Three weeks. That’s how long it’s been since my wife and I purchased our his and her cellphones.
The first week we had a moment of weakness—similar to when the Democrats selected Hillary Clinton to be their candidate. I still don’t know what happened but we got so excited that before we knew it we were unpacking the cell phones from their box—it was like your grandchildren on Christmas morning except we didn’t puke eggnog on new pyjamas. Then Jan completely lost it: “Gary let’s activate the phones.”
Looks EASY, right???
First thing first: insert the SIM card. If you’re like me you know as much about a SIM card as Trump knows about NAFTA; so I looked up the definition of SIM card. It said see ‘unintended consequences.’
Bottom line: a SIM card is a two-person job…
For days on end I fiddled with the deformed paper clip what-cha-ma-call-it that came with the cellphones trying to insert the itty-bitty SIM card into a teensy-weeny sliding tray designed to hold a postage stamp IF you folded it in half! I was swearing like a soccer mom—with rug-burns on my knees from crawling all over the family room searching for the SIM card.
Jan assisted: by getting the hell out of the room, fast. From the kitchen, she singlehandedly went about establishing a Guinness Book of World Records in the category ‘Most Wine Consumption By A Woman While Her All-Thumbs Husband Inserts A SIM Card.’
Then the second week came along. And I can report that we made lots of progress: Jan slept off all the wine she drank; and I completed advanced anger management counselling.
It was towards the end of the second week that Jan and I began asking ourselves why we decided to purchase technically advanced smart phones that have changed the way everyone communicates?
We concluded that all we wanted to do is what everyone else does: attach emojis to our emails, or if we find ourselves in a life-altering traumatic situation be able to type ‘LOL’ in a text message and post a picture of our kitchen backsplash on Instagram. Is that too much to ask?
I spent the third week waiting on hold for someone in nearby India to tell me how to use our new devices. We had a couple of simple questions starting with ‘HOW THE HELL DO I TURN THESE PHONES ON???’
Of course before contacting the cable company call centre and listening to their important message “Please listen carefully as all our extensions have changed recently,” I completed the mandatory step required by any baby boomer who wears relax fit jeans his wife bought for him: I said goodbye to Jan and told her I’d be back soon—which in cable company parlance is “All our customer satisfaction attendants are busy assisting other customers. Please remain on the line.”
These days the cable companies are going to great lengths to improve customer satisfaction. It begins the moment the automated attendant interrupts the smooth jazz version of the Macarena and says, “Your call is important to us. We apologize but the estimated wait time to speak with a customer satisfaction attendant is equal to the amount of time it will take Trump to increase his approval ratings. Please hold.”
The good news is that eventually the customer satisfaction attendant came on the phone. The bad news was that, unfortunately I had been on hold for so long that I had grown enough hair in my ears that they resembled a bamboo plantation in Malaysia so I had difficulty hearing.
It gets worse…
Before the customer satisfaction attendant could help me out, he said, “Mr. Chalk thank you for waiting. All I need to get started is for you to answer a simple security question: “Mr. Chalk what was the Body Mass Index of your wife’s great-grandmothers aunt?”
I had to think fast! There is only one person who could possibly know…
“Siri what was the Body Mass Index of my wife’s great-grandmothers aunt?”
From the next room Jans ears perked up, “Gary are you talking to me?”
“No dear, I’m asking Siri what the Body Mass Index was of your great-grandmothers aunt.”
Jan has resumed her love affair with New Zealand Sauvignon blanc wine!