Last Friday I was in the Apple Store to get my Macbook fixed. While the big problem was a wire showing through the cord, I also had a jammed USB port and a few dead pixels. The two minor problems were covered under Apple Care, but I’d resisted getting them fixed because I couldn’t stand the thought of going a few days without my laptop. “Are you fine going a couple days without the laptop?” the blue shirt in the Apple Store asked me.
“Two days?” I said. My bottom lip quivered a little.
“We’ll probably have it back by Sunday. Monday at the latest.”
“But it’s Friday. Okay. I suppose. Let’s do it.”
He took my computer. I didn’t have a choice.
Two days without my laptop was not an option. I’m much too important. That’s not the word. Much too ADHD. That’s the word.
So I turned to one of the other blue shirts and resorted to what I considered my only option. I said, “Hi, I’d like to buy an iPhone.”
“Go talk with Ben over there,” she said.
I walked over to Ben. I should note this was not an impulse buy. I’d been turning it over in my head for the better part of a year, and with my relatively recent foray into teaching classes on Social Media, I didn’t have much of a choice.
A friend, Dylan, has been on my back for a while about this. “You’re teaching classes on Social Media but you don’t have a smartphone?”
“I’m on top of what’s happening,” I said.
“Yes. Just like reading articles on dating makes you qualified as a love coach.”
“What’s a love coach? Point taken.”
Conversations like that sat with me.
At the counter I said, “I’d like to get the 8gig 4s.”
“16gig is the smallest amount.”
I asked about battery life concerns on the 4 vs. the 4s, and what was happening with privacy concerns in regards to the contact list. We talked Mountain Lion as well. I wanted Ben to respect me despite my flip phone.
After choosing black, Ben led me to the set up counter where an employee was helping an 80 year old lady with how to start using her iPad. It was a lost cause. Between the octogenarian’s questions, he checked in on me as I picked through the menus on the phone, starting it up. It was straightforward right up to the point where we tried to transfer the numbers from my old flip phone to the iPhone.
“You’ll need to go to a Verizon Store to get this transferred,” he said.
“Do you know where the closest one is?” I asked.
He pulled out my iPhone and in half a minute showed me. I had that power now.
The first Verizon Store said they didn’t have the right cord and told me to go to another Verizon store on National. I got lost on the way there. Apparently there’s more than one National. While driving, I pulled out my iPhone and found out how to get there. I had that power now.
At the second Verizon Store they tried hooking the two phones up to a machine, only to decide it wasn’t possible.
“Did your old phone even charge?” the staff asked.
“I’ve been using it for two years. I’d hope so,” I said, “What else can you try? I’m not entering 180 numbers manually.”
“Hold up. It looks like it’s hooking into the system, but even that there’s no way it will connect to the iPhone because of the internal system Verizon uses.”
“Could you upload it somewhere online, then load those numbers into another phone that does use Verizon’s internal system, and then transfer from that phone?” I asked.
“It would take a while,” he said.
“I can wait,” I said.
“Are you sure? Most people aren’t that patient.”
“It’s between that and entering them all in manually. Besides, I’ve got this new toy to amuse me.” I had that power now.
For the first half hour I downloaded various apps. The 3G went down, so for the next half hour I was forced to have a conversation with the crazy lady sitting across from me.
“I’d love to see what Santorum said if one of his kids was raped by someone of color, got pregnant and they had to deal with that. Would not be good for his campaign,” she said.
“So what you’re suggesting,” I said, “is that the Democratic Party should hire a black man to rape Santorum’s daughter to hurt his campaign? That seems like a controversial choice.”
The conversation continued in that matter. It was excruciating. The thought of going another half an hour without the iPhone working was unbearable.
‘That did not take long to get addicted,’ I thought.
Eventually the Verizon store got the numbers to transfer.
While I’m excited about this whole iPhone thing, I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do with it. Despite already having downloaded a couple dozen apps, I’m still learning some of the most basic features. For instance, I haven’t typed a new contact into the phone yet.
I recognize the iPhone is a secret finding x-ray beam, and since its invention, I’ve been held to at a higher standard. I’m expected to respond to emails immediately, get anywhere in town with nothing more than an address, participate in facebook and twitter and foursquare, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of any subject. We’re living in an open book test version of reality now, and smart phones are that book. I’ve been playing a game of catch up, trying to live on an iphone level of connectedness without one, and it finally caught up to me.
It’s nice to finally have caught up to 2008.