Don’t skip a step.

Apparently, I skipped a step.

But I didn’t know that step was there.

Explaining that to a 16-year-old who has lost about 2,000 songs from her playlist did not ease the pain.

It happened the other day when I made the mistake of changing the e-mail associated with our iTunes account. When news came out last week that a billion Yahoo! accounts had been hacked, it occurred to me: “Hey, I still have a Yahoo! Account. And that’s what we use for iTunes. I should change that.”

But I skipped a step.

I found out that the music was gone when I got a very panicked text message from my daughter that read, “Because you switched e-mails all of my music is gone. Everything I downloaded from Apple Music is gone.”

I assured her it was not gone and we would find it. I then made a beeline to the Apple store. Because I was not sure we would find it. I just really, really hoped that we would. I noticed that my music was gone as well, but it was hardly the life-crushing defeat my daughter was suffering through, mainly because I don’t have every Broadway song ever recorded on my phone.

Once I got to the store, I was told it was about a three-hour wait. Another option, they said, was to set up a phone call. Perfect, I thought. That way, we can schedule it for when we were both at home and solve this problem together.

At 5:30, we got the call. I explained the problem to the person on the phone. She asked me about a setting here and a setting there. She was having trouble pinpointing a solution, and said she was going to transfer me to a supervisor. This isn’t good, I thought. “This will be great,” I said to my daughter. “The supervisor will fix everything!” My daughter was not buying my fake optimism.

The supervisor, Tracy, got on the phone and we went through checking more settings. She then asked, “Did you log out of your devices before changing the e-mails?”

“Uh, no…” I confessed to Tracy.

“Oh, no. You skipped a step.”

“But I didn’t know there was a step.”

It was apparently an important step.

I said, “I’m going to be one of those calls you share in the break room, aren’t I?” Tracy kindly said no. I don’t believe her, but it was nice of her to say.

I told Tracy that if she can find a solution to this, we can call Christmas shopping done, as this would be the best gift possible.

A few more trouble-shooting efforts. She had me change this setting and that setting. She told me I would need to restart my phone. I told her, “But I’m on the phone with you.”

“I’ll call you back in two minutes,” she said.

“You promise you’ll call?” I said.

Tracy promised.

Two minutes later, the phone rang. A few more settings adjustments. As my daughter paced nervously behind me, I noticed the pacing stopped and there was now jumping. And waving of arms. And a loud, screechy sound that I believe only a teenaged girl is capable of producing, and it only is produced when she sees all of her music repopulating on her phone.

I informed Tracy that it was working, and that she was now the Gibbons’ family’s favorite person on planet earth. She also helped me get my less extensive playlist back on my phone. As my songs began to appear, I said, “Hey, Tracy, since we’re best friends now, wanna hear the first few songs of the most diverse playlist going?”

“Uh, sure,” she said.

I have a wide range of musical likes. “OK, first five in order: R. Kelly, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Elton John and Adele.”

She asked me what R. Kelly song I had. Naturally, I told her it was Ignition (Remix) and gave her a quick sample in my inimitable singing style. I asked her if I was the first customer to sing R. Kelly to her over the phone. She assured me I was.

We began to say our goodbyes, and I again told Tracy that she was our hero. Songs may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to my daughter, it ranks slightly more important than oxygen. But slightly below not skipping a step.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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