Weary of the insults I hurl at it, my Blackberry refused to cooperate with its new battery. I had no choice — time to upgrade to an iPhone. So off to the iWant store, which is the default setting on my GPS.
In the public’s perception, I will drop 20 years from my age and assume 10 years of hipness by just carrying an iPhone. I don’t even have to use it — I can say the battery is dead (again). But I must rise to this challenge, overcome technology and get back to making a living.
I enter the store. My Husband the Engineer, who knows what I should want and how much I should pay for it, is on his way because if there is any excess money to be spent on tech toys they need to be his. And he knows that techno power is wasted on me.
Amazingly, I am next in line at the store. A smiling 20-something strides over to me and asks what I want (need and want are two different things when dealing with technology).
“What do I want again?” I ask my husband over the techie’s phone. I repeat what he says, word by word, to him as John is speaking. The fellow gets a sweet, “Oh, you poor dinosaur” look on his face, and says, “Right over here . . . we’ll show you all the choices until your husband arrives.”
“No.” I say. “You don’t understand; I’m not pro-choice.” Well, not that kind.
His smile disappears, but he perks up when John arrives because he can spot a kindred soul. They lead me to the iPad section, where the boys figure they’ll get some playtime in.
“No guys, I just want a phone – a phone that lets me talk, get e-mail and take pictures. And I want out of here ASAP!”
Dejectedly, the salesman goes to the back room and returns ten minutes later with a box containing all the gadgetry he hopes to sell me. First things first — I have to be able to talk while driving.
“Where’s the headset?” I ask.
“You don’t have a Bluetooth?” he gasps.
“No, I use this,” pulling out my two-foot wire with the earphones. “I call it my ‘toothless.’ Works just fine.” John is wishing there were an app for disappearing.
Next, he pulls out a fancy cover. He can’t get the plastic off, so John whips out his Swiss Army knife.
“You know, a lot of my customers have had knives lately.” I wonder why … John confiscated mine before our second trip to the iWant store.
“I’m sure you don’t have a pink one with a poodle on it, so lets talk about how the phone works.”
“You’ll be using the GPS, I assume.”
“Does it talk to me?” I ask. He indicates that the iPhone doesn’t have that feature yet, “but it’s coming.” I’m sure; an iPhone laundry app will be here soon.
“No, thank you, I’ll just keep using my Garmin.”
“Garmin? I’ve been hearing that a lot lately,” he says. Could be because Garmins talk to you — loudly. And don’t answer, “I’m doing my hair tonight,” like Apple’s Suri when asked for a restaurant suggestion. Garmin is not on his radar.
“Pleeeease, can you just show me how to talk on the phone?”
Reluctantly, he reveals the secret to dialing a phone number. These teeny screen keys are not made for human fingers. And they don’t respond well to pointy little objects – unless they’re the kind Apple sells. They would never be included for free with the starter package. Fortunately, they, too, come in pink so I can deal with it.
“Gee, these keys are a lot smaller than my desktop’s,” I comment.
“Desktop?” So I define “desktop” for him.
By now I realize that the techie and I are in parallel universes and the only thing we agree on is that the iPhone will make me look way cool. I need to get out of there.
Recalling something about a trade-in (this is supposed to help minimize sticker shock on the iWant products) I ask him how much forfeiting the Blackberry will reduce my bill. He grimaces (only my ignorance and playing with the toys elicit smiles in this fellow) and gives me a four-dollar Verizon gift card, acknowledging what I believed all along — that the Blackberry was not worth a double latte.