It was the best of days, it was the worst of days. I’d been both looking forward to and dreading this day for weeks. This was the day we got our new phones.
Our old ones were paid off, just in time to start malfunctioning. So we went to the new phone store. These people are brilliant. They speak an entirely different language. I had to be taken aside, given a glossary of terms and pass a pop quiz just to qualify to enter the room.
“Can I help you?” “We need new phones.” The room darkens. Minor key music from out of nowhere. A hush comes over the crowd.
“Come with me.” He walks us over to the white modern-style stools and begins with the barrage of questions.
“Do you have a plan with us now? What plan is it? What’s your password? How many megabits is it? Do you have the iPhone 7max 2.0-EIEIO? What’s the password? What’s your blood pressure? Are you a registered voter? Is there anybody else in the room with a password?”
Even in a relatively simple scenario like ours, we’re there an hour. Choosing phones. Answering questions. Choosing plans. Searching for passwords. And they’ve got millions of phones from which to choose. They offer a screen so clear you can’t even see your phone on a glass table. Not only that, the screen is actually bigger than the phone itself. That’s not even physically possible, but that’s just the level of guys with whom we’re dealing.
All the while there are scores of clueless people walking through the door, loitering, waiting, wandering. Glazed eyes. Chanting. “We need a phone! We need a phone! We need a phone!”
All the while our college sophomore genius helped us, another lady came in and butted her way to the front, because her issue was clearly more important than anybody else’s. She’d just come from a phone store in the next town, and 30 minutes later her phone was hotter than a Texas steering wheel in July.
It was glowing. She’d been getting a run-around for the past four hours and she’d been on hold since Tuesday. Her husband left dirty laundry all over her guest room and her car insurance had been canceled. So I certainly wasn’t going to get in this woman’s way. She obviously had bigger issues than me.
After our high-tech tech spent an hour on the his desk top doing who knows what, answered a couple dozen phone calls, and pacified a few disgruntled customers, we proudly walked out with our new iPhone 11s. (We skipped 8, 9, and 10 entirely. We just didn’t care anymore.) They look weird, work weird, and require a certain level of weirdness to operate them. But they are absolutely amazing. They take better pictures, offer a thousand new emojis, improve your complexion, and guarantee the Cowboys a playoff spot.
As we exited the phone store, I knew simply by being in the presence of these high level intellectuals, my IQ went up at least 20%. I walked out with a new spring in my step and a new-found confidence, brain fog now lifted, quoting algebraic equations to anyone who would listen.
What I didn’t bargain for was the next seven hours of a learning curve trying to do everything from update my settings, (passwords again) to waiting endlessly for every app on my phone, and even some not on my phone, to download. I’m also learning how to text again. At this moment I can do about half of what I used to do on my archaic I-7. But this new phone? Amazing.
The best part? As I set up “facial recognition” and stared into my phone while my new back-pocket partner measured and studied my face… I think it actually giggled. As it turns out my new smart phone is actually the new “smart-aleck” model.
Monday I’m going back for more classes.