Lost Your Cell Phone Protocol #911

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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Winter is rapidly on us now and as the course starts to go dormant things have to get done. In our climate, we have to drain the main water lines or risk them freezing and that in turn costs tons in the spring. Let me relay a little happening while I was attending to this task.

Part of the process is renting a large air compressor and “blowing” the water in the line that cannot be pumped out. This requires digging to locate the line and attach the compressor line. Somewhere in this I lost my cell phone. If you have never lost one of these, let me forewarn you this is one very painful process.

I know it may sound silly but it does take you a while to discover it’s gone. I was quite blissful for the couple of hours I had without answering a phone call. But after a few hours, I needed to call my 95% voting block to see where she wanted to go for dinner. Not finding my phone I implemented “protocol 5 under” which is the golf shop staff looking for my phone around the usual spots in the golf shop. One “smart” staff member looks in the restrooms and that still somehow bothers me. With the phone not found I now started to panic.

One of the cart “kids”, a 16 year old high school junior, said I should use the phone locator system. What is that I asked? “Just Google lost phone location and you will see”, was the answer from the kid who has no driver’s license. Well I did and for the cost of .95 cents I could locate my phone.

I gladly paid and was curious where on the golf course it could be. The program ran and maps started to download, first the United States gave way to the Southwest in turn to New Mexico. This narrows to northern New Mexico and finally to Espanola. That search narrowed to a house about a mile from the course. I did not know that Google earth search would actually give you the aerial view of the location and everything in the yard along with the address. My phone had found its resting place in an abandoned trailer home with 9 trucks, 3 cars and 1 boat. Clearly you could see 7 pit bulls guarding the treasures. Naturally, I drove over to the home and easily identified the 82 Ford F-250 up on blocks and no tires, the aerial showed as red but it really was more a rust sun baked base primer than paint. I drove around the trailer as a road went around the property and another dwelling appeared that was not on Google earth. I found this quite surprising and now was ready to call the X- Files as an alien being must live here. My first instinct was to run but I opted to just turnaround and leave. Much to my shock, when I was leaving a man materialized in the road. Well actually, he walked out from behind the 87 Thunderbird but it sounds better if he materialized.  

He said nothing…just gazed at me so I opened my passenger window, greeted him with my best Northern New Mexico “ese vato” and asked if when he was at the golf course if by chance he had found a phone and just forgot it was in his bag? He spit tobacco juice saved from last year I guessed and said, “Chale ese” and put an arm up on the fence. I noticed a tattoo that said “die pig” with daggers, so I just said thanks and left.  

When I get back to the golf shop my little high school cart kid asks if I got the phone, “No I said it was not there”.  “Google earth locator is never wrong”, he said.  I just glared at him and it did not faze him at all. “Why don’t you turn on the stolen alarm he asked?” My gaze must have conveyed the message I was feeling, that being how do you do that? He hops on my computer and in 30 seconds hits a send window and closes programs he had opened. “Done”, he now says and goes back to picking up range balls. A few hours later Mr. Tattoo shows up with my phone and says his kid had it in his bag and it has been making a terrible racket and the pit bulls are getting grumpy.  

I get my phone back and all my data is intact and I do not have to keep the Replacement. Only drawback is I have to talk to “Phil” from India again! But that is a story for another time.

I know that for the future if I have any tech problems and/or new information troubles I am referring them to my cart kid and I am also turning over all the social media communications to him. So soon I can tweet, yelp and empty tables thanks to a high school kid. Go figure.

Tom Velarde is the Manager at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico, just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email tvelarde@blackmesagolfclub.com.