. You only become aware as the bloody cab is driving off into the distance.
Just don't use your phone in the cab if the battery is less than 10%
Right, this takes some discipline, but if you notice that little battery indicator showing less than 10% remaining - or god forbid, it's gone an angry red colour - then just don't use it. In fact, pocket the bloody thing deep in an inside pocket of your coat or in your bag.
Why? Well, if you do leave it behind, then you have some time to call the phone before it powers off.
Make sure it's not on silent
Another one I got caught out on: I had the phone on silent, so even if the battery hadn't been near death, and I had rang my own number, then there's little chance that the driver would have heard the phone ringing in the back seat before it went dead.
Give your little phone every chance of being heard by putting it on a nice loud volume as you sit in the cab.
Preferably a really annoying ringtone (this one will do nicely) too so that if the driver doesn't answer, you'll at least piss him off a little.
Well, or some other taxi app.
I actually have a hailo account but the night I lost my phone, I just hailed a cab off the street. If I had just ordered one with Hailo, then I'd have a permenant record of the driver and the journey. I'd have been able to call the driver within moments.
In addition, if I'd elected to pay by card, then I would have avoided the wallet/phone juggling act at the end that most likely contributed to me losing it.