I took cool, calm strides toward the Verizon kiosk at the mall on a dreary October afternoon, showing none of my anger and frustration. No, all of that had been stored away in the little plastic capsule I held in my hand.There were four or five workers there with no customers. One, a woman who looked just a bit older than me, noticed my approach and greeted me.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
"Yes," I said, clutching the black capsule of annoyance. "My phone has gone haywire."
I woke up this morning, listening to surprising quiet that occupied the sounds of an alarm's vibration and a ringtone. Instead of listening to the defeault "hip hop guy," the soundtrack for many an early morning, I woke up to find my phone silent.
When I picked up the phone, attempting to turn off the other alarms I'd set, it started scrolling through the menu by itself.
This had happened once before, I think. I'm not quite sure how the problem solved itself, but it did.
I didn't feel like waiting to see if it would again.
Checking at different points of the day, I made sure my phone was still not cooperating before making the drive to the mall.
I made the trip to the mall between my two jobs, a crew positoin at McDonald's and a low-paying, foot-in-the-door job at the local newspaper's sports desk. I'm tolerating 15-hour work days in an attempt to put money toward student loans and savings. I'm not in the "99 percent," but I do kind of wish the promises of hard work and an education had managed to pull me away from fry vats full of Chicken McNuggets.
Today was payday, though, so I deposited most of my check into a savings account, keeping enough money for gas and about $20 for odds and ends or meals I might need on the go for the next two weeks. I put a couple gallons in my car, enough to get me through to Tuesday, when the local gas station cuts four cents off its advertised price.
I'm trying to be responsible with my money.
As soon as the word "haywire" escaped my mouth, the woman, wearing a pinstriped dress shirt and her brown hair slicked back into a curly ponytail, had already delivered her solution.
"Alright, let's get you a new phone."
I ignored her instant solution and put the phone on the counter in front of her. "Look," I said, in case she cared about what was wrong. "When you go to the main menu, it freaks out. It keeps doing things on its own."
I'd spent a while trying to fight the phone's attempts to turn my volume up, then even longer trying to turn it down after the phone won the first round.
She might have looked at my screen for a second, but the woman turned to her computer screen right away.
"I'm going to need your account name and your password," she said.
My goal for the day was to find someone at Verizon who could look at my phone and give a simple diagnosis, someone who could tell me they've seen the problem before, someone who could say, "Yeah, that's a bug in the software. Try resetting this" or "Hold down this button to settle it" or even, "No that's not good. The problem is *insert something specific*, and you'd need a new *insert technical term*."
Instead, the woman asked ME for information.
"I don't know," I said. "It's my parents' account."
"Do you knw the last four digits of their social secutiy numbers?"
No, I didn't. And I didn't know how that was going to solve my problem. I needed somene to look AT something I presented, not look UP something I didn't need.
"Can you call them and find that out?"
ON THE PHONE I JUST TOLD YOU WAS BROKEN?
Remember, I had just told her my phone wasn't cooperating.
At this point, I was annoyed. I asked her what she needed from the account.
"I need to see if there's insurance on this phone."
For some reason, we were on step seven or eight of how to fix the problem. I really just wanted the first step. All I wanted was to identify the problem, then figure out how to solve it.
"I just wanted to show you my phone," I said.
"It's broken," she said. "Buy new one."
At this point, I tried to mumble something about just bringing my phone there to show someone, to find out if it was really broken or check to see if anyone knew what was wrong with it or how to fix it.
I walked away from the kiosk in short, angry strides.
I'd always heard of the expression, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I never knew the other side of that was "It it is broke, don't fix it. Just buy another one."
No wonder out country is in so much economic turnoil.
- Current Mood: aggravated
- Current Music:"Outside" ~ Staind