I finally succumbed yesterday and decided to upgrade my phone. In these days of flashy all singing and dancing affairs I had to admit that my clapped-out chunky scrap of metal had definitely seen better days.
With a resigned breath, I made the decision to go into a phone shop – my most loathed of all retail outlets.
So I found myself staring blankly, in a dazed state, at a wall of plastic prototypes – all of which looked alarmingly similar (albeit some were longer, wider or brighter). My confused, pained face obviously attracted the attention of the small chap behind the counter – who I believe was using the desk as a prop to hold himself upright – certainly he looked as if he’d only had two hours sleep.
I knew that feeling…
His bored, monotone voice was laced with an undercurrent of contempt which he didn’t even bother to disguise. He could see that I was one of them. A ‘techno-idiot’.
“So what exactly is the difference?” I asked lamely, pointing randomly at the display in front of me.
He rolled his sunken eyes and drew a slow breath. The type you draw when you try and explain something new to an elderly parent, or worse my eccentric dad after his second pint.
“Well…that one there was released in April…that one over there in February and the one in the far corner last week. Basically that one is the same as that one but made by another company and that one is a bit similar to that one…”
“But there must be a difference…?”
And that is where I lost him…as his voice began to drone on about standby times, downloads and bloody apps. I mean, why the hell is everything about apps nowadays, I surprised I can still have s**t by myself without being told that there is an “app for that”.
I ended up gazing down at my poor battered phone, that could barely cope with turning itself on and off let alone any of this funky stuff – and I actually felt sorry for it. When was the world taken over by these bloody “apps” – were my mobile and I asleep when it happened?
So I left the shop no better advised and trudged half-heartedly into a competitor, wondering if things would be clearer there.
The guy in this shop was the complete opposite to my last experience; he was like a puppy on acid, bouncing around the shop eager to find a bone to clench between his shiny white teeth. Immediately I knew I did not want to be his “bone”
He invaded my personal space quicker than a drunken aunt, craning his face into mine as if he was about to perform an examination of my throat. I could smell faint garlic on his breath.
He spoke rapidly and his questions were bewildering “what sort of user was I?” “Was I a dolphin?” (What the f**k?!) and finally, “what did I look for in MY phone?…”
“To make calls, texting…” I answered meekly. “Do a bit of internet…that’s all…”
I felt like my answers were boring – that I had failed some kind of MOBILE PHONE TEST. I suddenly wanted to be more interesting and hated this guy instantly for making me feel like a boring knob.
“Would you like a dongle??” He asked, almost suggestively.
This was when I nearly fled the shop in horror. What the f**k was a dongle? It sounded bloody awful – like something the boys would talk about at school at the back of the classroom.
“Yeah…I gave her a dongle…she was up for it”
And then it made me think of the dog in the magic roundabout which was somehow worse.
This guy, this young slick guy who probably dreamt about bloody mobile phones every single sweaty night – reeked of desperation as he began to throw meaningless discounts at me, slagged off my current provider and boasted about what a successful salesman he was. But the one thing he didn’t do was try to help me find a phone that would suit me – or advise me which phone was actually best.
So I did what I should have done in the first place, I went home, did a bit of research on the internet, made a call, threatened my provider a bit and ended up with a reasonable deal.
My swanky new phone arrives tomorrow –but whether I will get my head around the “apps” is another matter (or blog) entirely.
As for my old phone…it will be retired to the sock drawer. And yes, stupidly I do feel a bit sorry for the poor little bugger.