Life With My Geek – The iPhone
My geek asked me to help him with a seemingly simple task. “Will you help me get a new cell phone?” Seems simple enough. Fairly straight forward. How hard could it be? An hour at the cell phone shop, sign a few papers, hand over the credit card, and ta-da!, you’ve got a new phone.
Not in geek land. Oh no. My version of “help me get a new cell phone” apparently came from mom world. For those of you not in the know, geek land is like some astral plane where you can send your entire consciousness out over a vast space at one time, time does not exist and no one has to drive; mom world, on the other hand, is a place where things are efficiently organized, errands are run in a tidy circle, and under no circumstances would a left turn have to be made across traffic.
Obsessive thoughts of cell phones and cellular carriers plague the geek. I get to listen to long, drawn out contrast and compare monologues punctuated with rate plan information and technical data on web platforms and other stuff that sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown. I only have one opinion to offer: it’s your phone, you’re using it, you should get what’s going to work for you.
More hemming and hawing. A final decision is finally made purchase an iPhone. An hour and a half is spent at the AT&T store ordering the iPhone. Of course they don’t have it in stock, so we’ll have to go back, again, to get it set up. The geek is supremely happy.
The geek goes to work and starts talking with other geeks about the ordered iPhone. Other geeks have opinions to offer on hardware and rate plans. My geek feels guilt over the cost of the iPhone, and is convinced by geek colleagues to cancel the impending iPhone and go with another touch screen device.
The geek needs me to go with him to pick up new device of choice. Of course, this is only after 2 days of being subjected to his obsessing on and on and on about how this new device really will serve his needs and will save us money. As he likes to remind me, he’s unemployed now and saving money would be a good thing. I tell him, again, that he needs to get a phone that’s going to do what he wants and will fit his needs as the user.
Off we go to the Sprint store. We spend over an hour there, and the geek gets a touch screen Samsung device. My geek regales me with stories about how much Scott Hanselman loves his Samsung. I set up the rate plan, sign the papers and hand over the credit card while he’s busy setting up the talk and turn GPS to get us home.
That’s right. Talk and turn to get us home from the store that we were able to arrive at perfectly well without the help of an electronic device. When the device starts talking I sort of want to punch the geek in the face.
The geek is pleased with the device.
Because the geek is busy quitting his day job, I am asked to go cancel the ordered iPhone. Fine, I’ll add it to the errands on that side of town. Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t seem to matter how many people are actually working in any given cellular phone store, there’s ALWAYS a line that you have to stand in. It takes45 minutes of my time to cancel the iPhone.
I start hearing the following from the geek: I hate this phone.
During this time, I get the following verbal diatribe every time the geek takes his phone out:
I . Hate. This. Phone. God-I-hate-this-phone!
The geek starts talking about getting an iPhone. Remember, the device he originally ordered, 5 hours of my time ago?
VERY sheepishly, the geek asks me to go with him to get the iPhone. Over an hour is spent at the AT&T store re-getting an iPhone. By the time I sign the papers and hand over the credit card it’s just me and Remus, the Romanian customer service dude. My geek is completely and totally sucked into his new device, and can only manage to grunt at me occasionally, while muttering non-stop to himself.
Then, back to the Sprint store to return rejected device from Week 2. This only takes about half an hour of my time, as there was, mercifully, no line. This transaction was done with the geek standing in the middle of the Sprint store, deeply, deeply involved with his new iPhone.
We get back in the car and my geek offers to take me to lunch. For my time and all that. Great. The geek makes me drive, sets the GPS talk and turn for a restaurant I already know how to get to, and then starts referring to the iPhone in first person.
He carries on an entirely one sided conversation, laughing his head off, keeping up the first person thing. About a phone.
Let’s recap, shall we? I’ve now spent 6 hours driving around and standing in lines to purchase a phone for someone else. I’m doing this because the geek asked for help, and in the end I get talk and turn GPS telling me how to get somewhere I damn well already know how to get to and first person references to a cellular device.
Remember the scene from Pan’s Labyrinth with the wine bottle? One more first person reference about the phone and that’s what’s going to happen to the geek’s face.
And the best part? This isn’t done yet. The geek has to go out of town next week, leaving me to get his DD214 from the safe deposit box (trip to the bank) to show to AT&T (ANOTHER trip) so he can get the military discount.
Go, people, get the iPhone. It seems to be the gift that just keeps giving…..