A "New" Cell Phone

For a while, my phone was on the fritz. It would rarely ring and calls would generally go straight to voicemail. Sometimes my text messages would show up backwards – like a mirror image of itself. Holding your phone up to a mirror to read text messages is not the way to go. It was an old, cheap phone, so I don’t blame it for failing on me. I’m sure spray painting it gold didn’t improve its quality of life any, either.

On my flight to Connecticut, my phone officially died. I don’t mean that the battery died, those were charged, but the phone just quit altogether. I was upset. After deplaning, I realized my phone was no longer in my possession. What had I done with it? After everyone else cleared out, I got back on and searched with a flight attendant. “I found it!” she said. It was a Blackberry… someone else’s Blackberry, no less. We couldn’t find mine.

I contemplated my bad luck, and then decided it just might be good luck after all. Since bad events are pretty much a given in my life at this point, they might as well happen simultaneously and negate each other essentially. What did it matter that I lost my phone if it had died? And what did it matter if my phone died if I had lost it? My life is great, actually!

Just as I reached home in Connecticut, the airline called. Someone had found my phone. Despite the phone being dead, I decided to return the next day to pick it up so I could recover my saved phone numbers. I went to the lost baggage area where I had been told it was being stored and inquired about it. The lady said they did not ever keep phones there, but she agreed to check anyway. I described it as “junky” and she went looking. After a couple minutes, she returned with the phone. “This must be it!” she said, and it was. “Phones are considered valuables, so we always lock them in our safe. I guess they decided not to do that in this case.” Wow, so the phone was rule-breakingly junky.

With dead phone in hand, I went to the Verizon store for a new telephone with an open mind. I didn’t really want an upgrade upgrade, but I was prepared to let the salesperson talk me into something a little better than the basic model that comes free with renewing your contract. The employee didn’t try to bamboozle me; in fact, he didn’t even attempt to help me. I asked him to show me the varieties and mentioned I was open to whatever possibilities. He asked what I wanted my phone to do, so I said, “call people.” Perhaps that response deserved the “duh” answer he gave me, but that’s not good customer service. He asked what else I wanted and I told him I wasn’t sure, but that I probably didn’t need the internet or anything.

“Oh,” he said, while pointing. “Then you’re looking at that wall, it’s for the older generation.” He didn’t walk me over to it, just gave me a condescending attitude. I went over to the fogey wall, introducing myself to the products and privately fuming. I looked for the cheapest phone I could find. I’m still of the mindset that I have a phone to call people, not to answer all of life’s problems like some people do. Maybe I’ll change my mind at a later point, but I rather like not being albe to consult the internet at every moment of the day. Sure, it has its perks, but irrationally or not, I fear an entirely mediated life.

Now if you’ll allow me a moment to get off this especially tall horse I seem to be riding, I’ll go select the cheapest phone available. And it’s not just because I’m cheap. No, at this point, it’s at least half spite. I’ll show him how confident I am to pick a lame phone despite his attitude. Besides, I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t buy a pricy phone until I leanred not to drop it on a daily basis. Let’s just say I’m not there yet.

The Verizon employee couldn’t have looked more unimpressed by my selection. “Oh, the same exact model you already had,” he told me. I’m not sure if it is the same model just two years later, but it certainly looked different – it’s half as thick and a different color – but way to be a dick!

Obviously, after going through the trouble of picking up my dead phone, I wanted to transfer my stored numbers over to the new phone. He took my phone, but grumbled that it might not work because it was in such bad condition and the port was gunked up and broken. This, mind you, was the same port that I plug my charger into on a regular basis, so I knew it, in fact, worked. He took it to a back room and returned moments later telling me the port didn’t work. As I began to protest, he said he’d try one more time. He came back shortly, saying that “somehow” he got it to work. Gee, thanks.

So yeah, I have a “new” phone, possibly quite similar to the last one. No need to send me your numbers, unless you’re a stranger and I never had it in the first place, in which case only send me your digits in the case of job offers, life opportunities, or marriage proposals. Thanks!

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