Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Smart" Phone Problems Possibly Solved

What better way to start my day than going to a phone store? I checked in by giving my phone number to the guy at the door, which weirded me out a bit. He told me three people were in front of me, and to take a look around or to take a seat. I chose a seat. Being in a phone store is a bit like torture for me. In addition to being surrounded by things that make no sense to me, there is the horrible music to contend with, plus a back-lit billboard-like advertisement covering an entire wall. It's so bright that even if you are facing away from it, you can still see it, still sense it there, demanding your attention, your submission.

Others are seated, waiting, silent, patient or perhaps having given up. This is their life now. Slowly the past is sucked out of existence, memory and hope replaced with ringtones and bad pop music. Where did we come from? How do we get back? There is no way back. This is it.

My number was suddenly called. It was like I had won the lottery. I was so pleased, so excited, being admitted to some exclusive club. Actually, he called my name, not my number. It might have been funnier if he'd called out my phone number. Julio, the employee, was really helpful. It took him several minutes to see what was causing me to be unable to hear folks who call me. Finally he determined it was because I had turned off the phone sounds. I explained that I just didn't want the phone to beep or ring or make any other noises. But of course I'd want to be able to hear someone once I'd answered the phone. I can't imagine why someone would want that shut off. Why is that even an option? When would you want to make a call and not hear the other person? Okay, actually I can think of a couple of times when that would have been advantageous.

He then helped me set up a voice mail account, and got rid of a few things that the phone was doing on its own. When I missed a call yesterday, the phone sent out two text messages saying, "I'm in class." I wasn't in class (though, interestingly, the set was at a high school, so I was close to being in class). He deleted that message as an option. He said I must have sent that message by mistake. I assured him I did no such thing, that I hadn't even discovered the page with those pre-set messages. The phone had done it on its own, which I admit scares me. He told me it would no longer do that. We'll see.

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