The long and the short of it is that my iPhone 6S+ went to mobile phone hell over a week ago. First my dad dies and then I lose my cell phone. God, why have you lead me into this desert to die!?
You don’t understand. On two fronts, having a working phone is important to me. The first and what should be most important is that it’s a modern “convenience” we’ve become reliant on as a people. “You, know,” said my dear wife, “we lived without cell phones for a long time…” as if to imply that I didn’t really need to replace it just yet. “True”, I thought. “We also lived without indoor plumbing for centuries,” I said as I took a sledgehammer to our toilet. Perhaps the circumstances caused me to be a tad out of sorts. But having that phone has absolved us of the responsibility of lots of things. For instance, we don’t remember seven digit phone numbers anymore, we don’t really worry should our car break down, and we don’t seem to know how to read a map. Now, people of my age and up actually do know how to do these things but man that phone makes clearing space in our minds for other things so much easier. What kind of things? Well, just the other day I was able to recall the name of the judge in the Anna Nicole Smith wrongful death case. I was pretty proud of myself too.Then there’s the professional front. Look, I’m a popular (if not well-paid, respected by anyone over the age of 16, or likely to advance from my current job ever) teacher. That little device in my pocket (no, the other one) allows me to tweet, check email for call-backs on administrative jobs I won’t get, and take selfies with the kids because they need me to. Think of the hundreds of teenagers who’s lives are enriched each day by my iPhone. Now think of the alternative. Do you really want to live in that kind of world? I didn’t think so.
So I took a trip to the Apple Store. There I was greeted with a “genius” (I still laugh at that term) who’s only advice was that I should purchase a new phone. My warranty was up three months earlier and I had not purchased Apple Care (the extended warranty). In my mind: this was not my fault and your product should have lasted. At the very least I expected some gesture – a small token even – that the company was willing to help out since this was a defect in their product. But, nothing…
I came home; wrote a nasty, filthy blog; tweeted angrily; and went to bed resolved to live as long as I could without the chains of an iPhone tying my to the grid and the man. I’ll show them.
OK, I lasted a week. Again, I was proud of myself. Larry Seidlin. That was the judge in Dannielyn’s paternity case. I almost said Sanders Saul but he was a Florida Justice who ruled in Bush v. Gore. How silly of me. Anyway, I was doing quite well. I borrowed my wife’s phone when I went ride-share driving. I figured no one was calling back on my outstanding resumes. Basically, everything was fine. And then my mom tracked me down on my wife’s line. “Are you gonna’ get that thing replaced,” she asked, “because I really miss talking with you every day.” We Facetime regularly, every day since my dad died. This gave me a bit more reason to reverse my thinking.
But I still wanted satisfaction. I filled out the Apple Store email survey, still raging with rage (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and fired it off to “Craig”, the manager. Craig called me (wife’s line since I didn’t have a phone) and left a message. We played phone tag for the week. Finally on Friday afternoon I reached him. I told him again how dismayed I was at his company’s lack of any kind of sympathy for my situation and he basically said “yeah, that’s nice.”
I hung up the phone and vowed never to buy another Apple product, tweeting to that effect and angrily too.
By the way, can you believe it’s been ten years?! Poor siliconed thing died too young if you ask me. I understand most of her body is still intact as it was non-organic matter.
And then, I don’t know what it was, but something clicked in my brain. Although it had never been framed or presented this way and although I certainly should have known, I didn’t connect that the $329 cost of the replacement phone WAS only half the cost of a new phone of the same make. In other words, it still sucks that I’d have to pay that much for something that wasn’t my fault but Apple WAS making a good-faith gesture to make it right.
You know what that means, right?
It meant that I had all of Friday night to drink it over. Ever hear of a Freudian slip?
By Saturday morning I had concluded that it was time to set things right with Mom, with my students, and with Craig.
But that still left the matter of the 3 bills I’d need to come up with to replace this baby. See, I’m a teacher and the previous owner of my house chopped down his money tree before he moved. Bastard. I hear he had a stroke a few months later. See, money can’t buy you happiness, or vascular health. Actually, I had wanted to handle this all by my little self. My wife does everything. She’s good at it too. But sometimes I feel like I want to try to handle crises without having to bother her. She also manages our family finances. She really good at that too. But it means that no matter what, I kind of need to go through her for a purchase of this nature. Being without a phone for a week left me depressed and in no mood to ride-share so I wasn’t making the money that way.
You know what that means, right?
“Hey Babe, do you think I could have a few hundred dollars?…”
“I was just waiting for you to ask,” she said.
So off I slank to the Apple Store. My plan was to disguise myself so Craig wouldn’t notice me. When last I was there I had been wearing a tee shirt with guns all over it (it was from the range), sporting a perfectly bald head, looking pretty pumped up after a workout, and a nicely trimmed goattee forming my solid jaw. You know I’m completely exaggerating this.
Hmm… How would they not recognize me this time?
I dressed like a “genius”. Solid blue tee, jeans, I had let the beard grow hipster-scraggly during the week, and I pretended to live with my mother.
Like a burglar in a Fosse musical I slipped in the front door and, bracing my back and palms against the wall, I creeped around to the genius bar in the back of the store. People were staring. They don’t look when a customer brings a mastiff dog weighing 4,000 lbs into this joint but me they gape at. “Picking up a replacement phone. Harvey’s the name.”
And that was it. Half an hour later I was on my way home and all was semi-right with the world. I did try to locate Craig to apologize in person but he was busy with other customers.
On the long drive home I thought about how to make this right. It’s no fun eating crow and admitting you were wrong. In the end I decided a general message to Apple in a well-read internet presence would catch their attention. Unfortunately all I have is this blog. But here goes…
Dear Apple, I’m sorry. I regret my hasty actions. I will never stray again. Please don’t hate me. Love, Harvey.
And Judge Seidlin never did get his own courtroom show. Shame. He was a character.