Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Last Stages of Withdrawal

Monday, December 10, 4:30 p.m.

It’s been a traumatic 18 days. I LOST my cell phone sometime Tuesday afternoon, November 20. I’m convinced my car ate it cause I can prove I made five calls on my way home from the winery. No stops except for my garage.

I don’t even start my car without pulling the cell phone out of my purse, sitting it in my cup holder with a list of calls I need to make next to it. I’m addicted to business on the road; otherwise I would be wasting valuable time. (I know, pretty pathetic.)

Well Ralph and I were off to Seattle on Wednesday and then Thanksgiving. So I wasn’t too desperate and I had the use of Ralph’s phone, so withdrawal tremors hadn’t yet started to set in.

Friday, it was off to my Verizon store, store too busy – left, then Saturday, a very grumpy customer – left. Monday planned my visit 45 minutes before closing, already dark outside. Yikes, another customer who just got a fancy PDA and was having problems.

By now I am in full fledge withdrawal… I Need A Phone And I Want It Now! So I stuck it out and finally I got my turn with a very technically savvy young gentleman with peach fuzz on his face. Given some of my “basic” questions and his body language I knew he had a long day with us techno Neanderthals.

I decided on the Big Kahuna… I was stepping up to a Palm Treo, gone would be my trusty Day-Timer that has gone around the world with me. I was not going to let the 3-inch instruction manual (my last phone had a 10 page flyer) sway me. Nor, the salesman’s comment that there was all this free software I could download to customize my phone to my “lifestyle”. Lord a mercy, it took me three hours to figure out how to download songs for my ringback tone and put them in a juke box!!! And, I thought I had cracked the DNA code.

So, I’m up at the counter, credit card in hand. My account was pulled up to make sure I “qualified” for the upgrade (after I gave account ID, password, last 4 digits of my social and my first born child). What happened next is material for a sit-com… the conversation goes something like this.

My salesman says, “Ma’am I’m sorry but you can’t buy this phone today.”

“Why, not!

“Because you are not the primary name on the account and your husband must come with you to the store, in person, for you to buy this phone.”

“You’ve got to be kidding!!”

No Ma’am.

“You’re telling me that I can’t buy this phone without my husband!!!”

Yes Ma’am.

Lightly slamming my hand down on the counter I proceed to rant… I am 57 years old and I don’t need a man or my husband to buy this phone. Just ring it up now!!!!

I can’t do that Ma’am. (If he had said Ma’am one more time, I think it would have been a full-fledged embarrassing scene. I know he was doing his job, but jeez.)

Then of course I had to get in the last word, “FINE!!!!!” and stormed out of the store.

I get home, rant all the way upstairs to put on my special t-shirt that says, “I Am So Tired Of Being The Bitch” (more on this later). Poured myself a glass of Benoit’s 2004 Cabernet (That’s the Big, Bold and Bodacious wine). Stomped back downstairs and placed a call to Verizon Wireless.

After the usual long list of menu options and wait time I finally get a live person. Obviously on a roll here, wanting satisfaction, I didn’t give the young customer service agent any time. I told her to just put a supervisor on the line. To make this long story short… Verizon took care of this situation in less than 10 minutes and now I have equal authority on our cell phone account… Whoopee.

The young customer service agent stays with me throughout the interchange and schedules a call with me for tomorrow to help me pick out a phone. I tell her to call me at the winery at 1 p.m. and gave her the number. I waited and waited for her call thinking, yea just another dropped ball in this fiasco. But, one last absurdity… I sort of need to eat my words, because the customer service agent did call and at the agreed upon time, but she called my LOST CELL PHONE! (I can still check for messages.)

So now, it’s the 18th day. I’ve gone on-line multiple times about the Palm Treo and the Blackberry. The information is overwhelming and I can’t make a decision. I keep putting it off.

Today, I realized driving to the winery; I was listening to the radio; nothing much on my mind and it was the first time I had NOT automatically reached into my purse to look for my phone.

Am I cured, probably not. I do need to buy that phone but it just doesn’t seem quite as important anymore. I’m having a La Dolce Vida Moment and another glass of Cabernet!

Eighteen Days and counting.

Cheers, Kathy,

Ps. THE “B” t-shirt was a gift from Molly and Libby. Yes, there is another story and I’ll write that one soon because it is really special, way different then you’re probably thinking. We’ve thought about lending my t-shirt out, sort of like the Traveling Pants.

Pss. Why Haven’t I Really Bought A Phone?

A few weeks ago I witnessed an accident. I was first on the scene. The car in front of me pulled out from a stop sign and hit a motorcycle. It was horrible and the driver is still in a coma. It was one of those freak accidents that could happen to anyone. BUT, I was on my cell phone pulling up to the stop sign behind the car that caused the accident. I was driving by instinct.

What If… What if I was that car, not watching as close as I should have because I was talking on my phone. As I write this, I need to be really honest with myself; I have not bought another cell phone because I need to know that I have kicked my addiction for doing business on the road while driving.

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