Buying a mobile phone

Is it just me, or do you all find it takes an hour to do this?

My phone having bitten not the dust so much as the standing pool which was the floor of our lobby (‘lobby’ is a bit too posh, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment), I went off to town to buy a new one, which my insurance will presumably cover. The shop was filled with a lot of people, most of them my age, not looking at each other and queuing in that vague I-might-be-in-a-queue- but-there-again-I-might-not-be way that you get when everyone is embarrassed about what they are doing. One man had to phone his wife to find out his number. One man, who made my spare tyre look like a size zero, agonised over various phones, found one, and was then told that they didn’t have one in stock, and that his second choice, when investigated in the stockroom, had no back. He was not a happy bunny, but far too fearful of where he was to say so.

Everyone asked the same, pathetic question: can I keep my number? I asked some extra questions, equally pathetic: can I have the same charger because I have three spares for this one (No, they don’t make them any more), can I have BlueTooth (my second-hand car came with a gizmo which responds to this, whatever it may be), can I have one which is not easy to lose, can I have a spare charger (No), can I have one with large buttons, and do they all have alarm clocks (look of withering scorn suppressed on saleswoman’s face at this point). And, is my phone really dead? Really, really dead? Might it come back to life and reveal those photos and the numbers I have stored in it? But my old phone is beyond anything other than divine intervention, and the Bible doesn’t refer to resuscitating mobiles.

Eventually I opted for something which was at least a little bit heavy, heavy enough perhaps for me to notice that I’ve dropped it (don’t hold your breath), and with quite big buttons (but not as big as the previous ones). How people cope with the kind which slide out a teensy QWERTY keyboard, I do not know.

It had some optional extras (including a radio) that I do not want, but then they all had optional extras I didn’t want, every last phone in the shop. There was then much rigmarole involving taking the old SIM card out, replacing it, attempting to retrieve any lost contact numbers (failed), and generally completing the transaction. By the time I got back to the car, a traffic warden was eyeing it hungrily.

Now begins the protracted period of self-education (the instructions are rubbish) in what it does. Working out if it is on or off would be a start, and whether the slidey thing that covers the numbers has any function other than being a slidey thing would also be good. Also, setting the sound so that it dosn’t play house music would be agreeable.

A brave new world awaits. Whether I can actually ring it is another issue.


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