“Message sending failed”

failedYesterday afternoon, I was following the Newcastle v Swansea match on the BBCs Premier League live service. I thought it was going to end in a draw, but about a minute before full time Swansea scored. Meh! I immediately sent Jan a text, thinking he might like to know. As usual, minutes after I sent the message my phone beeped – I have delivery reports switched on. I checked the message, expecting it to read “Delivered”, as it always does. Instead, I was confronted with the following: “Jan Mob. Message failed.” That has never happened before. If the recipients phone is off, my phone doesn’t beep and I receive a message saying “Pending”. Once they switch their phone back on, the phone beeps and the “Pending” message changes to “Delivered”. I tried again. Beep beep. “Message failed”. I went and fetched the house phone to call him… “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later,” said a female voice – first in German, then in English. Hmm, odd. But he’d told me the night before that he might be allowed to go to the beach. Perhaps he was somewhere with no reception. I went to distract myself by reading some blogs.

unavailable_iconHalf an hour later, I could stand it no more. I dialled his number from out house phone. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I went into the kitchen and plugged in the hoover. Another half an hour, another attempt. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I made a cup of tea, ate a packet of Monster Munch and tried not to worry. For half an hour, then I tried again. It was 7:30 pm by this time, 8:30 in Turkey (he told me the night before that they’re an hour ahead). Even if he had been to the beach, surely he couldn’t still be there? Again “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” It occurred to me that if anything had happened, I wouldn’t find out until a member of his family thought to contact me. In emergencies, the authorities call your next of kin. Parents… siblings… wives. Not girlfriends. I pushed that thought out of my mind and resolved to try again later.

After each failed attempt, I tried to force myself to wait longer before dialling again, thinking up different things to distract me each time. I washed dishes, played Freecell on the computer, ate a small tub of icecream sitting on the floor in front of the radiator, got out the playing cards and had a game of Patience (sorry, but no it’s not called Solitaire… that’s a game with marbles!).

Half an hour ago, I sent another text message, asking how he was and whether he’d been allowed to go to the beach. It failed.
I know he’s probably fine and the issue is with his phone. If anything had happened I’d have heard by now, right? But still… aargh! I cannot wait to have him back here where I can keep an eye on him (at least while I’m not at work). One more sleep…

*Update* I have now spoken to the boyfriend via Facebook. His phone has been blocked for security reasons (pesumably because he went over a cost limit, leading them to think it was stolen), but he is fine. Good job I managed not to worry too much!

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16 thoughts on ““Message sending failed”

  1. We are all so hyper connected these days aren’t we. When I was dating my hubby long distance we didn’t have mobiles or email or Skype, my god I sound out of the ark but this was in fact 1993. We wrote sent tapes with soppy songs and called once a week. While it as agony we didn’t worry about each other as we were not used to this constant checking in. He will be fine,some mobile power issue or connection issue x

    1. We didn’t have mobile phones when I was a child either. When my sister was taken ill in Malta (95 I think that would have been), I’m not sure whether my mum was ever informed, or just found out when we got back! (My parents were divorced and we were on holiday with my dad and grandparents). He might have phoned her from the hospital I suppose.

      As I said to Elaine, the weirdest part is that I got a “Failed” report, which has never happened to me before! I had a text from him at half ten yesterday morning, and my reply to that got through fine, so somewhere between then and 5 o’clock last night something’s presumably gone wrong with his phone.

      1. We used to call and let it ring 3 times to say I love you πŸ™‚ the rule was only pick up on the fourth ring. πŸ™‚ we just could not afford the calls, aw it’s bringing it all back. Let us know when you do hear πŸ™‚

      2. That’s so cute πŸ˜€

        Immediately after I read this comment, Jan sent me a Facebook message saying “I have Internet as you may have noticed” Followed by “But no phone”. All is well again… good job I persuaded myself not to panic.

    1. I agree! When I was a child nobody had mobile phones, so if somebody went away (on holiday or whatever) we would hear nothing from them until they got back. Maybe a quick call from a payphone to say they had arrived, but that’s it.

      The weird part is that I’ve never had a “Failed” delivery report before. Usually, if the phone is off, I’ll get “pending”. So either it’s a different issue or it’s different when the phone I’m trying to contact is roaming…

    1. I’m sure it is. I bet he’s dropped his phone down the toilet or something πŸ˜€

      I actually think I’d be more worried if the phone was on and he just wasn’t answering. At least this way I can keep telling myself it’s the phone that’s broken – not him!

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