Tuesday, January 6, 2015
SLICE OF LIFE
I am one of the last surviving people on this planet who has not yet given up my flip phone.
In fact, I bought a new one last week.
I am a flip phone goddess.
It's not an easy title to hold. People make fun of me all the time. My boys, both owners of iphones, refuse to be seen in public with me when I am using my flip phone. When I do playground duty, the middle school kids regularly ask me what time it is, simply so they can crowd around and laugh as I pull out my flip phone. Even my eighty-year-old mother has suggested I might like to upgrade. And I would kind of like a phone with a camera.
But the flip phone definitely has its advantages. Take last week, for instance, when I accidentally left my old phone in my pocket. And washed it. And had to get a new phone. For some people, replacing a phone would be a major purchase. For me, not so much. I can usually get my flip phones for anywhere between $5 and $15, depending on which model is available on any given day.
I march into the local big box store, like I always do. I know exactly where the flip phones are kept. This week they are on sale. $7.94. Including tax.
My favorite part of the whole buying experience is watching the sales clerks watch me pick out my phone. They all kind of huddle together. Elbowing each other. Snickering "Look, here she comes again. That lady that buys the flip phones."
I'm a strong woman though, not easily shaken by the opinion of the crowd. I select my new flip phone. March up to the counter. Make my purchase. Request help with the SIM card. The lucky sales clerk that gets to help me is usually shadowed by two or three peers, wanting to get a closer look at the lady that's buying the flip phone.
Last week, I ran into a little problem. The clerk couldn't get the SIM card to sync right. He told me I would have to go across the street to the ATT store. So I did. I expected to make another grand societal splash, but I wasn't quite so lucky. A young man who had played basketball with my son was working.
"Hi, K's mom. What can I do for you?" he said. I explained my situation. Ty's a nice guy. He didn't even blink, just opened up the back of my new phone and got right to work. It took him about two minutes, then he snapped the back in place, and handed it back to me.
"You want me to check and see if you are eligible for an upgrade?" he said.
"No I'm good. But thanks," I smiled and tucked my flip phone in my purse and marched out of the store.
That might have been the end of the story. Unfortunately, though, a couple of days later, I needed to charge my flip phone (flip phones hold a charge much longer than one of those fancy smart phones!). And I went to get the charger out of the plastic container. And discovered it had accidentally been left out of the package. Or left at the big box store.
So I had to go back and repeat the whole experience all over again. March into the Big Box store. Ignore the incredulous looks. Purchase my phone. Request help with the SIM card. Get sent back to the ATT store (I don't think these young whipper snapper clerks know how to work with classic flip phones). That day, Ty wasn't working and the store manager helped me while everyone else watched. This time the crowd included not only the sales clerks, but also several fascinated customers.
"You want me to check and see if you are eligible for an upgrade?" said the store manager.
"No I'm good. But thanks," I smile, tuck my flip phone in my purse, and walk confidently out of the store, rubbing my tiara.
It's not easy being a flip phone goddess.