Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Untethered, or why I hate the mobile phone industry
**added in after original posting** I just looked at the graphic of the cell phone...doesn't it look like it's resting on a mini-pad? Just noticing!
I'm am madder than a wet hen right now. Yesterday around 1:10 p.m., a friend called on my cell phone while I was in my office. We chatted a few minutes; the call ended. Nothing unusual, except that just after I left work yesterday around 3 and was halfway home, I reached into my purse for my phone AND IT WASN'T THERE. No problem - I reached into the left pocket of my scrub top. Then the right. AND IT WASN'T THERE. Still not concerned. I merely pulled into a parking lot, dumped out the entire contents of my purse, my lunch bag and my tote that I carry essential items like a spare Oprah mag and knitting in case I get locked down at work and need mindless diversion. AND IT WASN'T ANYWHERE.
Vapors of concern were starting to waft in from the periphery, but still optimistic, I turned the car around, headed back to work, and spent the next 1/2 hour doing a CSI search of my office, the classrooms, the trash cans and the contents of the aforementioned bags again. Vapors of concern have become large dark thunderheads. It is nowhere. I just got the phone via an upgrade last month while in Atlanta for the wedding, so it was cheapish, and I'm still waiting for the $50 mail in rebate to arrive in my mailbox because I was a good doobee and sent in all the required paperwork in plenty of time. I know that if the phone doesn't materialize, I will have to buy a new one outright, which will likely cost about a third of the national debt.
After the lengthy work search, I headed to my phone service purveyor, AT$T, to recount my dilemma and see if I can get the service suspended for a short time to provide a grace period for the phone to resurface. "Absolutely we can suspend the service for up to 45 days, but you still have to pay for it", Mohammed, the sales associate tells me earnestly, hopefully. No prob - at least I can thwart the heinous cell phone thief from serial crank calling Tahiti on my dime.
While at the phone joint, I look at other phones and find one I like if I end up having to get another, which I won't because of course mine will turn up tomorrow (today) when I get to work. I find one I like better than my new one that is actually cheaper by $50 than my last, just $49.99. I ask Mohammed how much the phone would be if I buy it outright, since I already used my upgrade and was too cheap to insure my 1 month old new phone. "$250", he answers ruefully. "$250 dollars? Are you f-ing kidding me?" I bark back. "I know", Mohammed murmurs sympathetically. I avow with seething certainty, "This is an f-ing racket." I did apologize to messenger Mohammed for my wrath, for he is not the author of this ridiculous f-ing racket that is the mobile phone industry. I blew out the door in a cloud of righteous indignation. Once in my car, I assured myself that my phone would be handed to me by a smiling co-worker in the morning. And then shake my head in disbelief over what some poor slob would have to pay if their phone wasn't found.
Poor slob, thy name is Leslie. As I sit here now, it's 12:06; the phone has not appeared. It's as if it disappeared into a rare troposheric black hole. I had it for that phone call at 1:10. 2 hours later it was MIA, and in 50 minutes it will be gone for roughly 24 hours. Without a trace.
The good news is that it isn't an I-phone or blackberry or some fancy schmancy pricey piece of techno-gold. It's a fairly basic phone with a slide out texting pad that I hadn't even gotten used to yet. In this day and age, even many homeless people have cell phones, so it's unlikely that a heinous thief did in fact break into my office and make off with the goods.
It really kills me to have to chunk out $250 for a new phone, esp. after that $64.00 paycheck 10 ten days ago because my off time used up all my accrued paid time off and then some. I'm extremely cash-poor right now. But I'm fortunate that I can pull out a credit card, get the new phone after work today, and start rebuilding my extensive address book that is gone with the wind, with the phone. This isn't the end of the world. Just the end of that phone, probably. I'm still holding out a smidgen of hope that I'll find it before I leave work today.
In the short time I haven't had the phone, it's amazing how unconnected I feel. I had amany thoughts on the way home from the phone store yesterday, and on the way to work this morning. I'm used to automatically pulling out the phone and dialing someone up - and just typing that dates me totally because who has dialed a phone in years??? I well remember dialing, riding my finger back through the dial, trying to make it go faster. Along with the excrutiatingly difficult task of having to get up to change the t.v. channel by clicking the dial - adjusting the horizontal and vertical hold buttons! Can you imagine such travesty, young bloggers!? How did we ever live through such primitive times ;) ! And how quickly do even old gals like myself get soft and find the rigors of a day without instant connection almost not worth living. It's a wonder I didn't have to take to my bed.
My emotional eating response to this yesterday afternoon? I came home and had an organic natural peanut butter sandwich on beautiful 100% whole 7 grain aldark bread. That was my snack, instead of yogurt and fruit. I needed something more of the comfort food variety, and it did the trick without undoing my good eating day. This phone thing would have been ticket to binge, as silly as that sounds. Silly but true. So all in all, yesterday was not such a bad day.
And guess what??? I'm probably getting a shiny new phone later!