My Cell Phone Is Toying With My Emotions

This was supposed to be a story about Fate.

And how Fate would lead me to buy an iPhone next Friday against my will.

It had all the right elements - tragedy, depression, desperation, serendipity - but then things kinda got screwed up. And now I can’t use Fate as my excuse for standing in line for hours to purchase a device that I don’t even really need and costs more than my first car. Okay, the word first was unnecessary, I admit.

Here’s the story, anyway. No longer about Fate. But about something important enough for blogging, I guess.

Last night I was talking to my girlfriend on the phone. My Samsung Trace (t519), to be precise. This is typical. She hangs up first and I hear the do-do-do-do arpeggio of disconnection. This is not typical. I usually end the call first, or at least pull the phone away from my ear before hearing that. I press my end key anyway - it’s a reflex - and, well, nothing happens. I don’t mean in the “of course nothing happened because you pressed the end key and it was already ended” kind of way. Pressing the end key always does something - there is feedback. This did nothing. Dread set in. I pressed another key - nothing. Another - nothing. I tried out the key combo to “unlock” the keypad - nothing. I mashed at buttons in disbelief. The screen went black (power-saving function). I freaked out.

Then more things went wrong. I couldn’t find - anywhere - my old phone. My brother’s only spare phone is an unlocked (dammit!) Cingular. I had an idea: why not try to call myself. Luckily we still have a land line, even though it is almost never used, and the call went through. My phone rang. But I couldn’t answer it. Defeated, I ended the call.

I searched online and found one relevant result - a poor soul who experienced the exact problem. He said that he could turn his phone on after removing the battery, but nothing else. I removed the battery, put it back, turned it on (yep, it worked), and then nothing. The buttons still refused to work, and One Missed Call (from “Me”) greeted me like a mean person greets you.

So I did the only sensible thing - I called T-Mobile. Here’s where some magic comes in: I immediately got connected to a real person - a very nice, loud, pleasant, understandable, male voice (who later told me he had friends in the military ages ago who took him to Prospect Park - just down the road from me - how nice!). And he was helpful. I explained to him all the steps I took (making my story seem a little less panicked, of course, and he checked to see if my phone was under warranty. For a second I hoped it wasn’t - an irrational dream of turning this awful experience into something beautiful, an excuse to buy a gorgeous iPhone. But it was covered, and he asked me a few more questions to confirm my eligibility for a replacement (“Is the screen cracked?” “Is there water damage?” etc.), then read some blah blah blah stuff and assured me that by Tuesday I would have my new phone (this is the expedited - $15 shipping option). Good service from T-Mobile. Made a bad night better.

I plugged in my phone to charge overnight for the hell of it.

This morning, it worked. Damn.