Where it all Began

A look into the person behind Tech-Nichol

James Nash McNichol was thirteen

when he received his first phone, an iPhone 5s, and he was thrilled. Free to download all the apps he wanted and use them on the go, Nash thought the possibilities were endless. His parents knew this was a big step for him into adulthood (to him, it was a few years late, but he was happy either way) and a good opportunity to learn about responsibility. "Don't break it," they said, and for a while, he made good on that... but only for a while...

 Nash decided one hot summer day to float down the Animas River with his friends. It would be the first time down the river for him as well. He was excited and wanted to capture all the moments, so he decided to bring his phone and use the camera for just that. "How can I make sure it doesn't get wet?" he thought to himself. Hmmm...

The Idea: Two Ziploc Bags Should Work.

So that's just what he did; placing his new iPhone inside two Ziploc bags seemed like enough protection to ward away water. He then boarded a floating doughnut-shaped vessel, and off he went to cruise down the Animas River.

The adventure had begun, with wild rapids and plenty of laughs. Eventually, it was time to dock and regroup with the rest of his friends. Everyone made it back to the rendezvous safely. Surprisingly enough, Nash forgot to take a single picture while he was on this adventure. "Now or never, I guess," he thought to himself. He reached for his double-bagged phone, and it was at that moment he knew he messed up.

Pulling the Ziploc bag from the storage compartment of the doughnut-shaped vessel revealed an iPhone floating in some dirty river water. Nash was shocked, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Suddenly, the lifeless device illuminated, as if it knew it was noticed. The screen flickered for a moment, a fleeting light growing dimmer and dimmer, then shut itself off. He opened the bags and attempted CPR on the device, shaking it and blowing air in to any opening to get whatever liquid out that he could. He tried turning it off and on again—nothing. In that moment, his heart sank to his gut. Dread began to loom over his thoughts until one dark and twisted realization finally crawled out of the abyss of his mind.

"My parents are going to kill me!"

Nash didn't like this thought, and more seemed to appear with it: his PS3 taken from him, his computer sold as collateral for the damage done, grounded to never see the light of day until he could move out of the house! All thoughts that were highly unlikely and incredibly irrational. Out of this improbability, became a possibility, a dive to avoid the consequences at all costs. And so, the previous statement was retracted and adjusted ever so slightly to reflect this new drive. It went a little like this,

"My parents are going to kill me if they found out."

Nash Has One Really Good Quality That Defined This Moment: Problem Solving.

"How the heck do I get myself out of this situation?" he thought to himself. The first idea that came to mind was to go to the place where the device was bought: AT&T! They would know what to do, right? (...) Wrong. When Nash got to the store, they insisted the phone was unfixable and offered to sell him anew one. Still a high schooler relying on his parents for shelter, food, and other essentials, he didn't have the money to replace the device. "Time to look elsewhere," he reminded himself, not to lose hope. The next idea was to go to a repair shop; this was the first time he knew such a thing existed. Nash never had a smartphone before this one, nor did he realize until this moment that things can go wrong with electronics and someone could possibly fixit. So off he went to the local repair shop, hoping for an answer that would show a solution to his problem (except buying a new phone—that was not an option).

 Nash arrived at the local repair shop, eager to have a second opinion. His eagerness was met with disappointment as he received the same conclusion from the repair shop: "...it's most likely never going to turnback on," they said.


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