Then came the decision-making...was it time for a Smartphone? We'd been oddly resistant to getting those. Maybe it's because neither of us lives by our phone, and the most common usage we had was talking to each other during the long commutes. Since we can do that phoneless now, it's really just for emergencies and the random calls/chats from friends. We barely text and even the flip phones we've been using had music capability that we just didn't use.
The pro side of the decision included having access to maps/GPS while out and about and the occasional advantage of checking prices on the interwebs.
The clincher was that the iPhone 4S was being released on Friday (today) and the iPhone 3G was free. SOLD! We trundled off to the local AT&T Store
At this point I must divulge that something odd happens to us every time we are in this particular store. I'm not sure if it's because it's usually after a long day of work, or if it's just the ambiance of a lot of townsfolk amidst the cornucopia of technology. Whatever the case, we run the schtick very well, the banter flowing freely between us and the hapless salesperson struggling to either keep us in line or not pee him/herself from laughter (usually the latter).
It started when he asked how I used my phone. Somehow my answer of "to make phone calls" was shocking in this modern day and age, because I was then grilled as to whether or not I listened to music (no), emailed (no), surfed the web (no), yadda yadda. I then confessed that while I could take pictures, I couldn't find them afterward and that I had call waiting but could never figure out how to take an incoming call while on another one. Pretty much what I could do was dial the phone, hang it up and play with the volume.
He then asked the most embarrassing question ever. "What do you do for work?" (It didn't help that Mr. Eggshells started laughing at the question...he knew what was coming.)
Here was where I had to admit that I worked as a Project Coordinator. For a company that worked almost exclusively with wireless phone carriers. For several years now. Which was preceded by almost fifteen years working in the wireline (regular telephone) industry.
None of this means I would necessarily know how to operate a phone, but honestly...being in the industry for 20 years, and having opposable thumbs, should at least provide the understanding of the basics.
All good salespeople need to school their responses so as not to offend potential sales. This situation was no different, since he couldn't have any idea how self-deprecating I am or that I don't offer information about myself that could be used to mock me without being prepared for the mock. He did very well with not responding to that.
But then, I wasn't quite finished.
"I'm also the IT Help Desk."
He couldn't manage to keep the look of incredulity off his face. I figured in for a penny, in for a pound. "I'm one of the three most technical people in my company. I can fix computers and troubleshoot network issues. I am an expert in Microsoft Office and an above-average user in most other software. I administrate the project database. But I cannot for the life of me work a mobile phone."
By now Mr. Eggshells had his hand over his mouth so he didn't scare anyone with his hooting. The sales guy had no idea how to respond to this, so I told him it's okay to laugh. Because it is - fortunately I don't feel the need to be defined by my ability to use a phone (thank goodness!).
Which was maybe the problem all along. I have to know so much in so many other areas of my life, the phone was the straw that tipped the scales (ooh, look at that mixed metaphor there!).