BDN Article: Lessons learned from a Woman@Play


By Gigi Guyton, Women, Work, and Community
Posted July 25, 2013, at 11:57 a.m.

I know this column is about Women@Work, but come on ladies, who doesn’t love to have a little fun in the summer in Maine?

I’ve been training for the REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon. I’m the runner on a relay team with two coworkers — one of whom is my boss. My partner has put together her own relay team at her work.

She, and my boss, are both the swimmers on their teams, and I agreed to kayak on Crystal Lake in Gray one beautiful weekend while they did their swim training.

We gathered at the boat launch, and as they donned their swim caps and goggles, I began to load myself into the kayak. I had one foot in, ready to glide into the seat, only to get my other foot caught on the side of the cement boat launch. The kayak drifted. I lost my balance. I fell backwards into the water as gracefully as I could in front of everyone, including my boss. The laughs and chuckles ensue, even from bystanders.

Then I was overcome with a feeling. Not embarrassment. No, that had already passed. I had a feeling that there was something very important I was forgetting. I grabbed at my shorts, and oh no! My iPhone was in my pocket, with me, underwater.

I sprang to my feet horrified.

“Ohhhh.” Everyone groaned as they began to understand why my laughter turned to confusion and upset.

“Put it in a bag of rice,” suggested one bystander.

“Yeah,” said his buddy. “A bag of rice will take out all the moisture.”

Since I didn’t have a bag of rice on me, my partner, boss, and I went ahead with the workout at the lake. The whole reason I wanted to kayak with my device was so I could time their swim.

“Why didn’t I just bring my watch?” I thought. “My WATERPROOF watch?”

It’s because I’m one of the millions of Americans who has made my smartphone an extension of my body at work, and at play. Thanks to the phone, I don’t need a watch anymore.

As I paddled to make sure motor boats and jet skiers could see the two swimmers I was protecting, I feverishly checked and rechecked my device for any signs of life. Nothing was happening except the flashlight stayed on. “Maybe it’s ok,” I thought. “They’ll fix it, those geniuses at the Apple Store. Right?”

The feeling of dread washed over me. What if I lost everything — my contacts, my notes, everything?

Ah, but I have the iCloud! OK, but what if that somehow wasn’t set up properly? When did I last connect to the big, invisible cloud of all knowing in the sky? Does it really have all of my data?

The bag of rice trick at home didn’t work. I went to the Apple store the next day and met with a genius who confirmed the phone was shot. “You’re sure there’s no way to fix it?” I asked thinking these geniuses know how to fix everything.

Shaking his head he said, “Unfortunately, electronics and water don’t mix.”

I knew that.

Surely my AppleCare will cover this? Nope. I needed AppleCare+. I failed to purchase the plus for just an additional $50 when I purchased the phone, telling myself I would take really good care of my new appendage.

I had to buy a new phone at full price, which was more than what I originally paid for the now-waterlogged phone. The iCloud, by the way, did have all of my data.

Moral of the story?

• Buy the richer protection plan if your phone is an extension of your arm.

• Backup your data often.

Leave your phone at home once in awhile and go jump in a lake.

It is summer, after all.

Gigi Guyton is microenterprise coordinator for Women, Work, and Community covering Cumberland and York Counties. Her email is gigi.guyton@maine.edu. You can support Gigi and her coworkers participating in the REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon at www.active.com/donate/GoGildaGo