I knew I should have paid more attention in Spanish class. As I causally conjugated verbs and learned the tenses, I knew that there would be a real world situation that I wouldn't be prepared and would regret not taking class more seriously. That was of course before I got an iPhone.
This morning when I got the gym, I realized that I had unintentionally left my pad lock hanging on the locker door yesterday. I had already packed all my stuff into one of the premium lockers you only get if you arrive at the gym before 6:30 and there was a small Jewish man eyeing me to see if I was coming or going. I didn't have a lock to put on my door, so I was just about to roll the dice and leave it unlocked when I saw the janitor come around the corner to collect the used towels.
"Excuse me. I left my lock here yesterday, do you have a lost and found?"
"Or maybe down at the front desk?"
"I don't... I don't speak english."
All of a sudden my Tuesdays and Thursday zoning out during Churros y Chocolate II in high school came rushing back to me and slapped me upside the head. "I should have paid attention!" I thought to myself. "How do I say 'padlock' in Spanish?" Grrr, very frustrating.
Not wanting to leave my things unattended for any longer than I had to, I went back to see that the little man had stopped staring at my locker and had found a premium one of his very own. I didn't want to leave my locker unlocked, it had my laptop bag, my wallet, my iPhone...
My iPhone! I flipped through my 5 pages of Apps to my back page (the page were Apps go to die) and found the "Free Translator Lite" App smiling up at me. I quickly pecked in "I lost my lock. Do you have a lost and found?" and it spit back "He perdido mi cerradura. Tiene usted un perdido y encontrado?" To ensure that I didn't butcher the pronunciation, I tracked down the janitor and held up my phone to him. He looked down and then looked back up at me and raised his hand in the air, one finger raised.
"Ah-ha!" (Translates well in English and Spanish)
He walked me over to a closet, smiled as he enter, and when he emerged, had my lock in hand.
The moral of the story? Sometimes it isn't always about working harder when you can work smarter. Especially when you have an iPhone.