Today I went shopping for a new phone. It was lost over the weekend and I’m pretty confident that because my phone looked like I threw it at walls for fun, I will find it returned to my doorstep sooner than later. Today was the day I had to make the choice: stay within my means and buy a new phone at the best price. Or take a risk and buy the most popular phone in hopes that my charge card doesn’t come back declined.
After an extended conversation with the T-mobile sales rep about promotions that were not designed to save me any money, I was about ready to die and come back as a cell phone. This way, I could avoid a monthly fee just to comfortably co-exist with the rest of humanity.
Verizon is selling the iPhone—the phone, which a few of my friends and most other people swear by. The cost of it did not put my wallet into shock. The added feature of being able to call five friends from outside of my network without using my whenever minutes was a mediocre perk. However, the monthly plan amounts to two street sweeping tickets and I have no wish to pay triple digits for conversation. I presume most people don’t. But the fact that we do, when the money could be going to better things that shape human morality, is reason for me to stage a mini-protest and walk out of the store…
..and into the lesser of evils…AT&T.
They had something shiny and sleek looking. It uses a different operating system than I am accustomed to. So, if I buy this phone, I would be learning something new and increasing my intellectual capital. Sounds like a fair trade. After three stores and several conversations that sounded like raining poop, I think I might have found a phone for me.
I was at the check out counter, happy because I have two gift cards to cushion the hit my checking account was about to take. The sales rep asks for my I.d. I pull out my debit card. It has a photo on it of me that was taken almost a decade ago and on a day I had severe allergies. I was afraid that she, like most people, would either laugh at the way my face swells in spring, or hold it in and ask for an alternate I.d. She did the latter. I left my smile on the counter and walked toward the exit. I had left my I.d at home and was not able to reap tangible benefits from the web of data plans I wanted to so badly to crawl out of.
I’ve never understood why I.d. matter so much when doing things like buying a phone or returning an unwanted item? What is more convincing: a piece of laminated paper with a photo of me on it, or the breathing human standing right in front of you? Perhaps there is a rumor going around that I was birthed to aliens who have a pact with Jay-Z and Beyoncé to rule earth and convert everyone into severely disciplined performance artists. That must be it.
This planet has a way of occasionally sucking and so does every single cell phone within it. But because I done messed around and got myself a job that insists I be communicative, I will begrudgingly go back to AT&T, with proof that I am human, and proceed with my purchase.
Here’s to technology. Its hustlers, and the hassle.