I severely lack cell game

Leslie Silverman

So I finally broke down and bought a new to me phone this week.


It was, as I expected, a terrible experience. I hate phones.


I think they are a royal pain in the you-know-what and I cannot be trusted with them in any way. I have the cheesiest of data plans — a pay as you go prepaid plan on the world’s “greatest” network (with the world’s worst customer service).


I tried to replace my 10-year-old LG K4 last summer. I ordered a reasonably priced replacement through the 1-800 number. It came to my house.


Clueless me took it to the “No Truth Horizon” store in town to activate. They activated it and handed me instructions on how to move my stuff from one phone to another. It was like handing me the “Iliad” in ancient Greek.


I set up camp at the store refusing to leave until a human actually helped me. They did, and three hours later I was home trying to enjoy my phone when I noticed that I could not text, not “giggle” nor “facegram”...merely call. Sigh.


The next day I drove back to the “No Truth Horizon” store and set up camp again. 


Perplexed, the techs there could not figure out why my phone wasn’t working and agreed to replace it...only there wasn’t any of this type left in the entire system.


Taking this as a message from God I gave up and reactivated my nearly dead K4 phone...it lasted another seven months until this week when it no longer recognized anything I was typing. Sigh.


I figured seven months was enough time to have forgotten my last “No Truth Horizon” adventure. I was wrong.


I went into the store and was told that I would be better off buying a phone at Wallymart or, get this, Walgrims. I opted for the former, but since everyone sucks up cheap, imported goods at low prices, they were sold out of virtually every phone in existence. (With the current corona zombie apocalypse upon us I should have known better — I mean if we are all quarantined without our Candy Crush we would likely all die anyhow!)


On a friend’s suggestion I went to “Never the Best Buy,” another of my favorite big box retailers where I leave more confused than when I came in.


I just grabbed the first SonofSamsung phone I saw in a box, made certain I could activate it by a simple phone call and was on my way.


Later that night I sat down to make the call. I was nervous. Shaking even. I wondered how long it would take. The minute I got hung up on trying to speak with a human I doubled down, prepared for more than the hour I had budgeted.


I couldn’t even get past the endless automated system to get to the person. I tried every combination I could think of, zero, operator, entered my cell number, did the hokey pokey, twitched my nose, did a Jeanie blink...nothing!


I was near tears when alas...a human. I told him I was old. I told him I was clueless. (I take full responsibility for my lack of phone savvy.)


I can say he was patient. He tried really hard to get me to take the SIM card out of my new phone. Haha. I wasn’t falling for that trick (I was so sure I was going to break it that I wouldn’t even try, even though he kept saying, “you can do it!”).


I read him the “IMANIDIOT” code instead. It worked. It was activated. We got disconnected because, duh, I was calling from the only other phone I had...my old  K4. 


Great. No worries. I turned my new phone on and...what’s this? A password?  A log in?  I don’t know any of those! I panicked.


I was an hour in and my head was spinning. I knew I couldn’t live without a phone and going to the store the next day was not an option.


I had to risk it. I had to find an ancient landline and navigate the great phone maze web to get a human being back on the line again. I had already forgotten the secret code and once more heard, “we are sorry you are having trouble, goodbye,” again.


I’m sorry, but if 911 said that to me I’d be dead. I guess “No Truth Horizon” thinks it’s survival of the fittest out here in phone world.


Alas. A human. Female and again patient! By the end of my two-hour ordeal I had a working phone.


I was tired. Like I had just gone a full 10 rounds with a giant...but I had won!


That victory was short-lived. I gave my phone to a kid the next day to transfer my contacts — it took him 30 seconds. He likely could have activated it in less time.


I realized at that moment just how hopeless my situation is. I am thinking colleges could make money by teaching phone newbees like myself how to handle life in this century.


I have yet to move anything else over. I feel so disconnected from the rest of the world that appear to love their phones so much they sleep next to them.


They are so engulfed in “staying connected” they don’t even bother to continue to stay alive by looking up from them to cross the street. I am clearly an alien in this alternate dimension where phones now dominate our existence and human interaction requires an endless web of secret codes, endless loops and an extra appendage we cannot live without.

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