Is my humiliation complete yet?

So as you know, my iPhone met it's maker after being dropped down the toilet, and I am currently borrowing a brick temporary mobile phone from a friend.

Pic.No.1. My borrowed P900 Sony Ericsson


I have been lugging the thing around all week (it won't fit in my pocket), getting sympathetic looks from people who were thinking that maybe I should have bought a trolley for it.

It's got my street-cred in tatters. The phone rings, I pick it up to answer it, and people gasp in horror. And their eyes widen. It was when I started receiving texts that I realised how archaic the phone actually was. This was because the date on the texts reflected the date the phone was last used...... February 2005!

Bloody Nora! That's before Izzy was born and it was a year before the last World Cup. Tony Blair was still Prime Minister. But hey, I have got to remain positive; at least I don't have to carry the battery around in a suitcase - that would make my humiliation complete.

Pic.No.2. 'Excuse me missus, can I borrow your phone?'


Anyway, today my mobile phone started playing up. When I answered calls, it seemed to connect ok, but I couldn't hear the other person. Same when I dialled out - connected, but no sound. It was infuriating.

Following a day of being incommunicado, I decided to contact my Network Provider, O2 to see if they could shed light on the issue. I had to use my landline obviously, because my mobile wouldn't connect, and after navigating automated bloody menus for 3 minutes (I have a timer on my display), I finally got through to a chap in a foreign call center with a barely understandable accent. Grrrrrrr.

I explained the problem, and after listening to him tap his keyboard for a few minutes, he authoritatively declared that 'the antenna in the Oxfordshire area was down'.

"Well when is it coming back up?" I asked him in disbelief. My disbelief stemmed from the fact that my TV service has also been down since February because the engineers accidentally set fire to the TV antenna. It was like a comedy sketch ..... a band of hapless, semi-skilled engineers terrorising Oxfordshire inhabitants with their exploits. 

"Probably next week some time," he replied. Next week?! .........  Probably?! Sacre Bleu!

I hung up and sat at my desk for five minutes with steam coming out my ears, when I heard my front door knocker sound.

It was Steve, coming round to drop some stuff off that I needed. We were chatting when all of a sudden, his mobile phone rung and he answered it....... hang on a minute, I thought the Oxfordshire antenna was 'down' - how can he take calls when he uses the same O2 network?

In a flash I was back on the phone to O2, I navigated the 3 minutes of auto-menus and finally got through to another call centre worker.

"What can we help you with today Dr Dickens?" he asked.

"Well, my mobile phone doesn't work and I was told it was because the Oxfordshire antenna was 'down', but I know other people are making and receiving calls with no problem." I replied.

"Let me have a look," the chap said, and I heard the keyboard tip-tapping. "No, there is nothing wrong with the Oxfordshire antenna," he concluded.

"So why was I told there was a problem?" I queried.

"He probably didn't know what else to say," replied the call centre worker cheerily. What kind of an answer is that? Are you kidding me? I would have sat there for a week waiting for my phone to work after a non-existent problem was fixed, only to find out that the problem was something else entirely different. Grrrrrrr.

I contained myself.... it wasn't this poor chap's fault that I had been fed a load of baloney.

"So," I asked evenly, "what do you think might be the solution to the fact that my phone doesn't work?"

Still cheery (don't be cheery goddamit!), he answered, "I think your handset is knackered. What make is it?"

"A P900 Sony Ericsson," I replied, ashamedly, my cheeks burning.

Call centre man gasped, "blimey, have you been breaking into museums?" then added, "is it powered by a hamster's wheel?" before dissolving into laughter at his own joke.

I remained stony-faced, but the impact was lost on call centre man because he couldn't see me. I reiterated, "so what might be the problem?"

"The hamster has probably died of old age," he guffawed heartily before realising that I wasn't laughing with him. The laughter slowed, and then ground to a halt with a small clearing of his throat. "Erm, have you tried turning the handset on and off?" he asked sheepishly.

"Ermmm no, actually I haven't," I answered with embarrassment.... it seemed such an obvious thing to do, and I had overlooked it.

"Well, give it a go now and let's see what happens," said call centre man.

I turned the brick off. Waited a moment. Then turned it back on.

"Try and ring someone, so I can see if the problem is fixed," call centre man responded after I told him the phone was now rebooted.

Somewhat tentatively, I dialled my landline..... it rang..... it connected to the voicemail..... it bloody worked!

How stupid did I feel? ..... "it works now," I whispered with humiliation.

The feeling of humiliation didn't last long after call centre man said; "Great! so the hamster wasn't dead, just in a coma," renewing his hilarity.

"Look. I normally have an iPhone," I snapped.

"Of course you do," he said, making me sound like a wannabe. Grrrrrrr.

The call ended, and I concluded that I seriously needed to get a new phone. A new iPhone..... all shiney and lovely, and skinny and light.

Right, that's my first job next week.

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