I'm sure that my loyal readers (all two of you) have been waiting with baited breath to find out what happened vis-a-vis my mobile phone. Did I go with Verizon or Alltel? Did I pick out a phone? Was Steve helpful?
My mother had ideas in her head about asking my brother Scooter for help picking out a phone and a plan. Bad idea, I told her. I knew, from a twenty-minute conversation I had with him during a spring training game, that my brother thinks we should switch to T-Mobile and buy used iPhones for him to hack. Never mind the fact that I don't want an iPhone, and my mother's ADD brain would explode from app overload.
And in any case, I said, nice men like Steve and Traffic Director guy are paid to explain these things to us. Why not let them do their jobs? So my mother and I went in to the Alltel store on Tuesday. Much to my chagrin, the aforementioned Steve was busy with a telephone call. Instead, we were helped by a young man named Michael, whose hair strongly resembled Alltel Chad's, only darker. I found myself wondering if there was a company policy about Chad Hair, and if maybe Steve's neat haircut meant he was a Verizon guy.
Anyway. Michael turned out to be very helpful, although if I'm honest I'd have preferred Steve if only because his desk was one of the lower ones. Michael had one of the side desks that sits about four feet high so we had to climb up onto these bar stools that were not meant for short people. But I digress. First things first: a plan. Michael showed us what we had, and what he recommended since my mother is starting her own business. She looked at me a fair few times for an opinion, which was a darn shame, because I had none. I don't actually use my phone for phone calls most of the time, so it made no difference to me how many minutes we ended up with.
As my mother compared plans, I asked Michael about the Verizon-Alltel merger. September, apparently, is when our Alltel bill becomes a Verizon bill.
"Will that Chad guy be out of a job?" I asked, staring at a promotional poster.
"Everyone asks me that," Michael said. "I've never even seen an Alltel commercial. I have TiVo."
"They're annoying," I told him. I didn't add that even if he'd never seen the commercial, he'd clearly seen the print adds and taken one in to SuperCuts with him. Finally we picked a plan, mostly because I said, "This looks good. Let's go with this one."
But what phones to buy? I know that, had things been different and I'd been in there with my father, I would have walked out with a Hue II (interchangeable faceplates make it pink). Maybe a Banter, although I don't like the idea of a sliding half. Won't it collect pocket lint and crumbs? What if it snags and breaks off?
My mother knew what she wanted, for the most part, and walked away with a cherry red BlackBerry Curve. Her main qualifications for a phone were a qwerty keypad and e-mail-checking ability. My main qualifications were an SD slot and the option to get one in pink.
I circled the phone display for an hour all together. I knew what I needed. And I knew what I wanted. And I got it - a pink BlackBerry Pearl. We went back to Michael's desk to get the phones set up. Steve came over to help. He is, apparently, a Data Transfer Specialist. It said so on his nametag.
"Do you get a special parking space?" I asked.
He said no, but I could tell he was thinking he probably should. Especially once he said so. I found myself liking Steve a little less. Up close, his hair didn't look as neat.
But the important thing is, after two and a half hours (during which time Scott told my mother on the phone that she should switch to T-Mobile), we walked out of there with new phones and a slightly better monthly plan. Which just goes to show, you can't judge a phone salesman by his hairstyle, or a mobile phone company by their incredibly inane commercials.