Friday, April 17, 2009


Before Christmas I was walking around a store, pleasantly paying no particular attention to anything around me while gossiping on my trusted (red) Motorola Razr. Suddenly everything went blue. There it was: the dreaded Bootloader screen. It might as well said, "Your phone has been completely wiped of all software, memory, contacts, and use capabilities. Proceed to your nearest US Cellular where you will quickly become more enraged than you ever thought was possible."

I was told there was nothing they could do. The phone was dead. The only option was a new phone.... B U T - - - my contract wasn't up yet, so a new phone isn't allowed. Huh?! I only had a couple weeks to go, so I decided to forego modern accessibility & convenience and spend the next few weeks roughing it sans cell.

When my self-imposed sentence was up I gleefully skipped all the way to US Cellular: "Howdy-ho, Lovely People of the Cell Gods! I am here to joyfully pick out my new phone!" Forty-five minutes later I was passively acknowledged and, well, I guess they would classify it as "assisted" me in picking out a phone. I chose a new-and-improved RAZR. Oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy! I was excited!

That excitment lasted about three days when the piece of crap ticked me off so bad I stomped back into my local US Cellular store quite unhappy. Prepared with my list of complaints - ranging from random psychotic outbursts such as "while sitting on the table it will suddenly flip through volume control settings as if controlled by some other force" and "the phone is completely unable to recognize any button I happen to be pushing. I can't make calls, receive calls, write texts, receive texts, etc." and "it doesn't seem to hold a charge."

Phone Guru #1 nodded her head knowingly, "Ah, yes - there's a software problem with this model." phew. At least they knew about it. I tossed over my ID, filled out forms, waiting while they gathered up a loaner phone, waited some more while it sounded like they were hosting a party in the back and was just about ready to leave when the Guru announced, "oh, yeah - your ID actually expired - so I can't use that. You'll have to show me a valid ID first."

I scrambled through my purse. Went out and scoured through my car. Nothing. Called Big V: "Please see if you can find my ID. I must have given it to you to hold when we were at the bar."

"When were we at the bar?"

"I don't know - a month ago? Six weeks? Just check your pockets..."

Big V could not find the valid ID. Nor could I when I went home... still clutching the crappy phone. There was only one thing to do. Get a new ID, which would take some time (since we all know the Gasping Task Master won't allow me a minute off work). But eventually I became the proud owner of a valid ID. (I won't get into the frustration of having a non-working phone while I waited.)

So the ID was valid. The crappy phone turned over. The loaner phone was MINE! Allowing me a few glorious weeks filled with unlimited text messages & internet wanderings. Life was so good!

And then I got the call: My phone was back from the Repair Gods. Time to turn the loaner in. I was sad to see it go, but like all good things, it must come to an end.

Although it was noted that only "charge was fixed, software reinstalled" I vowed to stay positive. My phone was shiney and sparkly and, well, it looked new... wait. It was new. Anyway, off I went, tra-la-la-ing on my way.

Three hours later I was ready to slam the phone against the nearest brick wall and take the $150 hit to break my relationship with US Cellular.

The crappy phone is still crappy. My weekend shall begin with yet another visit to my local US Cellular store where I will most surely endure the blank stares of the people in charge of my cellular happiness.

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